Skills and Endorsements in LinkedIn

LinkedIn allows you to display a set of skills in your profile.  Your first degree connections can endorse your skills, but they can also endorse you for skills that you haven’t specified and after a while you will probably find yourself being endorsed for skills that you don’t actually have.

While skill endorsements are less important that recommendations, they still carry some weight.  Endorsements for random and inappropriate skills do not look professional though, so you should either turn off endorsements on your profile, or spend a little time once in a while to manage them.

Start by identifying the set of key skills that you have.  These will be used by LinkedIn as a starting point to prompt your connections to endorse you, and will therefore encourage more relevant endorsements.  You should also order these so that the skills you want to be highlighted most are at the top.  Your top 10 will be listed as your Top Skills and the remaining ones will be listed under also knows about.  Make sure that your top 10 are the ones that you most want to be recognised for; if you have too few, consider splitting a skill into multiple specialist skills; if you have too many, consider combining two or more into a single more generic skill.

When others endorse you, LinkedIn will prompt you to add the endorsements to your profile.  Remove any unwanted ones from the list by clicking the X and then click Add to Profile.  You can hide endorsements later when editing your profile, but if you do not add them to you profile, they will not be there later for un-hiding.  Either way, it is worth taking the time to hide irrelevant ones so as to keep your profile focussed and more professional looking .

And last but not least, take the time to endorse your connections for their skills.  The quickest way to do this is to respond to the LinkedIn prompts.  If you want to endorse a specific individual, then visit their profile where you will usually be prompted to do so; this prompt box also includes space at the end of the suggested list to type in other areas of expertise.  If you scroll down their profile to the Skills & Endorsements section, then you can endorse any specific skill in their list.  To suggest a new skill for someone when the suggested endorsement box does not automatically display, click on Send a Message and then Endorse; this will bring up the box.