Social Media

The new LinkedIn Endorsements feature is a one-click way to endorse the skills and experience of members in your network. But I think endorsements fall into the social media trap of quantity over quality.

At the moment the main people getting lots and lots of endorsements are professional networkers, and social media experts.

But for most (non social media) busineses just a few, perfect endorsements would convey the trust that you need to demonstrate your expertise.  I suspect even one endorsement from a highly relevant, high profile client would be more powerful than a tidal wave of random endorsement clicks.

And a perfect endorsement, of course, would be a written LinkedIn Recommendation.  It means your client has taken the time, and thought, to put into writing what a good job you have done.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love you to endorse me, please. But what I really want you to do is to take the time to write me a LinkedIn recommendation.

Endorsements are a highly visual representation of the people who have clicked on one of your skills.  And volume counts, 70 endorsements in one skill set is going to be more powerful than just 2 endorsements in another area.

But large numbers are irrelevant unless it leads to business success.  Whether you have thousands of irrelevant Twitter followers, or hundreds of Facebook Likes, these large numbers are all a pipe dream unless the people are engaged with your company, are listening to what you say, and at the end of the day are contributing to your bottom line.

Endorsements are based on the Skills that you have identified in your LinkedIn Profile, so be sure to go in and edit your skills to reflect the types of activities that your clients would be comfortable endorsing you for.



The way endorsements are being promoted on LinkedIn is fairly ferocious, and I know annoying some of the people I speak to.

The drive for endorsements appears on profiles, with a call to action to just click the skills button

And prompting you at various points when in your account


And if you make the mistake of simply pressing the yellow Endorse button, you end up endorsing the individual for every skill they nominate:

So, what is your LinkedIn Endorsement Plan?

  1. Make sure you have created a list of skills that represent the strengths you want to convey to your customers and potential customers
  2. Give the gift of an endorsement to trusted partners, but don’t devalue your endorsements by splattering them across LinkedIn
  3. Where appropriate, message individuals to request an endorsement
  4. Monitor your endorsements, and be sure to thank those that have taken the time to press the yellow button


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4 responses to “LinkedIn Endorsements: I would rather have a Recommendation”

  1. Jeremy DT says:

    Thanks Susan for this grounded advice. I hadn’t clocked that LinkedIn were bringing in this endorsements feature, and received two endorsements this week that rather took me by surprise. I totally agree with your views of quality over quantity – to quote Miles (Davis), “More is less”! Jeremy

  2. I’ve yet to be fully convinced about the value of LinkedIn endorsements although, of course, I appreciate the ones that I’ve had.

    One thing that might be less than desirable is that endorsers can add skills to endorse you for. Now it’s quite possible that there are skills that you haven’t added to your LinkedIn profile that should be there but that doesn’t mean it’s good if everyone and anyone piles in with all manner of alternative suggestions. Perhaps someone might endorse you for something that isn’t your main offering confusing what is otherwise a well-managed profile. Clearly there’s the option of not accepting or showing such an endorsement but it would be creating a small chore that I, for one, haven’t asked for. My preference still lies with specific and meaningful recommendations.

    • Susan Hallam Susan Hallam says:

      Another less than desirable aspect is that only the first five skills display on the main LinkedIn screen, and when the unwitting contact presses the “endorse” button then those 5 get automatically endorsed.

      As a result, if one of your more important skills is lurking down in position 6, then no endorsement and it will remain languishing in that position for ever. And ever.

      You will need to proactively ask folk to click on your skill if you want to force it into the top 5.

      PS….. everybody please endorse me for public speaking to get it into the top 5!

  3. Michelle Mills-Porter says:

    Well done Susan! We were both discussing the same subject in different arenas and it’s great to find someone I chime with. Recommendations are proactively achieved and are usually heartfelt. The new endorsements are pushed in front of people and are responded to for various reasons such wanting to do something nice that will only take a minute, or possibly gaining favour from that person. – and can therefore be given by people who know of you, but don’t actually know your services first hand, Therefore they cannot have the same weight or even be comparable to Recommendations.

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