LinkedIn Endorsements 101

Dennis Kennedy wrote about LinkedIn Endorsements in November and since then, Endorsements have really taken off. According to LinkedIn in this infographic, over one billion endorsements have already been given on LinkedIn.

You may have noticed the prominent blue box that appears when you view a connection’s profile, asking you to endorse that connection for certain skills.

You may have received emails like the one below, notifying you that someone has endorsed you:

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If you click on the yellow “Continue” button, you’ll be prompted to log in to LinkedIn, and when you log in, you’ll be taken to your “Edit Profile” page, and a box like this will pop up, prompting you to “pay it forward” by endorsing others:

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You can endorse for the suggested skills or click on “See more” for more endorsement suggestions.

But you may have also noticed that in addition to connections endorsing you for Skills you have placed on your Profile, some of your connections may now be endorsing you for Skills you didn’t list – and perhaps even Skills you don’t feel you possess or that you don’t want to list on your Profile. What do you do then?

If a Connection endorses you for new Skills not listed on your Profile, the email message will come from your Connection, rather than from LinkedIn, and it will look like this:

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This time, when you click on the yellow, “See endorsements” button, the blue box will mention that you have endorsements for new Skills and ask if you accept them. If you do, they will be added to your Profile with the endorsement. If you reject them, they won’t appear on your Profile at all.

And what happens if you receive endorsements from people you don’t know well, or whom you don’t feel are sufficiently familiar with your Skills? Although this should not happen often (after all, your connection is making a public declaration by way of their endorsement that they think you possess that Skill), it may happen more for those who LinkedIn’s Director of Insights, James Raybould calls “promiscuous” with their connections. If you have a liberal connection policy and connect with everyone who asks, this is likely to occur more often, perhaps because these connections may expect a return endorsement or wish to curry favor with you.

But if you are uncomfortable with a particular endorsement, you can hide it from your Profile. Go to the Skills and Expertise section on the Edit Profile screen and click on the pencil icon to edit that section. Here, you can add or remove Skills entirely and change the display settings for endorsements. Besides options to either show or hide all endorsements, you can also manage individual endorsements by clicking on the “Manage Endorsements” link, which will bring up a box with a list of your skills on the left and the names of the people who have endorsed you for those skills on the right.

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Click on a Skill to see who has endorsed you, and uncheck the box next to the name of the person whose endorsements you want to hide from your Profile. Be sure to click Save to save your changes.

Raybould explains LinkedIn Endorsements in this video. He says endorsements are a way to show, directly on your professional Profile, what you’re actually good at, not because you say you are, but because others agree you are. In the video, he also mentioned that over time, if you have a LinkedIn Profile with Skills listed and no one has endorsed you for those skills, it will call your expertise into question, particularly if you have a significant number of contacts.

About Allison Shields Johs

Allison C. Shields Johs is the president of Legal Ease Consulting, Inc., where she works with lawyers and law firms to develop strategies to improve marketing and client service, and increase productivity, efficiency, and profitability. She is the co-author of several books, including LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (ABA 2013) and How to Do More in Less Time: The Complete Guide to Increasing Your Productivity and Improving Your Bottom Line (ABA 2014). allison@legaleaseconsulting.com

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