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How to Use LinkedIn Endorsements to Boost Your Career
What are endorsements?
Endorsements on Linkedin are a quick tool users can use to influence their connection's profiles. With a few clicks, you "endorse" a connection in a specific skill. This endorsement appears as a list on your profile, which you can display to users visiting your page. You'll see what skills you've been endorsed in and how many endorsements you've gotten for that specific skill.
Endorsements are somewhat un-curated. Endorsers can choose whatever skill they wish to endorse their connection with, leading to chaotic profiles.
However, since it's your profile, you have complete control over endorsements. First, you can choose whether you accept endorsements or not altogether. If you do accept them (which you should), you can select which endorsements appear on your profile and which don't.
If you look to become a trusted voice on LinkedIn, Endorsements are needed to have a strong profile. They may be low-effort, one-click little bonuses to your page, but their value increases over time. A profile with 99+ endorsements in relevant fields will look better than a profile that barely has any endorsements at all. Will your endorsement numbers be the deciding factor in landing you a job or a deal? Probably not, but you need endorsements for your profile to look strong.
Endorsements aren't just about your skill and the number of endorsements after that skill. There's a whole other layer to seeing endorsements on someone's profile. The biggest thing about endorsements is that they come from people other than you. Anyone can take a good profile picture, write a killer summary, and structure their profile by the book. You can't really "cheat" your way into getting endorsements from other people. Other people don't have a vested interest in your profile, so their endorsing you implies that it is something you truly deserve. Many endorsements add a level of authenticity and legitimacy to your profile that you couldn't possibly provide yourself. Endorsements are also proof that you are skilled socially. It's one thing to be good at marketing, but to get someone else to confirm your marketing skills on your LinkedIn? That has to mean you are also a sociable and enjoyable person overall.
How to get the most out of endorsements?
As said above, there isn't some sort of "hack" that will net you endorsements. When it comes to being endorsed, the most important thing is to prove to one of your connections that you deserve their endorsement. This means doing good work and making sure they notice it. However, there are still things you can do when Marketing on LinkedIn so endorsing you becomes as easy as possible for your connections. Think of these tips as ways to make sure the people who would be willing to endorse you will do so.
List your skills.
The easiest way to help your connections endorse you for your skills is to have them already listed on your profile. It's so much easier for someone to visit your profile, see that you've named "Programming" as a skill, and then think to themselves, "That's true! Let me endorse their Programming skills". If you don't list your skills, someone who wants to endorse you would have to come up with the skill they're endorsing you in on their own, and that will be less straightforward than just finding your skills on your profile. You want to make the job of leaving endorsements as easy and effortless as possible.
Listing your skills is also a great way to curate your endorsements preemptively. If you already have a solid list of relevant skills on your profile, then it's less likely that someone will come along and endorse you for a skill outside of those you've already listed. You don't want irrelevant endorsements on your profile, as they are unnecessary clutter.
Ask for endorsements on LinkedIn.
You can contact your connections on Linkedin to ask for endorsements. Usually, this isn't a big deal; you aren't asking for much since endorsements are quick to give. The hard part is how to ask for one. You don't want to come off as a slimy, opportunistic marketer who's just using a bunch of cheats to boost their profile. You also don't want to be asking for endorsements that you don't genuinely deserve.
The perfect way to avoid giving the wrong impression when requesting endorsements is to personalize each request you send. That means write it yourself, according to whatever person you are sending it to. No templates, no copy-pasting. Treat it as any other kind of message you would send to someone you know. Make it genuine, and you can expect to receive a genuine endorsement in response.
Link your LinkedIn to your other social accounts.
A great way to get more people to visit your profile and endorse you is to increase your social media followers' exposure to your LinkedIn. This can be as easy as just promoting your LinkedIn in a tweet or a Facebook post.
Inversely, you can promote your social media on your Linkedin. The more you expose your followers and connections to your online activity, the more likely they will notice your skills and endorse you. For example, if you run a blog or a YouTube channel, make sure to connect it to your LinkedIn somehow. These kinds of platforms are great places to show off your skills in specific areas, and they will remind people that they can endorse those skills of yours. You can also easily use LinkedIn's built-in update feature to share content you make on your LinkedIn profile.
A big part of endorsing is spreading and maintaining a culture of prolific endorsements! If you want people to endorse you, you can set an example by doing it yourself. Endorse people in your circles who genuinely deserve it, and do so freely. Receiving an endorsement is the best way to remind people that they could (and maybe should) go out and endorse other people. The more you endorse, the more you can expect to receive endorsements. There's also no downside to endorsing since it's not a significant part of someone's profile. Endorsing other people in your field isn't giving your "competition" a comparative advantage. Your endorsement won't make or break their profile, and theirs won't make or break yours. It's just a good gesture and feeds into an endorsement-heavy culture, which you should aim for.
You should also make sure to thank people for endorsing you. Something as simple as a quick and easy "thank you" can do wonders for you socially. It's also common practice to "thank" an endorsement with a reciprocal endorsement. If you receive an endorsement and think the other person deserves it, you could endorse them back in addition to thanking them with a message.