Every week or so, I’ll get an endorsement from someone I barely know on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn’s Endorsement tool has been around since 2012 and reported over 1 billion endorsements just one year after launching. The tool offers subscribers an opportunity to list 50 of their most notable skills. Connections can then attest to those skills with an endorsement.
“Why are you connected with someone you’ve never worked with”, you ask?
Because at this point, my professional reputation extends outside the realm of just people I’ve worked with. My connections now include people I want to work with or who want to work with me, schoolmates that know my character, influencers in my industry that I admire, etc.
I’m also connected to people that I may never physically work with or ever meet. So, there are plenty of connections that I’ll endorse or who will endorse me based solely on our online work and engagement.
LinkedIn makes it super quick and easy to endorse any of your 1st degree connections; so easy that some believe the recommendation by endorsement has potentially lost credibility. Here are three reasons why you should do it anyway:
LinkedIn’s algorithm is based on skills and location
As a result, your skills tend to be more important than your experience when it comes to search ranking. Because LinkedIn ranks your skills based on the number of endorsements, the more endorsements you have for each skill, the better. According to Donna Svei, of avidcareerist.com “If you want to drive traffic to your profile via your position in LinkedIn search results, it looks as though it’s smart to grab every meaningful and meaningless endorsement you can”.
94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates
Glen Cathey, Author and Staffing Professional of booleanblackbelt.com explains, “When it comes to finding people who are likely to be active job seekers, the first thing you can do is think about what types of words and phrases these people might use on their LinkedIn profiles to signify that they are looking for a new opportunity.”
Both your headline and your description are keyword sensitive. So it’s important to list as many keywords in both areas to optimize the search ranking of your profile. Endorsements are a searchable group of keywords. If you want to be found by potential employers, the trick is to gain endorsements in addition to using keywords in your LinkedIn description and headline alone. Essentially, adding skills=adding keywords and people can endorse you for your keywords.
Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA)
Receiving an endorsement is an excellent opportunity to spark a conversation with a connection. It creates Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) which is a product, brand or service provider that immediately pops into a person’s head when thinking about a certain industry. Sending a short note to say thank you or reciprocating the favor with a genuine endorsement of your connection could make you more memorable.
Although some question the credibility of a LinkedIn endorsement, it still offers quite a bit of value by driving traffic to your profile, making it easier for employers to find you and offering TOMA for potential clients and employers. That’s good news for the 300 million LinkedIn users marketing their skills, building a brand, or growing their business on the network.