by Kirsten Hodgson
A couple of weeks ago LinkedIn began to test its ‘skills endorsements’ product in New Zealand. Last Thursday the test was rolled out in Australia. It’s a great addition that will hopefully be rolled out more widely over time.
This post looks at what it is, why it’s so good and some changes you might want to make to your profile as a result of this.
What is the skills endorsements product?
This allows LinkedIn users to endorse the skills of other LinkedIn users. When someone endorses you a blue box pops up with the words ‘now its your turn. Endorse your connections’ and then suggests a skill for each of your connections. You can choose whether to endorse them. Alternatively you can go into an individual’s profile and endorse them for one, or several of their skills, there.
If you go to the skills section within a person’s profile you simply click the + button that appears next to any skill you wish to endorse and, bingo, your profile photo will appear beside it.
Why is it so good?
What I love about this product is it’s so easy and quick to use.
Angus Ogilvie, an accountant and tax specialist focused on SMEs, summed it up nicely when he said: “It is a time saver compared with typing up a recommendation although I would still do that if asked. It’s all good!”
I don’t think the endorsements product is a replacement for recommendations, but it does add to it. Reading recommendations and then seeing someone has been endorsed by people you know, respect or trust could be a pretty powerful combination.
What should you do as a result of this development?
The release of this product means you need to ensure you’ve added skills (and the correct ones) to your LinkedIn profile and that you have a profile photo if you wish to endorse someone else! Because it is a painless process to endorse someone, people are likely to do so. If you haven’t added skills to your profile, you may miss out.
You might also want to move the skills section of your profile higher. To do so, select ‘edit profile’ from the drop down box under the ‘Profile’ tab on your LinkedIn toolbar. Scroll down to the skills section. Hover over the heading, wait a couple of seconds until it turns blue, and then drag to the position in which you’d like it to appear.
The endorsements product is a great way to acknowledge the work of suppliers, peers and clients (if you are able to judge their capabilities in a particular area) and it gives you another way to stay top of mind with your LinkedIn connections.
However, I’d advise you use your common sense. Only endorse someone if you KNOW they have good skills in a particular area, otherwise people may begin to doubt your judgement in future!
What do you think of the LinkedIn endorsements feature?