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linkedInIntroduced on 24 Sept 2012 the LinkedIn endorsements feature has confused and mystified users

You may have noticed that you seem to be getting notifications informing you that particular contacts have endorsed a set of skills you have?

Let’s take a look at this feature and whether it is anything you should take notice of.

What are they for?

The purpose of the endorsement feature is to enable people who know you to easily give recognition for particular skills and expertise you might have.  Easily being the operative word... Perhaps a little too easy?  This idea is that this is much quicker and simpler than asking your contacts to compose a fully written recommendation.

How does it work?

Only people that are directly connected (1st degree) can endorse each other.  However if your aim is just to connect to as many people as possible so you can use LinkedIn to broadcast to a wider audience you may find people endorsing you for skills or expertise you do not possess or indeed have no idea whether you do.  Personally I have always subscribed to the school of thought of using LinkedIn to connect with people that you know and trust - afterall it is Social Networking

How to Endorse your contacts

There are several ways to endorse your contacts around the LinkedIn site.  Let’s look at just two methods:

Method 1 – Search for someone you know and Endorse them

After logging in to LinkedIn...

LinkedIn Contact Search

1. Click the Contacts menu
2. Find a contact by typing part of their name in the filter box (your list in the middle should shorten)
3. Look for the contact you wish to endorse and click on them
4. Now you need to open their profile – Click their name in the right hand column

Open Contact

When you have the profile open...

linkedin-contact-no-endorse

1. Click the right hand edge of the Send a message button

2. Select Endorse skills & expertise

Now you should see something like this...

LinkedIn Contact Endorsement

1. Click the grey X's to remove any skills or expertise you are not sure your contact posses

2. Add any skills you know they have (LinkedIn will suggest as you type)

3. When you are happy with your choices click the yellow Endorse button

Your contact will receive a notification about your endorsements and may choose to reciprocate

Method 2 – 4 at a time!

You may have noticed after clicking the Endorse button (at the end of method 1) a screen of 4 random contact pops up rather like this:

LinkedIn Group Endorsement

Rather than just click Endorse all 4 - I suggest you 'keep it real' and modify your responses.

The Box of four contacts only suggests one skill - so read it carefully and remove any statements you feel you cannot endorse.

So in this case if I have no idea whether Vance Rowe has a particular skill about Contract Negotiation I would click the little grey cross at the top right corner of his box.

However if I know that Louise Oliver is experienced in Event Management I can click the individual Endorse button under her photo

If I know Jane Malyon well I might want to endorse much more than just the one skill of Coaching - therefore I can click on her photo to view her profile and use Method 1 (above) to endorse a whole host of skills and expertise

IMPORTANT - Use your power wisely - Only click the yellow Endorse all 4 button if by sheer chance you happen to know and agree that all 4 statements are true

p.s. Thank you to my LinkedIn contacts for starring in this article smiley-smile

Further reading - Should I Manage my LinkedIn Endorsements?

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