How Important are LinkedIn Endorsements and Recommendations?

Part of the Web 2.0 ethos that has defined the past decade has been the interconnectedness of the Internet. Where web pages once resembled newspapers – static text, low-resolution pictures, places to consume information and leave – democratization of content and interactivity have come to rule, exploding with new ways to integrate the Internet into our daily lives.

The centerpiece of this change has been social media, which has used the reach of the internet to connect us with family, friends, and people of similar interests. Over a billion people now use Facebook every month. By March, a cool 500 million accounts will have been registered on Twitter.

While those numbers are undoubtedly impressive, your aunt’s Facebook pictures of her cat and your little sister excitedly tweeting about her favorite pop band do little to help you land a job. That’s where LinkedIn comes in. LinkedIn has positioned itself as the social media tool for the professional world. There are no animal pictures captioned in stilted English, #no #cluttered #hashtags, just clean, accessible profiles for qualified professionals.

Linked InOne of LinkedIn’s newest features is called “endorsements.” It’s just what it sounds like; you can vouch for someone else’s experience and expertise, and if so inclined, they can do the same for you.

As with any service, there are issues as well as benefits. There is, for example, no control over who endorses you, and for what, which can lead to your most important recommendations being drowned out, or a misleading snapshot of your true professional skills. If you are a healthcare professional and your boss endorses your skills in “healthcare technology,” it’s hard to differentiate from an old college friend trying to be helpful and endorsing you for “Microsoft Excel.”

On the other hand, if someone isn’t trying to “game” the system (and it’s often fairly obvious – look for meaningless over-description, and avoid anyone calling themselves “guru” or “maven” like the plague), the endorsements feature can give credence to a person’s profile. If you’ve worked in finance for over a decade and your profile is swelled with endorsements from former colleagues in areas like “accounting” or “small business lending,” it can help show a full accounting of your skills and experience.

LinkedIn endorsements will not win you a job on their own, but they can provide prospective employers with a more comprehensive image of your aptitude and areas of strength. While LinkedIn may not be a panacea, it can be a valuable addition to your professional perception. Contact us today to find out how we can help you use every tool possible to your advantage.