How to Manage LinkedIn Endorsements

How to Manage LinkedIn Endorsements

LinkedIn Endorsements are great. They're a fast way for people to recognize your expertise - like a publicly acknowledged slap on the back. The key is understanding how to manage LinkedIn endorsements. However, there can be some drawbacks. Some people try to 'game' the system: they endorse all of your skills, or skills that aren't relevant to you, simply in the hopes that you will return the favour.  Then there's your mom, who just joined LinkedIn and is so proud of you that she endorses every single skill you have listed :) It is still true that a LinkedIn recommendation carries more weight, but if you manage LinkedIn endorsements properly, they'll be a great asset to your profile! Be honest when accepting endorsements, and think about how they will look to other people viewing your LinkedIn profile.

Your endorsements look fake

If the little profile pictures beside your skills are the same 5-10 people, it may look like you just asked your friends (or your mom!) to endorse your skills. Unless you only list a couple of skills, it's rare that anyone you work with would have seen all of your skills in action. For example, I do both social media management, and social media training. If I ran a training session on how to use Facebook for Business, and the attendees endorsed me for both of those skills it wouldn't look quite right. Or how about this: you had a lively discussion in a group with someone from a country on the other side of the world, which resulted in you connecting with each other, and then that person endorses all of your skills. It's tempting to want to boost your numbers (think Facebook page Likes!) but anyone who is serious about hiring you is going to look beyond the number of endorsements and pay attention to who is giving them, what industry that person is in, and even where they live.

Oh, and if a lot of your endorsements are by people with no profile pictures...

Your endorsements aren't relevant

You may have noticed that people are endorsing you for things that you don't actually have listed as skills. That's because LinkedIn makes endorsement "suggestions" based on keywords in your profile, and if someone endorses you for one of these skills, it will keep being suggested to others. If you are marketing yourself as a caterer, but your skill section is littered with random endorsements for "social media", "photography", and "Microsoft Word" you're just drawing attention away from the skills that you want to highlight, and making people think you'll accept an endorsement for anything. You do have the ability to opt out of these endorsement suggestions, however keep in mind the following: a) people are lazy and so may prefer to use suggestions because it's quicker than going to your profile, and b) you can always control whether endorsements show up on your profile or not.

Your endorsements aren't focused

People need to understand that part of LinkedIn's function is as an online CV. When you're sending your resume to a potential employer, do you include your job history all the way back to your first job as a bus-boy at the local diner? Of course not - so why would you do it on your LinkedIn profile? If you've listed every job you've ever had, LinkedIn's endorsement "suggestions" are going to be all over the place, increasing the chances that your skills will be as well.

Unless you were one of those incredibly ambitious bus-boys and turned into a restaurateur...

So how do I manage LinkedIn endorsements?

You can do a few things with endorsements: you can remove people from showing up as an endorser on a specific skill (good if someone hired you for a particular job but endorsed you for many things - you pick and choose which ones to display), you can hide a skill (good if you have many endorsements but don't want to display the skill at this time), or you can remove a skill altogether (good if it's been added by and endorser and is irrelevant). And if you don't want ANY skills and endorsements to show up, you can hide the entire section.

  1. Log in to your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Scroll until you find the section called "Skills & Endorsements"
  3. Click Edit
  4. To hide the entire section from your profile:
    • Click the drop-down beside 'Display your endorsements?'
    • Select 'No, do not show my endorsements'
  5. To delete individuals skills (and their corresponding endorsements):
  6. To remove individual people from appearing as an endorser of a skill:
    • Click 'Manage Endorsements'
    • Click on a skill. To the right contains a box with the names of the people who have endorsed you for that skill
    • Untick the box beside their name and they will no longer appear (and the endorsement count will adjust accordingly)

Bonus: how do I opt out of endorsement suggestions?

  1. Log in to your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Scroll until you find the section called "Skills & Endorsements"
  3. Click Edit
  4. Untick the box beside 'Include me in endorsement suggestions to my connections'. This means that people will only be able to endorse your skills if they go directly to your profile