Learning to Love LinkedIn Endorsements
If the content in your Skills & Endorsements section didn’t influence your rank and find-ability, I’d be the 1st to tell you to kick it to the curb. But, by learning ways to correct the technology’s failures, you can position yourself to reap the rewards of this highly influential feature.
Ever been annoyed or baffled by an off-the-wall or out-of-thin air endorsement? Me too. For months, I was being endorsed for temporary placement for no good reason. Other than the temp jobs I took after college eons ago (which aren’t even mentioned on my profile), I’ve got nothing to do with temp placement. Still, I’ve been endorsed for it 10+ times, by 10+ people who obviously don’t know me well enough to be endorsing me in the first place.
We’ve all suffered through receiving endorsements from those with no intimate, or any, knowledge of what we do and been endorsed for skills that aren’t anywhere near in line with our current career trajectory. In my sister article, STOP Irking Your Connections with Crappy LinkedIn Endorsements, I walked you through some of the ways the platform’s endorsement suggestions could be steering you, and your connections, to make endorsements that piss off, rather than please.
With that new-found knowledge and the deets below, you can now pick up where LinkedIn’s intuitive technology lets off and make the Skills & Endorsements section work for you.
Clean Out Your Skills Closet
If you’ve outgrown a skill, or were never that into it in the first place, head straight to your skills section, click on the pencil symbol to enter edit mode, and start clicking those X’s (as shown below) to cleanse your online portfolio of the skills and endorsements that no longer serve you. Ah, doesn’t that feel good?
And while I wish there was a solution to another of my endorsement complaints, not being able to combine popularly-endorsed skills, which you can see demonstrated in the example above (Resume and Resume Writing), LinkedIn does not have a way for you to avoid this redundancy. Their not-so-helpful help center response to this merely suggests deleting the one with fewer endorsements or leaving both skills as is. So, pick your poison.
Pack ‘em In
With all those pointless skills removed, you’re ready to pack this section with current, relevant skills. LinkedIn allows you 50, and I recommend you use every last one of them.
Not sure what to add? Just start typing in some hot keywords from your industry and pick from the dropdown list, like:
Do the Shuffle
Your most endorsed skills automatically gravitate to the top, with your top 10 as the most visible.
If those skills don’t reflect your current brand or career trajectory, then you need to reposition your most marketable skills up top and bury the others down below. Rearranging the display order is as easy as dragging and dropping, so get to it!
This is also a great time to revisit the skills you just couldn’t bear to delete. Maybe they have a ton of associated endorsements,or maybe you might be open if the right opportunity came along. Why not make those skills bottom feeders, where they’ll be hidden from everyone who doesn’t click to see below your top 25, but will still enable you to maintain skill cred.
Shake Up Your Sections
While you can’t change the order of your recommendations or adjust your past positions to be in anything but chronological order, you can strategically reposition sections like your summary, experience, honors and awards, education, organizations, certifications, volunteer activities, additional info and, you guessed it, your skills and endorsements section. It’s as simple as clicking and dragging that double-sided up/down arrow (as shown below) to find the order that makes the best sense for you.
Make the Call
If you’re simply done with the endorsement game, you have options. To keep your skills while deactivating and hiding your endorsements, just enter edit mode and click No.
You can also choose not to take part in those often flawed automated suggestions.
Wondering what I’d do? Well, I play the game. While I, too, find endorsement suggestions (and the whole endorsement game) pretty dang annoying, I opt to be included and shown suggestions for two main reasons. First, endorsements contribute to the SEO effect of our profiles, so the more the merrier. Second, the automated suggestion feature reminds us to show LinkedIn love to our connections, though I typically ignore the platform’s suggestions and use the methods I describe in STOP Irking Your Connections with Crappy LinkedIn Endorsements in order to give meaningful endorsements.
While you may never love LinkedIn endorsements, at least you know how to leverage this feature to your advantage.
Thanks, Thomas Hawk, for another quality pic.
01 October 2015