A LinkedIn endorsement is a very useful thing to have. When you get an endorsement on LinkedIn, it’s an expression of faith in your services from other professionals. If you’re wondering how to promote yourself on LinkedIn, there are several ways of doing it, but you need to be very conscious of the range of issues.
LinkedIn skills and endorsements basics
LinkedIn skills and endorsements are the “currency” of LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn skills tell people what you do. Your endorsements tell people that other professionals are prepared to endorse your skills.
This is a bit like getting references, only on a much broader base. When LinkedIn first started, the idea of a purely business social media site was considered to be rather vague. People weren’t entirely sure what the site was going to do, or how valuable it would be for commercial purposes. The fact is that LinkedIn has proven itself to be a particularly efficient networking tool and a good social media sites in its own right.
One of the most basic original concepts of LinkedIn was the networking idea. The skills and endorsements came about as a good working frame of reference for site users. The typical LinkedIn question, “does so-and-so know about such and such skill?” really isn’t a rhetorical question, when someone is thinking of hiring.
The other very useful component in LinkedIn skills and endorsements is that it does provide people with a pretty effective map of your skill sets. The bottom line here is that X numbers of people are prepared to about for your skills. This is a compliment, and it also tells people on LinkedIn a lot about you, based on who’s giving the endorsements.
Recommendations on LinkedIn
The other, very high value form of endorsement on LinkedIn is the personal/ professional recommendation. This type of recommendation is usually a short but very effective description of the services provided and a sort of “quality assessment” of those services.
If you’re wondering how to get recommendations on LinkedIn, there are several ways of getting them:
Ask a friend to give you a recommendation – This is okay, as far as it goes, but bear in mind that your friends can only do so much. They are who they are, not necessarily the sort of professional supports and credentials you need for a real professional recommendation in your field.
Ask a colleague to give you a recommendation – This is a bit better. The professional recommendation will carry weight with other professionals, and will certainly add credibility in context with your other LinkedIn profile information.
For example – if you work with ABC Inc., and the CEO of that company gives you a LinkedIn recommendation, you have a good, well integrated endorsement. It really is that simple.
The good news is that professional associates will be happy to provide recommendations, provided they’re happy with your performance. This is where the real value of the LinkedIn endorsements makes itself felt. Nobody has to give endorsements. An endorsement really is a vote of confidence in your professional skills.
Giving endorsements on LinkedIn
It really can be better to give than to receive on LinkedIn. People do read recommendations, for example, and the quality of your recommendation will attract attention. People will be just as likely to read your profile as the profile of the person you’ve recommended. They’re looking for verification of your recommendation.
To extrapolate – When you give a fellow professional a recommendation on LinkedIn, you’re also giving what is basically a de facto reference for that person based on your own professional status. If you recommend an engineer, your knowledge and understanding of the services provided by that engineer are highly relevant.
You see how this works, and why it works – You wouldn’t simply take a reference from somebody without knowing who that person was, and what they did. You’d expect qualifiers to the reference. The LinkedIn endorsements system works very much the same way. It’s also extremely efficient, particularly at the higher professional levels.
LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations are able to offer a very good overview of individuals and businesses. Give your own endorsements and recommendations in good faith, and you will receive endorsements and recommendations accordingly.
Image credit: http://www.thesearchagents.com/2012/12/can-we-all-agree-that-linkedin-endorsements-are-meaningless/