Google Analytic Tracking

Friday, December 14, 2012

What are LinkedIn Endorsements?

My LinkedIn notification bar has been full of Endorsements lately. Although flattered, I'm a bit hesitant.

What are LinkedIn Endorsements? Seriously. I have no idea what they mean, or what implications they have on my professional profile. Are they even worth the time? Or is it just another passing trend of a social networking site?

What do they mean?

Think of LinkedIn Endorsements as 'lite recommendations'. Co-workers and people in your network, having your back on the things that you can do best. You can scratch their backs by recognizing and endorsing their skills, too.

Direct from LinkedIn: Give kudos in just one click. "Starting today, we are introducing Endorsements, a new feature that makes it easier to recognize them for their skills and expertise."

How do you get them?

If you haven't received a few already, here's a few ways to tap into Endorsements.

  • Connect with your inner circle. Send a quick email out to 10 of your closest friends and co-workers. Ask them to endorse you for things that they have direct experience with this particular skill. Do not spam your entire network for endorsements.
  • Ask for them. Explain that LinkedIn has rolled out a new feature, similar to recommendations - but with a lower time investment. With one click, they can support your work! Ask specifically for the skill that you'd like them to vouch for you.
  • Endorse them back. Do you have experience with their specialties? Be sure to return the favor.

Do they actually matter?

LinkedIn Endorsements have many parallels to Facebook Likes. It is a low cost way to show your support and agreement of another's skills. For the time being, I think Endorsements are going to stick around. So it would probably be in your best interest to rack up a few. However, I've recently been experiencing .....

The Snowball Effect

A few people have Endorsed me for Social Media. While it's something I love, and part of my job at PerBlue - it's only a part of my primary role. However, since 'X' amount of people have already Endorsed me for Social Media - LinkedIn's algorithm prompts other people in my network to also Endorse me for Social Media. So now, my Endorsements have snowballed and are a little lopsided.

It irritates me.

At the end of the day.

I'd rather have a full recommendation. One that is personal, well written, and displayed prominently on my profile. You know how good it feels to get a hand written thank-you letter? That's where LinkedIn recommendations are headed.

Endorsements brought a new attention and a renewed interest to LinkedIn, but it is fleeting. I liken it more to Klout score, rather than Facebook's 'Like' feature.

What do you think of LinkedIn Endorsements? Are they here to stay? Do they event matter?


  1. You summed it up perfectly Ellie! I think it's nice that you can endorse with just one click since most people are so shy about writing anything online (obviously I am not one of those people), but a full recommendations is way more desirable! Write some for other people and they will (probably) return the favor.

  2. Great post. I think endorsements are here to stay but no, I don't think they really matter. I would much rather receive (and give!) a personal recommendation, which is more flexible, robust and personal. That trumps endorsements for me, since I know the only action required from someone is a click (I have even accidentally endorsed people because of this.)

  3. Great article, Ellie! I had no idea about the snowballing effect, that explains why mine are also so lopsided. Thanks for the explanation!

  4. I also wonder what impact the snowball effect could have on your attractiveness for certain jobs/roles. If your profile shows an overwhelming endorsement for social media, but not as many for say, PR or writing or event planning (even if one of these are your primary job function/career interest), could it hurt your chances of being called in for an interview for a writing role? Will recruiters/hiring managers pass over your resume for someone with more endorsements for skills such as writing or journalism?

  5. Denise - I agree 100%. I believe LinkedIn is prompting others to endorse me for Social Media rather than another skill. I absolutely think it will affect the way a recruiter or potential employer evaluates me as a candidate.

    Thanks everyone so much for your comments!

  6. I think they probably are here to stay, but I'm not sure how much credence a recruiter will give to them. A recommendation (and job experience) surely would have significantly more weight. Probably too early to tell just yet.

  7. I agree completely, Ellie. I was initially intrigued, but I'm now pretty skeptical. I've received endorsements from people who have no direct experience with that particular skill area. I'm glad that they're guessing I'm good at it, but I don't think that endorsement should carry any weight. But there it is.

    I think LinkedIn may need to fix that one. For now, I'll give real, written recommendations to those I truly want to endorse.

  8. People are much more likely to endorse someone for a particular skill than they are to write a recommendation on LinkedIn. Recommendations require effort and contain positive assertions that the person being recommended has certain qualities or domain expertise. In essence, the LinkedIn recommendation is a personal or professional endorsement much like a job reference. Endorsements are much easier - just click the button. You're not endorsing every aspect of a person's character, professionalism, attitude, etc., just saying that they know Excel, have worked with social media, etc.

    Think about it another way - which is more likely to drive usage and LinkedIn user engagement - the very important recommendations that take a lot of effort to ask for and write, or the yes/no decision to click on a button?

    I think endorsements are a brilliant move for LinkedIn. I endorse people frequently, but only the ones I've worked with whom I know to be subject matter experts. When I do, they usually endorse me in the areas we've worked on together, and that goes into my activity log. Other people see it, jump on the bandwagon and endorse me, then I endorse them, etc., etc. Lots of little endorsements, each with a low effort threshold, means a lot of activity. Brilliant!

  9. I was just starting to work on my LinkedIn profile today and was like what in the world is an endorsement? Thanks for answer my question!