When talking to clients and groups about using LinkedIn for business, I get a lot of questions about endorsements. Here are some common questions:
- What are LinkedIn Endorsement good for?
- What should I do with them?
- What do I do if people endorse me who have never worked with me?
- Should I be endorsing them back?
The problem with endorsements is that many people are using them in a way that was never intended. When LinkedIn introduced Endorsements they wanted to give us a tool that made it easy for us to vouch for the skills of the people with which we have worked directly. However, in making them so easy to click, what has happened is that many people are endorsing us who have never worked with us.
Initially I thought endorsements were not very useful because of this misuse. However, after watching many new LinkedIn users as they look at endorsements, I do see a value in them. What happens time and time again is that people will look at the photos of the people who have endorsed you. Mostly we seem interested in seeing who is in your network, and endorsements is a way to quickly see people in your network. So they do have some value and are of interest to people who are viewing your profile.
What should you do with them? First, don’t be too bothered if people are endorsing you, but have little knowledge of your work. It happens. However, you SHOULD be sure to only endorse people who you have worked with directly. We can certainly try to use the tool correctly. Yes, it’s a good idea to endorse others when appropriate. They will notice that you did and be appreciative. That’s always a good thing for building relationships.
If you would like to know more about using LinkedIn for business, check out LinkedIn 101.