Thursday 5th November 2015

Building personal brand with LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations

One of widely used features of social media are opinions of users. You probably often check ratings or/and reviews of products and services as a help for buying decisions. LinkedIn, as a social network of professionals, offers some similar features: endorsements and recommendations of members. They are a valuable tool to build your professional identity and on the other side give you some additional information about people, when you are thinking about connecting, hiring or cooperating with them. The main difference between them is that endorsements are a simple acknowledgement of somebody’s skill (1 click confirmation of a particular skill) and recommendations a written comment about somebody’s work.

Here are a few tips about how to use endorsements and recommendations:

Endorsements

  • What are Endorsements? When somebody (only 1st level connections can give endorsements) endorse you for a skill, that means that that person acknowledges that you have this particular skill. Endorsements don’t go deep, they give no assessment, only acknowledgement of that skill. There is some controversy regarding LinkedIn endorsements, however, receiving a high number of endorsements adds credibility to your profile, and shows that your professional network recognizes you have that skill. Being recognized for relevant skills makes people more likely to want to network with you.
  • How to start building endorsements? All you have to do is complete your profile and list your best skills in Skills section.

    Click on the add (+) button and start typing the relevant skills for your profession. As you begin typing, you’ll see a list of related skills you can choose from, which helps you naming skills and not forgetting some important skill. You can add up to 50 skills to your profile. At first, skills are listed in the order you entered them. As soon as people start endorsing you, the most endorsed skills will rise to the top of the list.
  • Getting more and managing endorsements. When you listed your skills, your connections will start giving you endorsements. You can also ask your connections to endorse you but it’s not really necessary, since the system itself encourages endorsing. You can manage endorsements and endorsers to show only selected (choose the ones to show or hide). You can also remove endorsements (click x next to a skill) if you find people are endorsing you for skills that don’t accurately describe your strengths. It’s recommended that you curate the skills list and select only those that are important for your career and network.
  • Don’t forget to give endorsements, too. Giving endorsement is good to build relationships with your connections and helps you get endorsements back. It’s easy. You can endorse your connections either by visiting their profile page and click on selected skills and you will also get hints for endorsing on your LinkedIn home page. However, be thoughtful about what skill you endorse. Focus on skills and expertise you can personally attest to or have experienced first-hand. If you think your connection is being too humble, suggest a skill they may not have listed yet on their profile.

Recommendations

  • What are recommendations? Recommendations are deeper, written opinions by your colleagues, bosses, customers/clients or business partners. They are valuable information about your work and help you build your personal professional brand. Employees and people searching for new customers and business partners prefer to work with people who been recommended by someone they trust. Recommendation management is located in Privacy & Setting section of your account under Manage your recommendations (in Helpful links group).
  • How to get recommendations? Begin by identifying the people who know you well and who can best speak about your excellence in particular professional or leadership skills or your best achievements and accomplishments. It’s also good if they are trusted in your professional circle. Then you can ask them to write you a recommendation. You can use a request recommendation form in Manage your recommendations section of your account. Don’t’ be shy; people with great experiences of working with you will probably be happy to write you a recommendation.
  • How to write a good recommendation? If you’ve worked with someone great, give him/her a credit and write a recommendation. This can also result in them, giving you recommendation back. You can give recommendation from their profile, from the Recommendations page, by responding to a recommendation request in your LinkedIn inbox or in email. A good-written recommendation starts with a powerful sentence that grabs attention and makes users to read more. Then describe a person; not just with personal characteristics but also by his/her achievements. You can add a touch of personality and end with a solid recommendation – for what you recommend this person.

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