Love Them or Lose Them – LinkedIn Endorsements

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steampunk heart 550 white background with creditLove them or hate them…they’re still an obsession. Yes, I’m talking about LinkedIn Endorsements, and whether you think they’re “the downfall of” or a “wonderful addition to” the platform, you’re going to need to decide sooner or later if they are right for your professional profile.

I’ve learned a lot from my time experimenting with LinkedIn Endorsements, and here are a few things I’d recommend considering as you decide whether you should Love them or Lose them.

Choose the right skills NOW

Linkedin Endorsements received highly mixed reviews when first introduced in September 2012, but I was all about them! I updated my profile to include more skills and expertise than I care to admit and waited patiently for my first LinkedIn Endorsement. After all, the more hooks in the water the better your chances, right?

….wrong.

Did I really need to list Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter as separate skills? Probably not. But I did…at first. Until I realized (for me at least) less is more.

Instead I picked a few primary skills that I knew I would still be pursuing in the future and lumped all the separate networks into one “Social Media Marketing” skill. This made much more sense as that consolidated  skill set was likely to accumulate more endorsements than spreading them out and asking my endorsers to make more choices.

Another reason to choose the right skills now is after your original primary skills have been endorsed to their fullest, any addition skill you add will obviously start out with zero endorsements, which not only makes said skill look very lonely, but it may actually downplay a skill that you’re most proficient with. This is the position I’m “stuck” in now as you can see:

linkedin-skills-Jacob-Curtis 550

Placement is key

Nothing says please endorse me less than placing your LinkedIn Skills and Expertise section at the very bottom of your profile. Can you really expect your connections to scroll all the way down there to endorse you?

Luckily, within your LinkedIn profile editor you can move these sections around to customize your profile. In my case I decided to move my Skills and Expertise section to the top of my profile for two key reasons:

  •  Make it as easy as possible for connections that visit my page to endorse me
  • Grab the attention of new visitors to my profile and hopefully make them spend more time learning more about me, since endorsements offer a nice visual piece and social proof about my skills at first glance.

Don’t underestimate who’s looking at your profile and how endorsements can help you and your company

  •  If you’re looking for employment, Linkedin can be used to get the job interviews you really want, and the longer you can keep a recruiter or employer on your profile the better.
  • If your company is hiring, the savvy job seeker will search for executive profiles to get an idea of who they might report to.
  • For that matter, anyone doing research on your or your company for any reason will look at executive and employee profiles. Think reporters, investors, analysts, competitors…and potential customers.

The more valuable your employees look, the more valuable your company looks.

Keep it clean

Keep in mind endorsements are not the same as recommendations and are much easier to give and receive. Even though it’s believed that the amount of endorsements and skills listed on your profile help improve your chances of appearing in LinkedIn search results, many decide to remove the Skills and Expertise section all together. And if you’re the person who doesn’t like to be endorsed by someone who you haven’t directly worked with, you can always manage your LinkedIn Endorsements to remove a specific person’s.

Regardless of your love or hate relationship with endorsements, LinkedIn is still definitely a platform worth investing in.

Have you warmed up to Linkedin Endorsements? What are some other ways you’ve increased your endorsement count? Let me know in the comments below.

“Steampunk Heart” courtesy of Melanie Moor, www.mellimdesigns.typepad.com

 

 

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