How to Make the Most of LinkedIn Endorsements

They’re easy to give and receive, but you need to use the online kudos strategically

by Carol Ross • Next Avenue
Photograph: Shutterstock.com

If you’re on LinkedIn, the social networking site that’s a powerful resource for job hunters, you’ve likely been getting a flurry of emails from the site saying that someone has endorsed you for a skill or expertise. Or when you’ve seen a connection’s LinkedIn profile, you’ve noticed the bold banner asking you to endorse him or her. What to do?  

What Are LinkedIn Endorsements?

First, a brief explanation: LinkedIn introduced “endorsements” last September, as a kind of time-starved (or lazy?) professional’s version of LinkedIn “recommendations.”

(MORE: How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Personal Brand)

To endorse someone on LinkedIn, all you need to do is click a box and you’re done. No thinking involved. (Todd Wasserman, marketing editor for the popular digital newsblog Mashable, calls endorsements a Facebook “Like” for business skills.) But with a LinkedIn recommendation, you need to take the time to write a comment.

The no-brainer aspect of endorsements might explain why more than half a billion have already shown up on LinkedIn profiles; users are sending more than 10 million endorsements a day. Every time you accept an endorsement from someone, LinkedIn prompts you to endorse up to four more people.

They Can Be Helpful – and Irritating

LinkedIn endorsements can be a means for discovering how others view you, managing your personal brand online and even starting a conversation. It's possible they could even make you a stronger job candidate than a competitor.

But they can also be irritants, because each time you log on to LinkedIn or visit a connection’s profile, you may be bombarded with a banner asking you to make an endorsement, with the question: “Does Mary know about X?” And since any of your “first tier” LinkedIn connections can endorse you without adding any explanation, the kudos can become meaningless. 

(MORE: 3 Social Media Tips to Help Women’s Careers)

Click here to learn how to use and not use endorsements 

Photo courtesy of Photosani/Shutterstock.com

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