How do most LinkedIn members endorse others for their skills? They click on the visible top three (like below) and leave it at that. Don’t be that person! Instead, click Show More, which expands a user’s skills list, so you can endorse them for other skills.
LinkedIn is trying to make endorsing skills more valid by asking you to choose how strong the the people you’re endorsing are with their skills (seen below). The choices are Good, Very Good, or Highly Skilled. Further, LinkedIn tells you that your choice won’t be made public to who you endorse. How much this will effect LinkedIn users SEO isn’t known for sure.
Then LinkedIn asks you to select a relationship you and the endorser shared (seen above). You worked directly on the same team or project with the person, managed him, reported directly to him…none of the above. Actually, you don’t have to choose any of these.
Of course there ways to truthfully answer LinkedIn’s inquiries.
You have witnessed the person perform her skills
In this case you can honestly answer the questions LinkedIn asks you in terms of someone’s level of expertise and, of course, your relationship. This is the most valid way to endorse someone for her skills.
For example, I would have no problem endorsing my colleagues for their skills. Not necessarily all skills, but many that I’ve seen them perform. And when I connected with them, the first thing I did was endorse their skills.
Maybe you’ve spoken with her over the phone or met for coffee, and by talking with her you get the impressions she’s the real deal. This isn’t as solid as witnessing her perform, but it comes close, particularly if you’re good at judging character.
His profile clearly demonstrates expertise in his skills
Some profiles are written so well that you feel you know the person as if you met them in person. He promotes himself well in his Summary, demonstrating passion, listing poignant accomplishments, and closes the loop with a call to action.
In his Experience area he hits you over your head with more accomplishments that don’t seem embellished. You dig a little deeper and find that most of his skills have received 99+ endorsements. I know someone in the 99+ club who has almost 900 endorsements for one skill.
Caveat: endorsements can, and often are, tit for tat. I spoke to the person who accumulated 99+ endorsements for each skill–rightfully so–who told me he just has a lot of friends. Which is true, he runs a networking group for business people.
Someone has referred you to the person or spoken very highly of her
Generally people won’t refer you to a person unless they know her well and can vouch for her skills. The risk of doing this is tarnishing their reputation, something no one wants to do.
Similar to the reason number two, you read the recommendations on her profile and get the sense that those who wrote the recommendations were sincere and truthful. There is no fluff in them and the accomplishments are precise.
Caveat: recommendations can also be tit for tat. In the day when only recommendations existed as a way to award LinkedIn users for their greatness, we often saw someone write a recommendation for someone, which was immediately reciprocated.
In order to give endorsements credence, You should use these three ways of endorsing someone. It is safe to say that endorsing someone who lives across the world, if not the country is contributing to Endorsements’ poor reputation.