Linkedin – Endorsements

LinkedIn has recently launched a new Skills Endorsement feature on their website, to compliment their existing Recommendation option. Both are meant to get external validation of an individual’s profile, work history, background, education, and more.

While Recommendations are more general and allow for more extensive explanations and interaction, the new Skills Endorsement feature instead focuses on targeting particular skills an individual has. So if you have a particular talent for tax compliance, for example, and a former colleague wants to emphasize or recommend your proficiency in that skill, rather than filling out a long Recommendation, he or she can simply “endorse” your skill.

Here are a few tips to make the best use of this new feature:

Identify Key Skills on Your Profile: It is important to highlight the key skills you possess in the “Skills & Expertise” section of your profile so people can endorse them. Each skill will be listed separately, with the professionals who have endorsed them pictured to the right (for the top 10). Skills are initially listed in random order but as people endorse them, they are ordered by the number of endorsers, from highest to lowest. Thus, in a graphic way, people who visit your profile will immediately know which skills you are best known for by seeing which skills have the most endorsements.

Skill Suggestions:
In addition to endorsing existing skills on your profile, this feature also allows for others to suggest relevant skills that they believe you possess that you haven’t mentioned (especially those all important “cross-functional skills” that we always take for granted). This helps to expand your profile and provides a collaborative work space for self-actualization.

Enhanced Visibility: The advantage of using the Skills Endorsement feature is that it raises your visibility on the LinkedIn network. Every time you add a skill to your profile, it gets added to your LinkedIn homepage timeline (which others on your network can see). There are also options to endorse skills, like them, or comment about them right on your homepage.

Endorse and Get Endorsed: When someone endorses your skills, it gets shown on their activity timeline and your own, thereby increasing the possibility of their contacts and others visiting your profile (which can be very important if you are passively looking for a job). And the same is true when you endorse someone else. So it’s equally useful for networking purposes to endorse other people as it is to be endorsed.

Acknowledgement of Endorsement:
It is important to thank those who have endorsed your skills. One way of doing so is to use the “Like” button on the LinkedIn timeline. You should also reciprocate and endorse their skills in return.

Using the Skills Endorsement feature helps raise the visibility and credibility of your profile on the LinkedIn network and the earlier you start, the more impact it will have.

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