How to Manage LinkedIn Endorsements

category: social media linkedin type: blog

Note: this article has changed significantly since LinkedIn revamped it's entire platform. The endorsements feature has been simplified and is less "in your face".

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 for maximum effectiveness.

Your endorsements look fake

If the little profile pictures beside your skills are the same 5-10 people (especially if the profile images are blank), 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 coaching 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.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn has removed the ability to hide endorsements from specific people, so there is not much we can do to get rid of these fake or spammy looking endorsements besides deleting the entire skill category.

Your endorsements aren't relevant

Before the LinkedIn revamp, people could endorse you for skills that you hadn't added to your profile. As a result, your skills section could be full of irrelevant skills. Make sure you go through and remove any skills that don't make sense, and that the most important skills are at the top of the list.

Keep in mind that you should review this each time you have a change in education or job.

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?

Keep in mind that LinkedIn only displays 3 skills by default (you have to click 'Show more' to see all of them). Having 50 skills with endorsements spread out amongst them may not be as effective as having 10 skills with concentrated endorsements.

So how do I manage LinkedIn endorsements?

You can only do a few things with endorsements these days: you can reorder your skills and pin the top 3, or you can add or remove a skill. If you delete all of your skills, the section will no longer appear on your profile (but you will not be able to get those endorsements back!)

  1. Go to your LinkedIn profile

  2. Scroll until you find the section called "Skills & Endorsements"

  3. To add a skill:

    • Click 'Add a new skill'

    • Type in the new skills or select from the suggested list

    • Click 'Add'

  4. To delete individuals skills (and their corresponding endorsements):

    • Click the edit icon (pencil)

    • Click the delete icon beside the skill (note that if you re-add this skill later the endorsements will not come back)

  5. To reorder & pin your skills

    • Click the edit icon (pencil)

    • Beside the delete icon is the move icon (4 lines) - click here to drag your skills into different orders

    • You can also put skills into certain LinkedIn-defined categories

    • Click Save

Note that some people are experiencing problems deleting and reordering endorsements. If this happens to you, make sure to report it to the LinkedIn Help Center.

Bonus: how do I opt out of endorsements Completely?

  1. Go to your LinkedIn profile

  2. Scroll until you find the section called "Skills & Endorsements"

  3. Click Edit

  4. At the bottom of the screen click "Adjust Endorsement Settings"

  5. Turn off "I want to be endorsed"



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