I’m sure you have noticed the section in LinkedIn called endorsements. But do you know what endorsements are?

Endorsements are different than recommendations. A recommendation is a testimonial. It’s the acknowledgment from your client that you provided top notch service or product to them.

An endorsement is usually not by a client but by someone who knows you, believes in you and knows you are an expert in your field. The people who endorse you think so highly of you, they are willing to make it public on LinkedIn. When people endorse you, that activity show up in their newsfeed, your newsfeed and their profile picture shows up next to the skill they endorsed you for.

Endorsements on LinkedIn adds a validation of social proof. Unfortunately some people are choosing to use endorsements like a game – give one…or two…or three in hopes of getting one…or two…or three endorsements back.

In order to endorse someone or have someone endorse you, you must be a first level connection. That means you must have initiated or accepted a connection request with that person.

Remember LinkedIn is a professional social media platform and not a popularity contest. Don’t endorse people you don’t know. I am truly flattered when someone endorses me, but I personally will not endorse someone unless I’m confident they have proven to possess the skills they have listed. This includes friends too.

Manage you LinkedIn endorsements

Only add skills that you possess are relevant to your LinkedIn profile. If you have not completed the skills and expertise section of your profile, please do. You can do this by choosing the profile tab at the top of LinkedIn and clicking on edit profile. You can also manage your endorsements too. For example, if you wish, you can delete people who have endorsed you.

You don’t have to endorse every skill someone has listed on their profile. Just choose the ones that you can personally attest or have experienced first-hand.

At the end of the day, endorsements are a great way to add value to your professional identity. But with all social media platforms, it’s never about the quantity. In this case, it’s about relevant endorsements you have. When you consistently use LinkedIn effectively, your skills and expertise in your industry will always shine through.

I would love to hear your thoughts about endorsements. Do you endorse others?

Published On: June 9th, 2013 / Categories: 2013, Social Media / Tags: , , /

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