While providing LinkedIn workshops recently, several questions have come up again and again regarding endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn. While many of the workshop attendees appreciate being endorsed for certain skills, some are confused by the process. In fact, they are either being endorsed for things they may not even do, or they are confused as to why so many people are now endorsing them.
First, in my opinion, LinkedIn has added the endorsements option to make it easier for others to quickly say, “Yes, I think that you are pretty good at XYZ skill.” Endorsements are a quick way to add credibility to your skills, without asking too much from your connections. LinkedIn even provides them with suggestions for endorsement items. This will appear at the top of the screen each time someone logs into LinkedIn.
After you receive endorsements, they appear at the bottom of your profile as a list of specified skills, along with the associate profile photographs of those that endorse you for the particular item. This is a great visual for those that may be reviewing your profile. Someone may be able to quickly deduce that one of your top skills is “Public Speaking” simply be glancing through your endorsements at the bottom of the profile.
Now, even though endorsements are a way to leverage your expertise, LinkedIn provides an even better way to recognize your skills. Recommendations are written excerpts by connections that have worked with you in the past. In my opinion, recommendations are more meaningful than endorsements because they have been crafted by someone that has taken the time to create something unique for you. Rather than just a click of the mouse for an endorsement, a recommendation is something that is written exclusively to discuss your skills and accomplishments.
So, when given the option, a recommendation always means more than an endorsement. Although it may be more difficult to gather recommendations, they are worth far more than someone just clicking a mouse saying you are good at a particular skill. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. Think of it as asking someone to be a reference when you are job searching. And, be sure to ask someone that truly knows your skills and abilities. In the long run, these recommendations will lead to success on both your LinkedIn profile and in your professional life.