Confused about LinkedIn’s skills endorsements? You're not alone!

LinkedIn skills endorsements, LinkedIn skills and expertise endorsements,
LinkedIn now encourages you to endorse your connections.
With little fanfare, but great confusion, LinkedIn began encouraging its members to endorse their connections’ skills.  It’s doing so by occasionally showing you four of your first degree connections’ names and pictures and asking if you want to endorse any or all of them for one pre-selected skill each. (LinkedIn also asks if you want to endorse select skills when you visit a person’s profile page).
Confusion about endorsements brings up questions like …

What if I like the person, but have no clue if he/she is good at that particular skill?

Should I just endorse everybody for everything just to be nice?

Does the person want to be endorsed for that particular skill?

Would the person prefer I endorse him/her for a different skill and how do I do that?

Why am I being shown these particular people? I’d rather endorse people I know better.

Are the people told that I endorsed them?

Are they told that I DIDN'T endorse them?

When I endorse someone is the other person encouraged to reciprocate?

While the endorsement attempt is laudable (it DOES give us an easy way to support our connections’ claims that they are good at certain skills), the randomness of the skills it asks members to endorse makes the effort less credible. 

Here is what I mean. Even though I list 50 skills on my LinkedIn profile, the LinkedIn endorsement effort, for whatever reason, tends to ask my connections if they want to endorse me for my Microsoft Word (?!) abilities more than any other skill. While I appreciate my connection’s vouching for my Word abilities (I really do!), I’d rather they be able to vouch for my listed skills that are more important to my work, such as communications and public speaking.

LinkedIn skills endorsements, LinkedIn skills and expertise endorsements,
The skill with the most endorsements is listed highest.

Due to this quirk in the system, I have mixed emotions about the endorsement effort. Even though my skills endorsement list doesn't really reflect the real me, I’m glad so many people thought enough of me to endorse me.

Perhaps eventually the numbers will even out to better reflect each of our most valuable skills. Or maybe LinkedIn will come up with a better way for us to vouch for our connections’ most important skills. I certainly hope so!

So what do YOU think about the LinkedIn endorsement effort? I am already compiling dozens of comments from people who have expressed their opinion, but I’d love to hear from you. I will share people’s viewpoints (not naming last names so speak freely) on and on LinkedIn and will send an overview of comments to LinkedIn so the company will know what’s on the mind of its members.

Next time, I will share how to make the most of your LinkedIn skills and the new endorsements.


If you feel so led, I would love your endorsement for any of my abilities (yes, even Microsoft Word :). Or, if I have been of help to you in your job search, write me a LinkedIn recommendation. You can learn more about recommendations here. Thanks! Kathy


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