Customers and colleagues have been pondering the LinkedIn endorsement feature and wondering if it’s good or bad. There’s even a rumor that people get points for endorsing their network. I hope that this article sheds some light on the positives and negatives of the feature and dispels some of the rumors surrounding it.
LinkedIn endorsements launched in fall of 2012 and, LinkedIn has said they received over 1 billion endorsements within six months of launching the feature.
Why Would Someone Use LinkedIn Endorsement?
I was unable to find evidence that someone who provides an endorsement receives “points” or “credit”. However, there are a few benefits to be received by endorsing:
If someone endorses, they will now show up the endorsed person’s newsfeed, which could give them reach into that person’s network. Also, when a recruiter is reviewing the skills and expertise of a potential candidate, they see who endorsed the candidate, thereby giving the endorsee reach into recruiter circles as well (see picture at right .
Reconnection and Networking
Proper etiquette is to reply to someone who legitimately endorsed you. “Thank you, Scott, for endorsing me for digital strategy. How are you? Are you still working with Anderson?”
LinkedIn Endorsement Feature Challenges and Controversy
Managing LinkedIn Endorsements
There have been many who say managing endorsements is cumbersome and limited. For instance, you can hide someone’s endorsement of you if you don’t agree with it or if they don’t have credibility, but you cannot choose or manage the actual skills that are listed. Skills appear as follows:
- LinkedIn creates the skills based on look-alike job titles.
- Endorsements are gathered and ranked by LinkedIn. You cannot rearrange the order. (See my ranking to the right. Integrated Marketing is at the top, as 21 people have endorsed me for it.)
- You also cannot group skills. So you may be endorsed separately for both Digital Marketing and Interactive Marketing, even though they are the same thing.
- There’s a camp of people out there who don’t find value in this, however, recruiters are using the feature. And some LinkedIn members do find value in reconnecting with old colleagues as well as building a profile.
LinkedIn Endorsement Best Practices
- LinkedIn limits your skill list to 50, but experts say it’s best to keep your skill list to 10-15.
So in summary, I do believe there is validity to using LinkedIn endorsements. When you take everything into consideration, people will be looking the skills your network has endorsed you for, so you might as well take part in what's being said. Here's a few things to keep in mind:
- Keep in mind that the number of endorsements is directly related to the size of your LinkedIn network.
- At some point, if enough people endorse you for a skill, you’re most likely to have that skill. So your mom may endorse you for “good table manners,” but if there aren’t a ton more people endorsing you for the same thing it will fall off the chart.
- LinkedIn is a highly utilized online tool from recruiters to customers to colleagues, so they’re going to see your endorsements whether you like it or not.
- Picture this: Leah Averre Smith writes a blog about best practices for integrated marketing tactics. That blog appears as a featured article on Anderson’s website. If a prospect is looking at our website, finds the blog via SEO, or was forwarded the article by a colleague, that prospect will inevitably look Leah Averre Smith up on LinkedIn and check out her profile. If Mrs. Smith has a top-rated skill of Integrated Marketing, that prospect will be more likely to trust Mrs. Smith, and therefore Anderson. And if the prospect trusts Anderson, and others like the prospect take the same click paths, search engines are now going to give credibility to that article and Anderson’s website for the search term “integrated marketing,” starting the cycle all over again for many more prospects.