Capitalize on LinkedIn Endorsements


Your career is no place for crowdsourcing. However, through LinkedIn Endorsements your connections are now able to weigh in on your skills. The more endorsements a skill receives the more credible that one skill is because your contacts agree. Yet, it takes zero effort which makes LinkedIn Endorsements a great engagement strategy, however there are doubts that they add value to the site’s 175M+ users.

If lengthy recommendations are additive rather than evaluative, as Forbes suggests, then how seriously can we take someone endorsing a skill with the click of a button? Today, there is a frenzy around its use, from expressing appreciation for one another’s skills to playing around with a new digital toy.  You should not rely on endorsements to get you hired, but you should capitalize on its momentum. It’ll only take a second.

Think ahead when trying to derive value out of LinkedIn endorsements. Recruiters will start seeking candidates with the most endorsements relevant to a skill set. Start by curating the best menu of skills & expertise possible, aim to rank highest in that one skill you want to be known for, ask for endorsements and provide them as a way to revive old connections. Here’s how to prepare:

1- Curate your “skills & expertise” 


You can add up to 50 skills to your LinkedIn profile, however you can’t be an expert in all 50. Instead, direct people to the 10 skills you want to be known for because that is how many skills LinkedIn generally features on your profile. Your 40 other skills are deprioritized. Include skills, within the 10, that you want to use going forward. I imagine that once this functionality gathers a sizable amount of data,  recruiters will utilize endorsements to quickly rank candidates to contact. For instance, when they are seeking a kick-butt project manager they will be filtering for the person with the most endorsements on their PM skills. This is why you curate.

2-Aim to rank highest in that one skill you want to be known for

Your skills & expertise are now ranked amongst one another. Based on the number of endorsements that each skill garners, your number one expertise has been crowdsourced. Again, your career is no place for crowdsourcing. You need to own your profile by identifying the most critical skills in light of your next opportunity. Solicit endorsements on the top three skills that you want to be known for. (e.g. if you want to move into sourcing and procurement then highlight your negotiation skills)

3-Ask for endorsements

The same rules apply when it comes to seeking credible recommendations as I wrote in my Three Pillars to Successful Recommendations blog. E-mail the best connections you have, who are well-known in your desired industry, and request their endorsement on your preferred skills. Recommendations take time to write. They can’t use that as an excuse when you request an endorsement.


4- Endorse others to revive your network –  it’ll only take a second

Here is your excuse to forego a note to reignite or strengthen relationships. Anyone with a network of more than 500+ connections has folks who they haven’t spoken with in years. Endorse old professional connections and use LinkedIn Endorsements’ novelty as your excuse to reconnect. When you compliment publicly, you will stroke their ego, which may be useful and this is always a great thing if you need to talk with them later about an opportunity.

Recruiters, how do you interpret LinkedIn Endorsements?

Job seekers, why are you endorsing folks?

Comment below or email me – I’d love to hear how you intend to leverage this tool.

PS: If LinkedIn strategy is not one of your top 10 skills, contact me. I offer a free-15 minute consultation and I get paid to do this for a living.

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Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.


  1. Avatar John Maher on September 28, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Very informative and valuable information but I’m a motivational speaker and it appears to me that people can’t just be selective and endorse just for that skill?



    • Avatar Melissa on October 1, 2012 at 11:29 am

      You can remove skills from your own profile and then ask folks to endorse the specific skill or two that remain. So you control the menu of skills so to speak. Later, you can add additional skills. It’s a workaround and you need to ask for the specific endorsements and ask them not to comment on the other skills you are displaying…

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