Whom Do You Endorse on Linkedin? Why?


LinkedIn now makes it very easy for users to endorse skills listed by their connections. Typically, as soon as you open your LinkedIn window, there it is...that box with four of your connections asking you to endorse them for specific skills.

LinkedIn makes it very easy to do so. Simply click Endorse all, and you have done just that. Then the box disappears and you can get back to your LinkedIn business. You may also choose to click on individuals if you do not want to endorse them all, and you can search for other endorsement suggestions.

So, here's the sticky point to consider:

While you likely want to support your connections, what does it say about you if you endorse someone for a skill you are not actually certain they possess?

Every endorsement you make of someone else is a reflection of you. While they may be taken less seriously than an official recommendation letter, they still represent you.

Consider that if you do not know first-hand whether someone is truly skilled in an area, providing them with an endorsement may actually be a breach of trust. It can potentially devalue your word and decrease the respect others have for you and your recommendations.

While many on LinkedIn approach endorsements as just a friendly way to lend support, consider that there may be ways to provide support to your connections and still resist the temptation to endorse someone for a skill you truly do not know that they possess.

Sharing their content is one  way to do this. Also, if you truly want to be able to endorse them, then perhaps it's time to setup a meeting so you can get to know first-hand what it is that they do and the ways they do it well.

So, the next time that endorsement box pops up, consider carefully whether the recommended endorsements are a true reflection of who and what you would want to recommend.

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I actually disagree with this strategy. Endorsements are for search engines, and not people.

LinkedIn is trying to get some ideas for its robots about what your profile actually is about.

When LinkedIn asks me whether I want to endorse X for attribute Y, I assume that X wants to known as knowing something about Y.

As long as I think the person is on the level, they get my "endorsement" - which means effectively that I think this person might know something about Y.

Good points in the article and Michael.

There are two things here:

1) One is questioning validity of attributes you are suggested to endorse.

2) Another is person might want to be known for certain attributes and skills.

In my mind, as long as the person has demonstrated success in other skill-sets, and have started to make some progress towards their new direction or skillsets or from their profile it seems they have potential to grow in that area - they are good to endorse.

Thanks for the comments, Michael and Himanshi. I love this dialogue, and it's definitely raised some new points to consider.

Personally, I have been endorsed by connections for skills I never listed myself and do not coincide with what I do. This would seem to indicate that LinkedIn is generating potential skills for people that they, themselves, have not listed. This defeats the theory that people want to be endorsed for those skills, and based on experience I can attest to the fact that it's not always the case.

The most important piece of this all to me, however, goes back to how I represent myself. I want my clients, my friends, my colleagues to be able to respect my word and take my recommendations to heart.

That is why, above all, that if you do get an endorsement from me, it's because you truly have earned it. :)

Frances writes: "That is why, above all, that if you do get an endorsement from me, it's because you truly have earned it. :)"

When I look at my LinkedIn profile, I am looking at mirror of what other people think I know something about.

What I am looking for are imbalances: what I think I am good at, compared to what the LinkedIn crowd thinks of me.

When I see some imbalance or mistmatch, it reminds me to demonstrate, usually with an article, my knowledge in the area.

That's a good point, Michael. Thanks for the contribution.

It's definitely important to recognize how others see you. In this case, however that makes the assumption that people actually do think when they endorse you and not just click "endorse all".

Hopefully more of us will do just that.

It is true that many people will have different "endorsement" strategies.

Mine is a bit different than most.

And I don't expect most to conform to it. Nor do I think they should.

What is important is that people understand the endorsements on LinkedIn are a sort of crowd sourced snapshot of what your first connections think of you, in general.

I like it when I get endorsed by someone who knows my work.

I like solid written recommendations by credible people even more.

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This page contains a single entry by Frances Leary published on February 27, 2014 2:45 PM.

Use LinkedIn Like an Expert was the previous entry in this blog.

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