Even with more than 1 billion endorsements given, LinkedIn Endorsements are still under attack for their relevance and accuracy. Despite the debate, there are still a number of ways that you can make them work for you.
1. You can list up to 50 skills on your LinkedIn profile. While you may not be able to think of 50 skills that you want to display, I encourage you to do so. If you have less than 50 skills listed, LinkedIn will begin suggesting additional skills for endorsement to your network. Keywords and phrases will be mined from your profile and suggested as skills to your connections. In addition, skills listed from others on LinkedIn with similar job positions will be suggested as your skills. To help control which skills are endorsed, try to list all 50 for skills that are relevant for your current position or situation.
2. If you are endorsed for a skill that you prefer not to show on your profile (either you don’t possess the skill or it’s a skill you don’t care to market any longer) you have the ability to hide the endorsed skill. Likewise, if you are endorsed by someone who clearly has no legitimate reason to endorse you for a skill, you can hide their specific endorsement. Managing your endorsements can be done from the Edit Profile screen as shown here.
3. Give an endorsement when you want to reconnect with someone. They will receive notification of the endorsement which is a quick way to say “hello”. To make the most of this, plan to follow-up with an email or phone call within a few days of giving the endorsement if you truly want to reconnect with them.
4. Reach out to those that endorse you. Send them a quick message to thank them for the endorsement and ask if there is anything you can help them with. Ask them what they are currently working on or what their biggest challenge is right now. Offer to make an introduction to someone in your network if it will help them move forward.
Overall, LinkedIn Endorsements are best used as an active tool for engaging with people. Quite frankly, that’s what LinkedIn had in mind when they developed the feature. LinkedIn wants people to be active on the site, not passive. Too many people are building their profile and then leaving it. To really get the most from LinkedIn, you need to use it as an engagement tool and LinkedIn Endorsements are a great way to engage with your connections.