If a Like is the low hanging fruit of Facebook, an Endorsement on LinkedIn is kind of the same thing. Except when it’s not.
There are two different ways your connections can tout you, and your skills, to the world. One is Recommendations which involves them actually having to write words, provide links, or share connections to back up what they are saying about you. Endorsements involve them clicking a button which then is added to a counting statistic of up to 50 skills which you have chosen yourself.
A look at LinkedIn Endorsements and Recommendations
I have long held the mindset that Endorsements were the Like of LinkedIn. It is an easy thing to do for connections to feel like they are being active and interactive on the platform. In the longest run, I thought they were generally useless, especially when connections who I had never met IRL or done work with were the ones offering them.
Then I saw that endorsements did a great deal to help with the LinkedIn search, and thereby SEO from external browsers, and changed my tune.
Yes, they remain generally harmless, or helpful, but if they can be a real separator between you, your competition, and your peers then they are something you should take the time to fully utilize.
Go down to the section of your profile with the endorsements and click “add more” to make sure you are taking advantage of all 50 topics which can be connected to your profile. In researching this piece, I added around 20 more descriptors to my profile. Many of them were variations on the same theme but they will help to overpower terms for activities I am not actively involved with any longer but still receive endorsements for.
It’s my own fault for not doing this sooner, and yours for not doing the same. This is the part where we learn together!
When it comes to Recommendations, connections can be asked by you to offer them (which I have always found cheesy) or they can offer them themselves. There is no external view of how the Recommendation was gathered so it probably doesn’t matter.
Recommendations do show on both the recommendee and recommender profile so if someone is a prolific recommender, it may impair your first impression from that potential client or employer. If your recommendation is one of the few the recommender has offered, well, that impression is up to the mythical client/employer as well.
Proactive tip: Add making random and out of the blue recommendations to folks you have worked with to your list of frequent LinkedIn activities. Not only will it make you feel good but it could possibly open up some mutually beneficial conversations. Don’t be salesy in your recommendations, be legit!
My advice here is to seek recommendations over endorsements for legitimacy’s sake and endorsements over recommendation for interaction and SEO’s sake but to not be aggressively chasing either one.
What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or social media with the share tools to the side of this post.
We’re in the homestretch of the #31DaysOfLinkedIn with this post, let us know if you have any questions or obstacles you would like to see covered in the future!
As always, thanks for reading and watching this far!