LinkedIn Endorsements vs. Recommendations

I woke up this morning to an email from LinkedIn saying that a girl I went to college with, who I recently reconnected with to help her find some temporary employees, had endorsed me on some of my skills. To me, that was a great way to start out my Monday. The question I really wondered though was; How important are endorsements vs. actual recommendations when it comes to LinkedIn.

I have been endorsed a lot more times than I have had people write recommendations for me. Is this a new era where all people have to do is click on your profile and hit a button that says “endorse” and you are considered that much better to potential future employees? Or is this due to people not having the time to sit down and write something thoughtful about me?

When I travel on to someone else’s LinkedIn profile, I do see how many endorsements they have compared to how many recommendations they acquire. If you have a hundred people endorsing you but no one writing about you, what does that say? To me that says a few things:

No one took the time to write something constructive about you, either they were too busy or they didn’t feel strongly enough to do so. They don’t know you well enough to do so and felt bad saying no to your request or they were hoping that by endorsing you, you would do them ‘a solid’ and return the favor.

Personally, I rather have someone take fifteen to minutes to talk about the skills and unparalleled qualifications that I showed while working for a company in a few short but sweet sentences. Let other people know that you thought highly enough of me to write something concrete about my work ethic and standards. On the other hand though, I understand that some people don’t feel as if their writing skills can accurately depict the point they are trying to get across about someone. In that case, please endorse me then if you still feel like you have something you are trying to get across.

Do not and I repeat do not, endorse someone you don’t know. Would you blindly put your name on a petition that was being posted globally without looking at it first? Of course not, you would read through it and make sure it was something you actually agreed with. The same is true about endorsements. If you don’t know me professionally, which is the reason LinkedIn exists, don’t endorse the twenty skills I have listed. If you have worked with me on a project or have had relationships with me in which I display these characteristics  please feel free to hit the ‘endorse’ button.

To reinforce my last piece, if you are looking for endorsements from other people, do not endorse me hoping that I will endorse you back. I may endorse you, if and only if I feel that you actually have these skills and expertise. Just because you endorse me doesn’t mean that I have to do the same. I appreciate it, if you sincerely mean it, but don’t do it just to get more people to do it to you.

My final thoughts are this. If you think that someone you have worked for, done business with or genuinely know does a great job, write it down. Taking fifteen minutes to write a paragraph explaining how they helped to raise revenue, have a great ROI plan, or came up with a slogan that now is being used worldwide, writing a recommendation is the better idea. It doesn’t take that much of your time and you can find a few minutes in your day to do so. If you think that they have great qualities, endorse those qualities. If you don’t know their work ethic or anything they are about, take five minutes to learn a little bit about them. Don’t endorse what you don’t know.



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