STOP Irking Your Connections with Crappy LinkedIn Endorsements
With more and more pros like you using LinkedIn endorsements as a professional flirting tool, you need to know how to give endorsements without pissing off your connections.
By sharing some endorsement pet peeves and tips to correct, I’ll help you prompt positivity and avoid turning off your connections.
When used right, endorsements are a perfect tool for promoting your professional self, one that helps you to make periodic appearances and remain on the brain of those in your network. They’re also a stellar means of bridging time and reconnecting with pros you may have lost touch with.
And, let’s face it, nothing prompts getting better than giving. It’s a win-win. Your likelihood of getting reciprocal endorsements increases, while the endorsements you give contribute to your connection’s likelihood of being discovered for their dream job.
On the other hand, when misused, you run the risk of irking the heck out of someone and/or causing them to question your level of professionalism. Think about that. Your latest endorsement may have pissed someone off. Why? Because it’s disingenuous to publicly praise someone when you have no direct experience or knowledge of their professional work. And if you’re perceived as comfy operating on that level, it could bring into question all the other things you might be cavalier about misrepresenting.
Worse are those who go to the Skills section of a profile and click straight down the line to endorse all 10 Top Skills. Sure, you helped raise your connection’s credibility and strengthened their search-ability in those areas, but I get pissed off when someone who barely, if at all, knows me, opens fire with their index finger and endorses me from top to bottom. That tells me that they’re more interested in having their face and a link to their profile plastered all over mine than with providing me a genuine compliment.
How to Give Better
Don’t be fooled by LinkedIn’s auto-generated endorsement suggestions. Those of you who have selected Show me suggestions to endorse my connections? in your settings know that when you visit a connection’s profile, it can be hard to resist clicking the Endorse button when you see that box conveniently auto-populated with endorsement options just like this:
So why would I suggest ignoring auto options? Because months ago, I worked with Jeanne to scrub her profile content and Skills & Expertise section clean of the aforementioned keywords and skills to better position her for a career change (which worked). But LinkedIn’s algorithm still hasn’t caught up, which means her connections are still seeing them. Don’t be similarly misled to endorse someone for something he or she might be trying to move away from.
Stop making blind endorsements. If you’re not 100% sure of your connection’s current career goals or ambitions, but still want to show you care, you have a couple of options. Option #1 is to delete all those endorsement suggestions and start typing in a recommendation of your own – one you can attest to, like:
Once you click on the skill that most closely matches your desired endorsement, voila:
Option #2 is even better. If you can resist the lure of that sexy box up top, scroll down to your connection’s Skills section to endorse there instead. Skim as you’re scrolling to see whether you can glean a competency that strikes a chord. When you find a close match to that in the Top Skills section, hover over the + sign and click Endorse, like this:
More is NOT always better. Remember the overzealous endorser I mentioned earlier? Don’t risk pissing off your connections by plastering your face top to bottom all over their Skills section. If there are multiple endorsements you’d like to give, consider setting a calendar reminder to spread out giving one endorsement at a time over a period of weeks or months. This form of social media flirting is a super simple and effective way to remind your network faves that you’re there and care.
The BEST way to show LinkedIn love. Endorsements are a stellar social selling tool, but if you really want to show LinkedIn love, the hands-down best way is to write (yes, write) a good ol’-fashioned LinkedIn recommendation.
Know your options. If you find endorsements an utter nuisance, it’s not just your right, but it’s pretty damn easy, to opt out altogether. Would I recommend that? Nope. To find out why, be sure to sign up for my bimonthly(ish) newsletter so that you’ll automatically receive part 2 of my series on how to work your endorsements to your advantage.
And remember, you do have to be 1st connections in order to get or give meaningful endorsements. For tips and scripts to making and maximizing your LinkedIn connections, sign up for my newsletter and you’ll receive my ebook, Your LinkedIn Connection Kit (LiCK), on everything you never knew you needed to know about LinkedIn connections.
Special thanks to Thomas Hawk for the use of his perfectly appropriate pic.
14 September 2015