linkedin endorsementBy now you have seen the following notification pop up in your inbox that you have received an endorsement from LinkedIn. When they were first introduced last fall, you may have found yourself wondering if this is spam or a real endorsement. And while they can seem as lazy as a Facebook ‘ Like’, LinkedIn endorsements are quickly gaining traction. I have noticed more and more endorsements hitting my inbox from people I know well, as well as from some I don’t know at all.

What are LinkedIn endorsements?

According to LinkedIn’s Help Center, “Skill endorsements are a great way to recognize your 1st-degree connections’ skills and expertise with one click. They also let your connections validate the strengths found on your own profile. Skill endorsements are a simple and effective way of building your professional brand and engaging your network.”

Should you endorse back?

It is okay to endorse someone that has endorsed you but be sure you are familiar with the person and their work. The same goes for a LinkedIn recommendation. You wouldn’t want to be contacted with further inquiries about an endorsement, not know anything about the other person or their business.

LinkedIn offers the following guidance for endorsements:

Giving Endorsements

Scroll down to the Skills & Expertise section on your own profile to see endorsements you’ve received. You can add any skill to this section. Accumulating a high number of endorsements for a skill adds credibility to your profile, and shows that your professional network recognizes you have that skill.

Note: You don’t need to ask for a skill endorsement to receive one. You’ll also be notified by email when you receive an endorsement.

Receiving Endorsements

Endorsing others is a great way to recognize your colleagues for the skills you’ve seen them demonstrate. It helps contribute to the strength of their profile, and increases the likelihood they’ll be discovered for opportunities related to the skills their connections know they possess.

Endorsing your colleagues also helps keep strong connections with the people in your network. You may find that after endorsing a colleague from the past, it’s easier to reach out to them because you’ve recently been in touch.

Do endorsements really matter?

At the moment a simple endorsement will not likely impress a potential employer or client. But as more and more people use this feature, the number of endorsements you have in particular could be relevant and impressive to a future prospect. It can also be used to monitor and enhance your personal brand with the skills and expertise that people are endorsing.

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