Skills endorsements first started appearing on Linkedin towards the end of September and we’ve had a number of people asking us if we think they are worthwhile. We have mixed views: whilst we believe they are a sign of (good) things to come from Linkedin, their main benefit currently is perhaps to recruiters who are looking for individuals to fit a specific job description – and they certainly don’t replace the thoughtfully written recommendation. As endorsements seem here to stay though it makes sense to make them work for you.
Linkedin uses algorithms to suggest skills for endorsement, so you need to make it easy for Linkedin by listing any skills you want to be endorsed for, making sure that the most important ones come first (eg: dispute resolution, negotiation, contractual disputes). The risk of not doing this is that you end up being endorsed inaccurately. For example you may be an intellectual property lawyer but Linkedin has added 2 and 2 to make 5 and suggests to your contacts that they endorse you for commercial property work. And some inevitably will! One potential advantage of endorsements is to use it as a trigger or an excuse to reconnect with some of your connections. If you endorse one of your connections they will receive an email to let them know; acting as a reminder that you are there. Endorsements can also have a positive impact on your personal brand – when you receive an endorsement it will appear on your updates and also your connections’ newsfeeds. You can ‘hide’ endorsements (useful if you are endorsed for something you would rather not be known for). But note that if you DO hide an endorsement, it is irreversible and you won’t be able to make it visible again. Alongside the introduction of skills endorsements is the facility for improved company pages. It isn’t a huge leap to assume that endorsements will soon be rolled out for company pages so that your specialities and products can be endorsed. This will be a lot more useful to those of us who are more interested in business development than finding a new job. If you would like to get Linkedin working more effectively for you and your business, please do get in touch.