For some, he number of LinkedIn Connections is treated more like a collection than an opportunity to engage but through the power of one of the Social Networks newest features – Endorsements is changing how skills and capabilities are shared. In a recent Infographic , LinkedIn shared that more than 58 million professionals had been endorsed by their connections, that is more than 1/5 of the user base which is quite impressive.
This engagement engine is a way for people scanning over a profile to get some understanding of how that person engages and is an “expert” within the given field that they are working out of. There is a one little issue here, it automatically includes things that have been talked about in updates and posts as well as the skills that are input. The image above is from my own profile and while I am well versed in Enterprise Architecture (as far as understanding the concept and the methods of achieving the goal) I have never actually done a boots on the ground implementation.
I would hazard a guess that most people have more than a few items in their list of Skills that they are being endorsed for that they are at best a token user…at worst can not even define what the skill is…so this is where the power of Endorsements comes in.
Do not keep a Skill on your list, if you are not very well versed in the use, modification, development or implementation of that item. I have colleagues who are barely able to enter their Username and Password and leverage the basic functionality of Salesforce.com and are heavily endorsed as being skilled in this…that is not a skill…you are just a USER (or as an inside joke – USAH!).
These skills that your connections have endorsed you for though, they are what new potential connections will use to evaluate you…that and your ability to gather relevant recommendations from your Network. According to LinkedIn, your profile is more than 4X likely to be viewed in their internal search if you are endorsed by others and that is a really big deal.
I have worked hard at my profile and the depth of my connections and consider each and everyone of my endorsements and recommendations earned. When the option to endorse those in my list arrive (daily) I rarely just blindly endorse the entire package…because unless I can vouch for the skill…I can not endorse it. Think before you click.
The real questions are…have Endorsements improved my ranking? Have they got me Sales? Am I a better person because I have been endorsed? The outright answer is…I don’t know. I take a balanced approach to all of my Social Media Profiles. There has not been a day go by in the past year that I have not had at least one post on the Big Four (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+) so being active to me at least…is far more important than just having endorsements…but from that activity…I think that is a primary reason that I have been relatively well “endorsed” (that was very close to a Freudian Slip).
As for today…that is it and that is all.
Chris J Powell