LinkedIn Endorsements – What is this about!?

I have been questioned about LinkedIn’s new feature called endorsements for some time and felt it was time to do some research and add my opinions in the form of a blog. Endorsements seem to be coming in left and right and many of you are wondering what you should do – do you need to reciprocate? Should you set up your skills so you can receive endorsements? Should you endorse others?

In an effort to understand this new LinkedIn feature, I did some research and have documented my findings below:

1. LinkedIn endorsements are here to stay. Introduced on Sept. 24, 2012, endorsements are becoming extremely popular on LinkedIn. No one knows if they’ll stick around for a short time or be here for good. In my opinion, I think they’re here to stay and believe it’s safer to jump on the bandwagon early so you don’t fall behind when they really count. Just a few minutes a week is all it takes!

2Only first-degree connections can endorse you – Remember, if you want to be endorsed by a non-connection you will need to seek them out on LinkedIn and connect with them.

3. You can hide some endorsements and sometimes it’s best – If you feel that some endorsements are inappropriate (you’ve been endorsed for a skill you don’t have or maybe family and friends are endorsing you and they don’t know your working habits) it may be best to hide your endorsements.

4. List your skills- Make sure you list your skills. This not only helps for people to endorse you but also for people searching LinkedIn for specific skills – it’s all about keywords!

5. You don’t have to reciprocate, but it’s not a bad idea! – Sending that ‘pat on the back’ is always a nice approach (if it’s deserved) and helps build closer relationships with your LinkedIn connections.

6. Seek endorsements from people – Ask for endorsements through personal notes from people who know your working style.

7. Don’t ignore endorsements.  This feature may help you in the long run – especially if you’re applying for a new job and the hiring manager or recruiter looks to see if you have endorsements in a specific skill. Word has it that recruiters and hiring managers are not currently looking at this section but that’s not to say they won’t in the future.

It’s safe to say that social media is becoming more and more taxing on our time but unfortunately it seems that ignoring it can hurt your career searches in the future. Allocating some time now may end up helping down the road so in my opinion, 5-10 minutes a week is a small price to pay.