3 Questions to Consider When Endorsing On LinkedIn


LinkedIn's Endorsements Feature is a great way of showcasing your skill sets.

LinkedIn's Endorsement Feature is a great way of showcasing your skill sets through your connections' recommendations of you (and vice-versa).  However, it is important to remember LinkedIn is a professional networking and social media tool, not just an online social interaction space.  The steadily growing number of LinkedIn Members (200 Million +) make the site a career research and development powerhouse. 


You may have seen the prominent blue endorsements box that appears when viewing a profile on LinkedIn.  You either have four professional faces of your connections staring back you almost as if to say, "please endorsement me for these skill sets!"  Or you have a list of skills listed for a particular connection with the question, "Does {Connection's Name} have these skills?"  The first reaction of support by endorsing needs a little restraint. 

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before endorsing a connection:


1 - Have you experienced your connection using or expressing the skill in question? 

For example, if one of your connections has listed Public Speaking as a skill to be endorsed, then you should have experienced their skill as a public speaker.  Whether through a presentation at a conference or leading a workshop, an endorsement without relevant connection to the experience is baseless. 


2 - If a potential employer of one of your connections contacted you as a reference, would you be able to speak about the given skill(s) effectively? 

Imagine being asked about how your connection handles Conflict Resolution as it is listed on their LinkedIn Profile.  Would you be able to give a specific example of your experience?  You might not provide a reference for someone if you didn't know them, therefore, you should consider endorsements in the same manner.


3 - Does your connection use this skill or skill set on a regular basis or is there assumption of use based on their professional role? 

Your connection may be the Director for Communications, but in what context is their role?  The field of Communication is vast and can often be confused with Communications (plural with an S) which in some cases (not all) is a Telecommunications/Technical role.  Therefore, consider the context of a person's role before endorsing a particular skill set.  A Corporate Communication Professional is typically skilled/knowledgable of various Organizational Communication Theories whereas a Technical Communications Specialist is likely skilled in more IT related and/or telecommunications troubleshooting solutions.


Don't take endorsements lightly!  To endorse someone, or for them to endorse you, is to put a name and a face to that skill(s).  Managing your online brand as well as your wider personal brand is inclusive of endorsements.  Make sure you're endorsing skills you've had first hand experience with and your connections should do the same.