Have you ever looked at the Recommendations section of your LinkedIn profile and noticed it was looking a little sparse? You can probably name at least 10 people off the top of your head that would be able to attest to your awesome skills. So what has been stopping you? For me sometimes I hesitate because I know the person is busy and don’t want to add extra work to their plate, or sometimes I’m not sure if the person would be comfortable writing a public recommendation and I don’t want to put them in an awkward position. LinkedIn has just introduced LinkedIn Endorsements (expected to roll out to all users over the next few weeks), a functionality that could solve both of those problems as an alternate way to build credibility surrounding your specific skills.
You may already be familiar with LinkedIn Skills. In this section of LinkedIn, you can choose specific skills that you possess and have them listed on your profile. For example, if you’re a Marketing Manager, you might list “Marketing Strategy” and “Marketing Communications” as two of your skills. With the introduction of LinkedIn Endorsements, others that know you and have worked with you can advocate your listed skills with a simple click. Beside each skill, you’ll see a count that expresses how many connections have endorsed that specific skill of yours.
As the easier and quicker alternative to the traditional LinkedIn Recommendation, Endorsements will probably be a more popular functionality. But are they necessarily better? Since the feature has yet to be rolled out to us here at Stryve Group it’s hard to form a concrete opinion, but I had one immediate concern: Since an Endorsement requires just one click of the mouse, should they really hold that much weight?
A LinkedIn Recommendation typically provides quite a bit of context—How do the two parties know each other? What kind of work was performed? What were the specific successful outcomes? How did this person specifically go above and beyond?—whereas an Endorsement leaves much to be questioned. You simply see a count of how many “endorsers” each skill has, as well as a few thumbnails representing those endorsers. This makes it tougher to gauge the credibility behind each endorsement. Is this guy with 5 endorsements really a Marketing Analytics whiz or are those 5 people just friends doing him a favour? Without doing quite a bit of digging and finding out if the endorsee and endorser actually have workplaces or activities in common, it’s hard to tell. If you don’t envision yourself putting in this much of a time investment, my advice would be to take these endorsements with a grain of salt.
What do you think of the idea of LinkedIn endorsements? Are they a great new feature or simply a popularity contest with not much real value? Do you think they complement or hinder LinkedIn Recommendations? We want to hear what you think.