LinkedIn Endorsements: Useful or a Waste of Time?

LinkedIn is a great way to sell yourself and your business, but one of the things I’ve been asked about a lot recently, is the LinkedIn ‘Endorsement’ feature.

Added to a few profiles for testing last year before they rolled it out fully this has been a topic that comes up recently whenever LinkedIn is mentioned.

I thought it would be useful to put my answers to various people’s questions down here, so here are some of the questions I’ve been asked and my responses to them. I’d love to hear from you if you have got any further questions – so please don’t hesitate to contact me and ask!

Does Anyone Like The Endorsement Feature?

I must admit, I’m personally not a huge fan of the Endorsement feature on LinkedIn. I personally feel that it actually distracts people from focussing on the more important parts of the profile – like the recommendations section – where you can get a true gauge of that individual and what they’re like.

Unfortunately, when LinkedIn made the changes to the profile layout, Endorsements are higher up than your Recommendations and the Endorsements are one of the initial things people base some of their initial judgements about you on.

Is The Endorsement Feature Reliable And Trustworthy?

I think the short answer to this is no. Unlike the Recommendation feature, where people write individual feedback (so you can make a judgement as to the strength of the recommendation), the endorsements are done simply with a click of a button – in fact LinkedIn often prompts you to endorse people’s skills on occasion just when you land on their profile!

The consequence of that, is that you get people endorsing you for skills when they have had little or no interaction with you, and have no idea if you have that skill or not! Even worse, you get endorsed for skills that you don’t actually want on your profile, just that the person endorsing you decided to endorse you for that too – it then appears on your profile. Everyone I’ve spoken to talks about this happening to them – and everyone hates it!

What Would You Suggest In Terms Of Risk Mitigation?

I think, whether we like the feature or not (and I think you’ve guessed my opinion on it by now) we need to bear in mind that people will make judgements on us and our capabilities based on the what we’re endorsed for, and the numbers.

Their initial judgements will be formed based on that, and backed up based on your profile summary and your recommendations. Those are the two other places people pay most attention to when looking at a LinkedIn profile as a potential buyer of your products or services for example.

So in terms of risk mitigation, I’d recommend that you ensure your Endorsements are for things that relate to your role or areas of expertise.

For example if you’re in Recruitment, ‘recruiting’ should be a skill high up if not at the top of your endorsement list.

I know this sounds simple, but you’d be amazed how many people fall foul of it!

Any Final Tips?

Well the people I work with most in relation to training on LinkedIn are salespeople, and people using LinkedIn for Lead Generation and Business Development purposes.

The biggest tip I can give you is: think how your profile looks to potential buyers. Your objective (from a Sales Persuasion point of view) is to demonstrate your credibility, your professionalism, how you’ve helped people, how you’ve generated results for them etc. Think about the key skills they would want to see in order to think about buying from you, or at least giving you an enquiry and make sure they’re right at the top of the endorsements on your profile!

Good luck with your LinkedIn profile and your future sales!


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