Any professional who is serious about their own career management has a Linkedin profile. It is the opportunity for individuals to showcase their experience and skills to the broader world. To assist just this, Linkedin introduced the Linkedin endorsements function in around 2012. However, today many people still remain confused about how they can aid them and their career. And with good reason as a review of Linkedin’s official FAQs pages does little to answer the most common Linkedin endorsement questions we get asked in our career coaching practice.
So we thought we would have a go at answering the Top 5 of them here, with the caveat emptor that this is only our thoughts as career coaches and not the official (or unofficial) information from Linkedin themselves.
Question 1 – Will Linkedin endorsements help my profile come up in recruiters and headhunters searches?
While Linkedin does not share the details of how its software makes it possible for potential employers or clients to search on Linkedin profiles we have seen nothing to suggest that Linkedin endorsements have any impact on Linkedin search results.
Question 2 – If someone I do not know can (or has) endorsed me for a skill how credible is the whole ‘Linkedin endorsements thing’?
In reality the number of strangers who will go about randomly endorsing you (or others for that matter) will be small. So while Linkedin endorsements may not be all that credible from the perspective that they do not test competency, or the endorsers knowledge of you, they do give the viewer a perception of what you are good at. And in our professional lives, perception is reality. We see Linkedin endorsements as a personal brand management strategy as it is your opportunity to paint a picture of the competencies you want to be known for.
Question 3- Do recruiters and headhunters pay attention to the Linkedin endorsements and number of endorsements you have?
Of the recruiters that we have spoken to, very few place much weight on your Linkedin endorsements. They have internal processes (interviews, reference checking and psychometric assessments to name a few) to test your competencies and your competency levels. Linkedin endorsements are seen in a similar way to facebook friends. Having 2000 friends on facebook doesn’t mean you have 2000 friends, having 60 people endorse you for a competency doesn’t necessarily mean you have it.
Question 4 – If someone endorses me, do I have to endorse them back?
I’m sure if I do a Google search I would find someone has written a book on Linkedin etiquette which would encourage you to endorse back so you reap all the goodwill, and networking opportunities, they can bring. Having said that our advice is simple – only endorse back if you want to.
Question 5 – So should I even bother spending any time managing my Linkedin endorsements on my profile?
We say ‘yes’ for two reasons:
1/. At any point in time Linkedin may develop an algorithm to use endorsements to aid in their search functionality, and if they do, you don’t want to be years behind your candidate competitors.
2/. Your own personal band management matters. While external recruiters may not pay attention to them directly, recruiters aren’t the only hirers, promoters and decision makers in organisations. Perception is reality, so use Linkedin endorsements to manage people’s perceptions of what you are good at. Be strategic about what top 10 Linkedin endorsements you have showing on your profile and ensure they align to your career interests, goals and ambitions.
So in summary, while Linkedin endorsements may not have lived up to all that they potentially could have been, they are still an important part of your Linkedin profile.
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