LinkedIn is the modern equivalent of the Rolodex, an online place where you can connect with people you have met in professional circumstances and keep up to date with their activities in a manner similar to other social networks such as Facebook.
LinkedIn has many functions and features beyond the description above, but one of its most appealing aspects is the option for others to publicly endorse you online on your own LinkedIn profile.
There are many components to your LinkedIn profile (which, in effect, is a comprehensive online CV-cum-profile), but one of the key features is the ability to list as keywords your skills and abilities. These are a very important feature of your profile as they are used by LinkedIn’s internal search engine to identify profiles relevant for other users. So, for example, if you were looking for someone who can do ‘copywriting’, you can search for them on LinkedIn and it will pull up results of people who list ‘copywriting’ as a skill on their profile.
A LinkedIn Endorsement now allows LinkedIn users to vouch for the skills listed on LinkedIn profiles. It is a quick way for connections to publicly verify that people they know are qualified in the skill that they can claim for themselves.
How do I give LinkedIn Endorsements?
To give a LinkedIn Endorsement, you visit the profile of someone you are connected with and scroll down to the Skills section of their profile. Next to the skill in question you will see a plus sign (+); click on this and then a small icon of your current LinkedIn picture will appear next to that skill on that person’s LinkedIn profile.
If others have already done this for that person, you will already see their pictures displayed in a row after the skill word, and there will be a number before the skill word to indicate how many endorsements have already been given for that particular skill.
As a LinkedIn user, you can only give endorsements to those on the network that you are directly connected to, and you can only award endorsements if you are logged into your own account.
Occasionally, when you are viewing other people’s profiles on LinkedIn, a large blue pop-up box will appear at the very top of their profile suggesting the skills you can endorse this person for. This time around, a user clicks on the skills they want to remove before pressing the Endorse button in the box.
In this pop-up box, there is also the option to nominate a skill the person has not listed for themselves and endorse them for it. Once you have done this, the skill will be added to the relevant section of their LinkedIn profile, with an image of your LinkedIn picture displaying next to that skill as with the others. Now, other people can endorse your connection for the new skill that you have nominated them for.
How will my Endorsement appear on LinkedIn?
Depending on your LinkedIn settings, all endorsements that you give will show up in the home feed of your LinkedIn connections as well as in the Activity section of your own LinkedIn profile.
Once you have nominated a skill for another person, your image will be on display next to that skill and this image acts as a hyperlink back to your own LinkedIn profile. In other words, by moving the cursor over your image a brief description of who you are will appear and your complete profile will be called up if another user clicks or touches the image next to the skill listed. This helps verify the connection between you and the person you have endorsed in the minds of other users, who may want to get in touch with you to verify the endorsement further.
LinkedIn users tend to be passive recipients of LinkedIn Endorsements, and there is nothing to stop others from endorsing you or adding skills to your LinkedIn profile. However, you can edit or remove these endorsements from your profile after the event (even on an individual basis) by editing the Skills section of your profile. You can even choose whether you want your skills publicly listed at all if you would rather not benefit from this function in the first place.
When choosing to endorse someone else on LinkedIn for a skill that they have, make sure that you feel comfortable in doing so. Other people may hire or employ that connection partially based on your endorsement, and if that person does not have that skill or is poor at it, this could reflect badly on you and your judgement. LinkedIn Endorsements are public, so your name is literally on the line when you nominate others for their skills.
LinkedIn Endorsements are distinct from LinkedIn Recommendations, which are written references by one connection for another for either a previous or current role listed on a LinkedIn user’s profile under the Experience section.
Nick Lewis Communications can provide training in LinkedIn as well as offer professional management of LinkedIn Company Pages. To find out, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07970 839137.