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How to add value to LinkedIn endorsements

Posted by on Jan 22, 2013 in HR Issues, Moneyville | 0 comments


     January 17, 2013

LinkedIn, the professional social networking site that has worked on a closed system where people who are connected can read each other’s posts, is trying to extend its reach.REUTERS
LinkedIn endorsements are of little value but if you manage them carefully they may be more credible.
If you are on LinkedIn, you have probably received numerous emails over the last few months asking you to endorse people for skills and expertise they have listed on their profiles. All you have to do is click the “+” sign and your picture pops up next to the skill for which you are endorsing the individual.This feature was added in September 2012 and is in addition to LinkedIn recommendations, which allow you to include detailed comments about some aspect of your working relationship with the person you are recommending.By one measure, the enhancement has been a huge success. LinkedIn statistics reveal that so far there have been over 550 million endorsements and 10 million are given every day.

However, in a recent OpEd piece on Mashable  Todd Wasserman calls LinkedIn endorsements “Facebook likes” for business. He says, “Many people are endorsing others in the hope that they will be endorsed back. If I were hiring someone, I’d probably take these endorsements with a grain of salt.”

I asked several recruiters what they think of LinkedIn endorsements. Like Wasserman, they told me the endorsements are gimmicky and they generally ignore them.”There is no way to validate the credibility of endorsers so their value is questionable,” says ADP Canada’s  Nina Freier. But even if recruiters think LinkedIn endorsements are of little use, if every candidate you are competing with for a job has lots of them, your profile could suffer by comparison if you if don’t have any.

Related: Job hunt: How LinkedIn, Faceboook can help

So how can you manage your LinkedIn endorsements to maximize their value?

1. Be selective: Because you can only be endorsed by a first tier connection, to avoid questionable endorsements, be very selective about accepting requests to link. Also think twice before clicking “ok” so the endorsement can show up on your profile.

2. Make sure the right skills are listed: If your profile is incomplete or includes skills that are now obsolete or irrelevant, your endorsements may convey inaccurate information to companies shopping for talent.

3. Hide questionable endorsements: Once an endorsement shows up on your profile you can’t delete it. However you can hide it by going to “profile” on the menu bar; clicking on “edit profile,” and then clicking on the “pencil” icon under “skills and experience” to “manage endorsements.”

4. Reciprocate where appropriate: If a trusted colleague or client endorses you, consider returning the favour. The endorsement feature can help you network and re-establish dormant relationships. But don’t feel compelled to endorse everyone just because they endorse you.

5. Beef up your recommendations: LinkedIn Recommendations are more detailed than endorsements and much more likely to be noticed by recruiters. Take the time to enhance your profile by eliciting up to date, credible recommendations. These more customized testimonials are a better way to open doors the next time you are job hunting.

Related:   Six things to know if you are job hunting

How to use LinkedIn to get a job

Sheryl Smolkin is a Toronto lawyer and writer. Contact her through her website  and follow her on Twitter @SherylSmolkin.

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