LinkedIn Endorsements are now live across the United States, India, Australia and New Zealand, and rolling out to everyone else over the coming weeks.
How LinkedIn Endorsements Can Help You
Although it's too early to tell how valuable these endorsements will be to your LinkedIn networking, they are now an option on your LinkedIn profile, whether you choose to show them on your public profile or not.
In addition to providing some credibility, this new Endorsement feature can also be considered a networking tool for savvy online marketers, because a LinkedIn endorsement is an easy way to get on someone's radar. It's also a way to show you care about the people who work with you.
Above all, this LinkedIn Endorsement feature is an easy way to make a little gesture and show recognition to your business connections whom you value the most.
So how does it work?
#1: Add Some Skills
In order for others to endorse your skills, you first need to add those skills to your profile.
In Edit Profile mode, you'll see the Skills area to click through. As you enter your skills into the box, it will give you a choice of those already listed for you to pick from, or you can add one that is not currently there.
Make sure you add your skills in order of importance to you, as these will be the first ones listed on your profile and thus the easiest for your connections to see. As you get more endorsements for a particular skill, that skill will automatically rise to the top of the list, as your skills will then be listed by numerical order of endorsements.
#2: Endorse and Be Endorsed
When someone views your profile or you view the profile of one of your first-degree connections, you are offered the opportunity to endorse that person for the skills they have added to their own profile.
With a simple click, the skills you choose to endorse are added to their profile with a thumbnail image of you, the person who endorsed them. If you don't want to endorse your connection for a particular skill listed in this window, simply click the X on the skill you wish to remove and then click the Endorse button to accept the rest listed.
You can also scroll down to where their skills are listed, and simply click on the skill you wish to endorse by clicking on the + sign to add your endorsement to their profile.
As each endorsement is added, the figure on the left increases, giving anyone looking at your profile a very clear and instant picture about your skills.
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Also, as you endorse someone or someone endorses you, that activity will show in your LinkedIn newsfeed, creating even more brand exposure for you.
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Whenever you have some sort of activity on LinkedIn, whether you have commented on a group discussion, made a change to your profile or endorsed a connection, that activity shows up in your own newsfeed and if you are endorsing others, it shows up in their newsfeeds too. This simply gives your personal brand a little more exposure to others and puts your name back on the radar of those you are connected to.
#3: Get More Endorsements
It's important to get endorsements, as anyone looking at your profile and comparing you to your competition will see them. Endorsements create an instant overview that is easy to compare with your competition. Obviously, you want to look the best.
#4: Hide Endorsements
You also have the option to hide your endorsements from your public profile by clicking on the arrow of the particular skill on the far right, although I am not sure why you would want to do that. At this time, this cannot be reversed. After all, you have the opportunity of not accepting endorsements in the first place if you don't want them (see the next point below).
When you click through from the arrow in the screenshot above, you will be able to pick which person's endorsement you wish to hide.
#5: Get Notified
When someone or a group of people endorse your skills, you are sent an email each day that you receive another endorsement, and you will be notified who those people are up to a point.
From an etiquette point of view, consider sending a message back with a quick thank-you to show that you appreciate the gesture. It's easy to do from your skills area—just choose the person from their thumbnail photo and click Send Message.
#6: Add More Skills
You may also find that someone wants to endorse you for a skill that you don't have listed on your profile. Again, you have the choice whether to accept that endorsement or not.
If you don't want to accept it, simply click the X on the skill you don't want to add.
If you hover your mouse over a skill, a popup box with further information about that skill appears with a figure %, which refers to the popularity of that skill being added to other people's profiles.
This new feature is a very easy way to endorse the skills of others and vice versa. When coupled with LinkedIn's already robust Recommendations feature, it's a very positive way to promote not only your personal brand, but also the brands of your connections.
What do you think? How are you finding this new feature so far and how do you think it compares to LinkedIn's familiar Recommendations feature? Please leave your comments below.
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