The Power & Value of LinkedIn Endorsements

Heyyyyy! I endorse you!

Here’s one of the ways that I use LinkedIn.

Whenever I meet anyone – at a conference, new business pitch, a new colleague or a current client – I make it a point to exchange business cards.  Later, I look up their profiles on LinkedIn.

All of us like to put people into buckets.  It’s almost instinctual (I’m not an exception to this rule).  We all want a way of figuring out (or at least the illusion of figuring out) the people and the world around us.  It gives us comfort to be informed with information and knowledge.  And LinkedIn is invaluable as a resource for getting insight into the people that we’re doing business with.

LinkedIn provides details about people:

  • Past and current work histories
  • Links to other social media profiles like Twitter and blogs
  • A look at books they read
  • The groups and associations they have joined
  • Where they have lived and gone to school
  • And, of course, who else they connect and network with

But the most powerful and interesting feature on LinkedIn is the endorsement.  This is where other people have taken the time to write something about the person.

It is a window into who they are.

Now obviously no one would let a negative endorsement be published on their profile page, but that doesn’t matter.  You can instantly tell a lot about a person by what is said about them but also by what is not said.  Endorsements showcase an individual’s strengths and personality because this is what peers, colleagues, friends and partners focus on when they are asked to write an endorsement.

I’m always encouraged by descriptions that call out team work, creativity, humor, strategic thinking, intelligence and proactive.  I’m always wary about endorsements that lack specifics or use tempered language.  Those, to me, are warning signs.

I’m also suspicious of any person on LinkedIn who doesn’t have any endorsements.  Why?  What are they hiding?  Of course most of the time they aren’t hiding anything – they just haven’t solicited their peers to provide an endorsement, which is too bad and a wasted opportunity.  Heck, you can even use an Endorsement Generator).

Your profile becomes so much more powerful with endorsements.  Here are a few tips for LinkedIn endorsements:

  • Try to update them regularly – just like you should occasionally polish up your resume
  • If you are trying to stress specific skills or strengths then ask for those skills to be called out
  • Try to have an endorsement for each job that you’ve held
  • Get a solid mix of endorsements – co-workers, supervisors, clients, customers, partners and friends.  Each category brings a different dimension to rounding out your profile
  • Ask for your endorsers to keep them short.  2-3 sentences is usually best

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