LinkedIn Endorsement vs. Recommendations

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is “What are endorsements?  What good do they do?”.  I thought I would put an explanation into words for you.

Endorsements – are a way to give your connection LinkedIn Endorsementsa thumbs up for the skills that they have listed without going through to much effort. Some people think they are a waste of time, but I would tend to disagree. Here are a few reasons:

  • The act of endorsing someone gives you a “post” without having to think of anything to say;
  • Endorsing someone’s skill let’s them know that you think they “own” that skill. I don’t endorse someone for a skill  that I don’t know they possess and I don’t add skills to their profile by endorsing them for something they have not included.
  • Endorsing others might give you an idea for a skill that you possess that you hadn’t thought about including in your skills.

Read more about managing endorsements in this article: LinkedIn Endorsements.

Recommendations – The best part of recommendations is that you can give one to your firstLinkedIn recommendations degree connections without having to be asked. Recommendations are much more thoughtful and descriptive than endorsing someone. This is a way to speak to the quality of someone’s work more than just the skill that they possess.  My caution here is > don’t give someone a recommendation as soon as they have written one for you.  It just looks like “recommendation love” and that isn’t so good.  “Paying it forward” is the thought to keep in mind when you are writing recommendations.  Remember, just because someone writes you a recommendation, doesn’t mean that you have to return the favor.  Perhaps you “pay it forward” to someone else.  LinkedIn used to require 3 recommendations from first degree contacts before they would consider your profile complete.  It is still advised to try to obtain them for your current and past positions.  Just remember, that to write a recommendation or request one, you must be first degree connections with the person. AND by all means, don’t invite them to connect and ask for the recommendation in the same communication!

When you recommend someone, they must approve your recommendation to appear on their profile.  Use your best grammar and punctuation.  Not only will it reflect upon the person about whom you are writing, but it reflects upon you as well. The recommendations that you give, as well as, receive show in your profile for everyone to view.

Product/Services Recommendations – Now if giving and getting endorsements andLinkedIn Product Recommendations recommendations weren’t enough, we have the third option of recommending the company product or service for which the person you are thinking about recommending offers.  This is a great idea if the company is a one-person or small operation. While searching LinkedIn, a company page may appear before they run across the person.  In my case, I am my company so when someone recommends my company, they are recommending me.

I would love to hear your thoughts on endorsements and recommendations.  Tell me what you think!

 

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LinkedIn Endorsements

I am sure by now that you have seen the “Endorsements” on your LinkedIn profile.  This is a relatively new feature from LinkedIn that allows you to perform a quick click and let your connections and the other person’s connections see that you feel your connection exhibits those skills.

The YouTube how-to video below explains:

  • Endorsement Monday’s – similar to Twitter’s #FollowFriday or #FF, take a few moments every Monday to endorse some of your connections.
  • Endorse someone from your home page - Something similiar to the image above will appear on your home page in LinkedIn so it becomes quite simple perform the “endorsement” action.
  • Endorsing someone from their profile – you can also go directly to a connections profile, find the “Skills and Expertise”, and then choose to endorse one or a number of skills they have listed.
  • Managing Endorsements – not everyone wants to show the endorsements for the skills they have listed OR they prefer not to have a particular person listed as having endorsed them.  I show you how to manage those endorsements.

Thanks for reading, and if you would like to endorse me for any skills, here is the link – Dee Reinhardt

Share this post with your connections to help them understand the Endorsement process.

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Tag your LinkedIn Connections

I was ecstatic when I found the option to tag my LinkedIn connections.  This feature wasn’t available until after I had over 300 connections and I didn’t take advantage of the feature until I had over 500 connections.  If you start early in your connecting career, you will have a robust search pattern available to help you find your contacts quickly and easily.

Tagging helps you sort and organize your contacts with labels that you create to help you remember where or why you might know someone.  Personally I remember faces forever, but names tend to elude my memory.  Once I have someone tagged, I can search by industry or geographic area to try to find the face. (Another reason why photos on your profile are so important)

With the new profiles that LinkedIn has been rolling out, it is an extra step from how you could tag profiles in the old profile view.  I thought I would share a quick how-to in this blog post.  If you have questions, reach out to me.  If you need to optimize your profile, I can help with that as well.

Happy Tagging!

LinkedIn – Top 5 Tips – Connections

Number 3 in the series of Top 5 LinkedIn Tips dealing with your personal profile is Connections

Connections – to be effective in LinkedIn you need a minimum of 150 connections 1st degree connections.  Briefly – if you are directly connected, they are 1st degree connections, those peoples connections are your 2nd degree connections (if you aren’t connected to them), and the 2nd degree person’s connections are your 3rd degree.  Sally Smith may be your next door neighbor but if she isn’t connected to someone in your sphere of connections, she could be Out of Network.

In the classes and one-on-one sessions I offer, my mantra is “It’s not about who you know, but about who they know.”  Social networking is all about growing your network of people you know, building relationships, and IMHO paying it forward (instead of working on the philosophy of what’s in it for me). While I always advocate face-to-face networking, developing relationships is important, and in some cases, getting to know someone on-line is just as valuable as meeting someone in person.

Once you are a 1st degree connection with someone, you have access to their list of connections.  This is useful if you are trying to reach someone specifically.  Connecting with people who are well connected broadens your reach and potential network connections.

Less than 10% of my connections are considered an “on-line only” connection. I know that because I have “tagged” all of my connections through a function in LinkedIn that allows me to categorize my connections for later reference. One of my other blog posts is about tagging connections with a link to a how-to video.  Tagging your connections makes your efforts to communicate with them “categorically” much easier down the road.

One more little tool related to connections can be found in LinkedIn Labs.  It is a visualization of how my network is a network.  You can check out the full size version here.  It is called an inmap.  I think it is pretty and truly reflects how your network is just that, interconnected and cloud-like.

You can read the other articles in the series by clicking on the links – Photos, Complete.  Coming up is: Invitations & Participate.

Let me know if I can help you build your LinkedIn profile.

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One of my Favorite Things

If the song from the Sound of Music - Favorite Things

could be rewritten to my thinking social media and LinkedIn would be included as one of the items in the list. LinkedIn is one of my favorite social media tools. Whenever I see an article on LinkedIn, I take a peek.  Often the titles are the X number of tools or things you don’t know about LinkedIn.

I have found that there seem to be two types of users:

  1. The person that collects connections and updates their resume
  2. The person who participates in groups, answers questions and shares status updates.
The more often you participate in LinkedIn by sharing via groups, status updates or showing

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

your expertise when answering questions, the more frequently your name appears in your connections updates stream.

This article about announcements raises some good points about direct communication to group members, but unsolicited emails could cause frustration, which we do not want to do when trying to generate leads.

Remember that by participating regularly, your connections will see your name and will be reminded each time they do of what you do or where you work.  As much as we would like things to be simple, they aren’t always easy.  Networking face-to-face and building relationships is often the way to increasing the on-line relationships that you have established.

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