Perhaps you've been seeing the newest feature on LinkedIn, "Endorsements." On September 24, LinkedIn introduced this new feature, where "With just one click, you can now endorse your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile or recommend one they haven’t added yet." Sounds great in theory, right? Well, I think this can be a very good thing for users of LinkedIn, and here's why.
Ideally, LinkedIn recommendations are the keystone of profile visibility. It shows that a past colleague or collaborator thought so highly of your work, that they took the time to write a personal note about it, publicly displayed. Endorsements are sort of like Recommendations for the ADD generation. In a matter of four minutes yesterday, I was able to recommend the work of at least 60 co-workers and friends. So yeah, it's easy.
Endorsements is so easy it might feel a little disingenuous; it might clutter up your activity feed; it might be a misguided ploy to make LinkedIn more like Klout. But here is why I think "endorsements" do more good than harm.
Just as recommendations, and adding skills and a keyword-rich description, I suspect that being highly "Endorsed" will also lead to preferential ranking in LinkedIn's search results. Also, having the ability to have extra skills (which end up serving as keywords) added by your connections, your profile will receive a virtual SEO boost by identifying keywords that you might not have thought to add.
Staying "top of mind" with clients and prospects
One of the core tenets of marketing the brand that is "you" on LinkedIn is increased exposure keeps you top of mind with your connections. Posting updates and sharing articles regularly is key to showing up often in the activity feed, but Endorsements give a whole new way to remind your connections who you are... by telling them how good they are. As in with any good business endeavor, a positive attitude and complimentary nature will do you nothing but good. You want a prospect to remember you? Just had a meeting and connected on LinkedIn? Shoot an endorsement out in the coming days. This small gesture might make the difference in setting you apart from competitors.
Reciprocity to improve your profile
Having recommendations in your LinkedIn profile is becoming increasingly important, but people taking the time to write them and having to ask to be recommended can be a daunting task. With Endorsements, simply endorsing your colleagues and clients leads to much easier and quicker reciprocity. Although an Endorsement does not carry the same clout as a Recommendation, it is a good gesture to encourage your connections to also endorse you, and in turn improve your profile. As people get more excited about Endorsements (as my activity feed is obviously shows), and this mentality or recommendations will likely lead to more people taking the time to write an official LinkedIn Recommendation.
Here’s how you can endorse your connections:
On the top of a connection’s profile, you’ll see recommended endorsements for them. You can suggest additional skills as well.
You can also endorse them from the new Skills & Expertise section that now showcases these endorsements.
So my advice, Endorse away, it isn't doing any harm! And you might just remind a dormant contact that you still think about them and appreciate what they do.