If you’ve been reading my blog for very long you probably have determined that I’m a big fan of using LinkedIn for networking. It’s a great professional networking site. One of the newer features that has generated some real interest is the Endorsements feature. In this article let’s discuss what Endorsements are and what they are not.
I don’t tweet, or make any other strange noises, and I’m a privacy advocate and don’t participate with Facebook. However, I do believe in the power of networking that I get out of my Connections on LinkedIn. With the introduction of Endorsements you may be wondering how beneficial they are and why you want to collect them, as well as offer them to others.
In short, an Endorsement is a much abbreviated Recommendation. You start out in your LinkedIn profile by creating your own list of Skills. Then your Connections can stop by your profile and say, “Yes, he/she does have that skill, and I’ll vouch for them.” While it is certainly possible for people to Endorse you for things that they’ve never seen you do, I hope that it isn’t common practice. I certainly try to be as accurate as possible for the Endorsements that I give out for colleagues. Just like I try not to Connect with people that I haven’t met, I also don’t give out Endorsement for skills that I’ve not worked with the person on. I want my Endorsements to be as credible as possible.
It is gratifying to look at the Endorsements that have been bestowed upon me. For example, 32 people have Endorsed my “IT Strategy” skill. I certainly think that skill comprises a large part of my IT practice, so I certainly appreciate that others believe that I possess the skill, as well.
The practice of providing Endorsements could be considered the equivalent of what I understand a “Like” is supposed to be on Facebook, but with more credibility and relevance to skills in the business world. I could “Like” someone on LinkedIn with an Endorsement because we are friends, but again, I do try to portray an accurate representation on how I’ve worked with someone before Endorsing their skill. For example, I could Endorse someone’s “Accounting” skill, because I’ve seen it, but would abstain from Endorsing their “Financial Reporting” skill, even though they may have it, because I’ve not worked with them in that capacity.
I guess that is what I’m trying to say. Be honest with your Endorsements so that they do retain some value and don’t get diluted by everyone Endorsing every skill.
Your comments at the bottom of the page are always welcome. You can also write to me at my email address below and I’ll get back to you. Best of luck to you on your search!