LinkedIn added the Endorse Skills feature this week which allows for a new and very easy way for people to give and receive endorsements. Not only that, it’s a great way to get visibility. That is, LinkedIn shows the profile thumbnail of each person who endorses you. So, if you go to your connections profiles and endorse them, you will show up on each person’s profile you’ve endorsed as an endorser of their particular skill or skills.
LinkedIn Endorsements vs. Recommendations
Note that endorsing someone’s skill is NOT the same as a giving them a recommendation. The recommendations are far more useful for getting an more in depth insight into a person and the results they can perform. Giving endorsements almost seems like a popularity feature the way LinkedIn is making it so simple to go clicking away and endorsing skill after skill of person after person. Unlike Recommendations, the person receiving the skill endorsements does not have to approve them.
A LinkedIn endorsement focuses on the skills a person has and you may endorse as many or as few skills on a persons profile that you want. A recommendation on LinkedIn, however, can only be given on one position per person.
How To Give a LinkedIn Endorsement (of Skills)
There are a few ways to access the endorsement feature.
Go to the profile of a connection and most likely if you have not yet endorsed them there will be a blue box at the top that says “Does NAME have these skills or expertise?” You may then click the “Endorse” button ,or add/delete skills for which you want to endorse them.
Once you click the button, this is where the fun begins. LinkedIn then brings up a box with four of your connections to endorse along with ONE skill each. If you start clicking away at the Endorse link you will ONLY be endorsing these people for that specific skill. If you want to endorse them for a different skill or multiple skills, simply click on their photo instead of the endorse link. That will take you to their profile where you will see the big blue box at the top.
Undo A LinkedIn Endorsement
If by chance you realize you missed out on endorsing someone for a few skills or you want to un-endorse a particular skill of one of you contacts, then go to their profile and scroll down to the Skills & Expertise section and click the number next to the skill you want to remove the endorsement. Likewise, if you would like to endorse their other skills, you may do so by clicking the number (or +) to the left of the Skill category.
Set Your Skills Up Right
So by now you can see what fun you can have clicking away at everyone’s skills all day long. When you endorse someone it does show up in your activity. Your visibility can increase simply by endorsing others.
That being said, be sure to review your own skills, and remove any that you don’t care to get endorsed for. I have seen LinkedIn ask me to endorse someone for “Template.” I really like that person, so I did make the extra effort to remove that from the list and endorsed them for their other fine qualities. You can even add skills to their list to endorse.
David Berger Announced this new feature on September 24, 2012 along with this slideshare presentation.