Tag Archives: LinkedIn Endorsements

3 reasons to properly endorse someone for the skills on their LinkedIn profile

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.

Kevins 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.

2 ways to ensure you receive a timely, quality LinkedIn recommendation

RecommendationMany jobseekers and employers think LinkedIn recommendations are worth gold. Recommendations espouse jobseekers’ performance, describing valuable skills and accomplishments, and are visible on their LinkedIn profile for potential employers to see. What a great LinkedIn feature.*

However, as valuable they are, requesting a recommendation can be frustrating for two reasons, timeliness or the quality of a recommendation…or both.

So after waiting for months and receiving something that doesn’t describe you the way you’d like, what do you do? Do you send the recommendation back to your reference, or do you post it on your profile as is? You send it back and you risk waiting even longer for a revised recommendation.

Let me suggest two ways to ensure a shorter wait, as well receiving a recommendation with which you’ll be happy.

1) First, offer some guidance to the person who’s writing your recommendation in terms of the types of skills, accomplishments, and experience you’d like to be included in the recommendation. Having written recommendations for others, I know how difficult it is to determine what to write about the recipient.

So eliminate any guesswork and tell your reference you’d like her to hit upon your leadership, customer service, team-building, technical expertise, or other strong skills. Also remind her about any accomplishments, e.g., you increased productivity 55% by taking the initiative to develop a better process to track and store electronic parts; just in case she has forgotten.

2) The second alternative is one that will require more work on your part; writing your own recommendation. This is a last-ditch effort but one your reference will greatly appreciate. You may remember doing this where you worked, when your manager told you to write your own for her to sign. Same idea.

This takes considerable work on your part because it takes stepping outside yourself to evaluate your performance. In other words, how would the person writing your recommendation see your current or past performance? You’ll be promoting yourself, which is not always the easiest thing to do. But this is not hard to do as long as you are as objective as possible. Refrain from using adjective like “excellent,” “outstanding,” “perfect,” etc. Stick to the facts. Also expect your professional reference to edit what you write, perhaps revise it significantly.

Recommendations are still valued by employers who visit your profile. It gives them an idea of your talents and promise for the future; so why drive yourself crazy waiting for them to arrive, and why guess what you’ll receive from the well-intentioned reference.

*Recommendations have been replaced by Endorsements as one requirement to reach 100% completion for a profile. This implies endorsements hold real value, which many LinkedIn members dispute. These naysayers think it’s a lot easier to click on someone’s skill/s than it is to write a thoughtful recommendation. I agree.