2 important hints about LinkedIn endorsements

endorsemments2When you endorse your connections’ skills and expertise, do you simply click Endorse next to the skills with the highest number of endorsements? You may not be doing your connections a favor by doing this; but it’s not entirely your fault.

Your valued connections should be guiding you through the process, and you should follow their wishes.

Hint 1: guide your connections

Endorsees, you may be unaware that you can move specific skills and expertise toward the top of your list as a way to highlight their importance. Without doing this, your skills will be listed in highest to lowest number of endorsements. Which works out fine if your highest number of endorsements properly brand you.

But in some cases your skills are not being endorsed in a manner that tells others how you want to build your brand. One of my connections aptly illustrates which skills he wants endorsed to better brand him. He lists Social Selling ( a mere 13 endorsements) listed above LinkedIn (98), LinkedIn Training (74), and so forth. He’s obviously sending a message to his connections.

How do you rearrange your skills in the order you desire? In Edit Profile select Edit Skills and Endorsements. You’ll see a field like this:

skills

Now simply move the skills in the order you’d like them to appear. I’ve moved LinkedIn (33 endorsements) ahead of Workshop Facilitation (98+) and Blogging (41) ahead of Interviews (82), as I want these two skills highlighted.

Hint 2: those of you endorsing your connections, take the hint

So if you’re endorsing your connections, take the hint. The skills your savvy connections want endorsed first are the top five to 10, not the bottom 10. Endorse them for those skills first and then endorse them for the others.

People often ask me if I see value in endorsements. I tell them only if the endorsers are aware or have witnessed the endorsees perform the skills for which they’re being endorsed. However, if LinkedIn wants us to endorse our connections–even those we haven’t seen perform–we can only trust their word on their proficient skills.

That said, I feel it’s perfectly fine to ask a connection which skills she wants endorsed–in other words, respect your connections’ order of skills. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think eliciting endorsements from others is ethical.)

I asked one of my connections which of his skills he wanted endorsed. His simple response was the top five because those are the skills he is strongest at. I wouldn’t know without asking him because he lives in California, and I’ve never seen him in action. Nonetheless, like Lin Sanity, I was caught up in endorsing people.

Take the hint if you’d like to endorse me by clicking Endorse next to my top five skills, because I’ve arranged them in order of preference. I’m pretty sure I perform those skills very well. I’d do the same for you.

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The difference between the résumé’s and LinkedIn profile’s skills sections–Part 2

resume linkedin

Part one of this series addressed the differences between  LinkedIn’s and the résumé’s first impressions; the photo and Branding Statements. This post will address the differences between the résumé’s Core Competency and LinkedIn profile’s Skills and Expertise, which are distinct in their own way.

LinkedIn enthusiasts create profiles that are dynamic, while others who don’t understand the purpose of LinkedIn simply copy and paste their résumé  to their profile and call it a day; done, complete, finito.

That’s not enough if you want to attract visitors to your profile, including potential employers. If you believe you’re LinkedIn profile is your résumé, you are mistaken; there are distinct differences.

Of the résumés I critique on a daily basis, I notice that many people neglect to include a Core Competency on their résumé. This is a mistake, for this section provides an ideal place to highlight the must-have skills for a position, as well additional skills that can be a tiebreaker.  (An article from Martin Yate explains this in greater detail.)

If you’re sending your résumé to large or mid-sized companies that uses an applicant tracking system (ATS), the Core Competency section is a great place to include those keywords. Skills that are easy to scan by human eyes and keywords that will be captured by the ATS are the goals for this section of your résumé.

Here’s an example of a Core Competencies section from an operations management résumé:

Strategic Business Planning Project Management Cross-Functional Team Building IT/IS~Human Resource Issues Employee Benefits Risk Management Hiring, Training & Coaching Negotiations Research & Analysis Financial Modeling Business Modeling Portfolio Management Acquisitions & Divestitures Policies & Procedures

LinkedIn places a great emphasis on skills/areas of expertise as evidenced by its Skills and Expertise area. This relatively new section allows you to list as many as your 50 strongest skills. In addition, your first degree contacts can endorse you for any of your skills with a simple click. (The jury’s still out on the value of Endorsements).

The most obvious difference between the résumé’s Core Competencies and LinkedIn’s Skills and Expertise is the quantity you would include on your LinkedIn profile vs. your résumé. The example of the operations manager above  lists 15 core competencies, a good number for someone in that position. On the other hand, the Skills and Expertise example below lists close to 50, which would be far too many for a résumé. This is LinkedIn’s attempt at encouraging its members to tout their skills and expertise, as well as increase the keyword count.

Skills and Expertise

Another noticeable difference are the tidbits of information provided under the covers of LinkedIn’s Skills and Expertise feature. One example is the projected growth of the skills and/or expertise acknowledged by LinkedIn. There is other information you find in this feature not found on the résumé, such as people suggested to connect with, groups to join, growth of other skill and/or expertise, and more. I think you’d agree that LinkedIn’s Skills and Expertise feature is interactive, whereas the résumé’s Core Competencies section is not. This adds to Linked”s dynamism.

The next post will address the differences between the résumé’s and LinkedIn’s Summary statements.

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