3 Things You Can’t Neglect on LinkedIn: Skills, Endorsements, and Recommendations

Beating the LinkedIn competition isn’t easy.

With over 227 million active monthly users, developing a strong presence requires time, research, and patience. Just when you think you’ve hit every important feature, another seems to become neglected.

Likely candidates for this neglect are skills, endorsements, and recommendations: three of the most underappreciated LinkedIn features.

Skills are one-click activated and allow your connections to endorse you for your talents, which are then are listed on your profile. Recommendations are written statements from connections usually speaking to your abilities and character.

Endorsements are a quick way to receive validation for your skills while recommendations are much more personal. For C-suite professionals, taking advantage of the three is incredibly important.

You need all three

stand-outSkills, endorsements, and recommendations improve the credibility of your profile — but in different ways.

While listing your key skills is a great way to market yourself to prospective clients, it also improves your search viability both in Google and on LinkedIn. One reason to seek out endorsements is because evidence suggests the more LinkedIn endorsements you receive, the higher you rank in LinkedIn search results. Getting your name — and endorsements for your skills — out there is a great way to improve your personal brand.

Don’t forget that you can rearrange the order of your listed skills once your connections endorse you for them. Bring your top three to five skills or those most relevant to your audience to the top of your list for improved visibility. You can also remove skills that don’t pertain to your audience or the prospects you’re looking for.

Recommendations work in a similar way but on a more personal level. The time it takes to write a personalized recommendation versus a one-click skill endorsement means that any recommendation received is going to go further in improving your credibility. Having three or four recommendations on your page shows prospective clients your work is good enough for other professionals to have sacrificed their time to recommend you.

Why should you give recommendations and endorsements?

As with receiving endorsements and recommendations, giving them will increase your visibility within your industry and put you in front of other professionals you may not yet have connected with. Endorsements are gentle reminders that work as social media currency: Every time you endorse a connection’s skills, you remind that prospect or audience member that you’re there and you care. This is an easy way to add value to your connections and helps you remain top of mind in a non-salesy way as you increase your social engagement. Giving recommendations shows your appreciation for those you’ve worked with and may inspire others to reciprocate.

While endorsing your connections for their skills is self-explanatory, writing a knockout recommendation is more difficult.

Remember these four steps when writing your next recommendation.

  1. Start with an introduction that is both personal and professional.
  2. Briefly describe your working relationship.
  3. Describe results rather than skills.
  4. End with a strong recommendation.

After receiving an endorsement or recommendation, there are a few key things you can do to improve your LinkedIn profile. The next step might be to create cohesion within your page. Try altering your headline to better reflect your recommendations and endorsed skills. Make sure to use keywords to match the work you’ve done and the work you hope to do in the future. This is where SEO terms become important — but don’t flood your profile with keywords. Instead, keep your scope narrow to improve the likelihood of appearing in searches.

Skills, endorsements, and recommendations are individual touchpoints in a series of value-added touchpoints. It’s important to remember you can’t just do one round of endorsements. As the adage goes, you’ve got to spend money to make money, and social currency is no different. By giving and receiving skills, endorsements, and recommendations, you enhance your social engagement — and your personal brand.

[cta]If you’d like to hear more about how you can improve your search viability on Google or LinkedIn, I invite you to have a conversation. Contact me, Mark McIntosh, RevGrow CEO and founder, today by calling [phone], and I’ll be happy to explain how I can help you.[/cta] Read this article on LinkedIn →