LinkedIn has done an exceptional job of establishing itself as the place to go to maintain your professional online presence. To get here, it’s played with lots of different features and formats—some with more success than others.
The introduction of Skills and Endorsements, for example, was (and still is) met with plenty of critique. Because anyone can endorse anyone else for just about anything, many people wonder, “What exactly is the point of these things?” or “Do I really have to pay attention to endorsements?”
The short answers would be: “Keep reading,” and “Yes, probably.” Here are two good reasons why endorsements definitely matter.
It’s common knowledge that recruiters use LinkedIn pretty extensively. And, a primary reason why the Skills and Endorsements section is important is that there is evidence that you will rank more highly in LinkedIn search results if you have a greater number of endorsements for the skill the recruiter is seeking. Pretty easy way to get noticed, right?
Think about endorsements as new and improved keywords. LinkedIn automatically defaults to ranking your skills by the number of endorsements you have, but to get more endorsements for the skills you want to emphasize, rearrange your list and move those skills higher. Also, if you’re getting endorsed for random things or for things you don’t want to be endorsed for, you can always hide either the entire skill or the particular endorser. Just set your profile to edit mode and you’ll see a little demo in the Skills and Endorsements section showing you how to edit it.
Of course, LinkedIn is more than a platform for being found; it’s also a way to stay in touch with your network. One way to do this is to recommend people on LinkedIn—though that process does require a bit of thought and effort. Giving endorsements, on the other hand, is an easy, low-effort way of keeping in touch and regularly engaging with your contacts. Think of it as just sending little notes that say, “I remember you! You’re awesome!” Sounds simple, but it never hurts to generate some goodwill before you need it.
Consider picking a day to give endorsements to people. Maybe every Monday morning, you can scroll through your LinkedIn newsfeed and click on a couple of people you haven’t been great about keeping in contact with. Endorse them for a few skills that you’ve seen them perform well (ideally, those that are already listed on their profile, not random skills).
While the benefits of listing skills and giving endorsements may not be immediately apparent, it’s a good idea to use them to lay the foundation for either reaching out to people you haven’t spoken with in awhile or being found by relevant recruiters on LinkedIn. So, get started curating those top 10 skills!
TopicsJob Search , Social Media , LinkedIn , Syndication , Social Media & Blogging , Networking , Workforce180
Lily Zhang serves as a Manager of Graduate Student Professional Development at the MIT Media Lab where she works with a range of students from AI experts to interaction designers. When she’s not indulging in a new book or video game, she’s thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers. Follow her musings on Twitter @lzhng.More from this Author