When LinkedIn came up with “Endorsements” last fall, I was very skeptical. Like many career experts, I thought it was rather annoying and easy to game. I didn’t think it would take off like it has. But, with CAREEREALISM encouraging “Endorse Day,” and over 5.5 million endorsements sent as of mid-December, I thought I should revisit my initial impression on LinkedIn Endorsements.
I’ve been analyzing what other coaches have been writing on their blogs and among career organizations’ e-lists, watching what my clients have been doing on LinkedIn, and reading the statement produced by LinkedIn. After processing all of that, I’ve developed the stance that endorsements will be a useful thing for the job seeker.
Why I Like LinkedIn Endorsements
Here’s why I’m changing my tune and now endorsing LinkedIn’s endorsements.
1.) The biggest reason I’ve decided to advise my clients to give (and get) endorsements is because of how the experts are mesmerized by how LinkedIn’s algorithm works. Many “in the know” suspect that skills play a big role in how far up in the search results your profile falls when that term is searched for by someone. If having a skill endorsed by a greater number of people will help you to rise to the top of page one on LinkedIn’s internal search engine, why not use that feature?
On the flipside, I read an article on Forbes’ website where the author did not think searches would be affected by endorsements. So, what to believe? Who knows for sure, but I’m betting on the bottom line. Which is…
2.) …that LI has a lot invested in developing endorsements. The paid versions recruiters use need the easy data the feature provides to make accounts with scarcely populated fields more findable. If it makes the LinkedIn Recruiter accounts work better, LinkedIn makes more money and that pleases its investors. They are highly tied into it. Endorsements aren’t going anywhere. You want to be found? You might want to use this system.
3.) The convenience factor. It can be time-consuming for busy executives to write recommendations, but if you ask to be endorsed, it only takes a couple of clicks. It can be fun, social, and it does say something about you. If you give endorsements, it’s an easy way to show someone what you appreciate about them. If you have endorsements, they will make you more attractive to a potential employer. After all, would you rather interview someone who has a section chock-full of endorsements, or someone who has nothing?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not thinking endorsements are the end-all-be-all. I’ll take a quality recommendation over ten endorsements any day because of the substance. But, that’s like comparing apples to oranges. They are both important parts of the profile, but for very different reasons.
Endorsements are simple brand attributes and skills that might help you to be found. Recommendations are more in-depth testimonials to the quality of your work. Very different, and both important.
So, now that endorsements have taken off and are here to stay, we might as well get used to that fact. Go put some skills on your profile today and have fun clicking to endorse your co-workers!
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