The social network, LinkedIn, recently introduced a new feature called “Endorsements,” which allows users to endorse members of their professional network. This new feature is essentially another form of offering a reference on a LinkedIn profile, and gives more credibility to the skills and expertise listed on a profile in comparison to what might be listed on a paper resume.
LinkedIn has tried to make offering endorsements as easy and painless as possible by already programming recommended endorsements onto profile pages; therefore, all you have to do is confirm your connection’s skills with one click. To endorse, go to the profile page of a connection. You’ll see a bright blue box that prompts users to endorse their connection with a set of five pre-filled skill sets. These skills can be removed and others can be added.
With just one click, you now have the opportunity to endorse your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile or recommend one they haven’t added yet. If you think your connection is great at both programming and social media, let them know. It’s also a way to reach out to people you have worked with at previous jobs and reconnect.
Do you want to see who has endorsed you? LinkedIn will notify you on their site as well as via email whenever you are endorsed. Scroll to the bottom of your profile page and look under “Skills & Expertise” to see the people who think you’re great at what you do. You can also accept any new skills that you may not have thought to include on your profile but were recommended by your peers, or simply add a new skill by clicking “Add a Skill” on your profile page.
Perhaps you are wondering, are endorsements better than recommendations? The answer is that both are equally important in different ways. Endorsements are important, especially as part of the “Skills & Expertise” section, because LinkedIn’s tie-ins with corporate HR systems allow hiring managers to rapidly search profiles for needed skills. More broadly, people looking to connect with you can evaluate what your peers think you’re good at with a single glance.
Recommendations are important as visible testimonials of your work. They’re sales testimonials that highlight what you can do and what results you’ve generated.
Ideally, you can and should gather both recommendations and endorsements. Solicit recommendations from people who can honestly and authentically write powerful words to support you, and ask for endorsements from people who have received value from what you do but don’t necessarily have that long professional relationship to offer deeper insight.
LinkedIn introduced the “Endorsements” feature because they felt it was a benefit to recommend the skills of contacts while concurrently building a members-own online professional identity. Traditionally, LinkedIn members were evaluated based on personal written recommendations given to them by their connections. Only time will tell whether or not the addition of personalized recommendations will decline as a result of one-click endorsements. The ease of the one-click endorsement feature may hinder folks from leaving helpful detailed recommendations.