If you use LinkedIn, the social network for business, you’ll very likely be interested in a new feature LinkedIn is rolling out that gives you the ability to rate the people in your network on their skills and expertise.
Others in your network can do the same for you if they choose to.
LinkedIn Endorsements lets you “endorse” your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile or recommend one they haven’t added yet. In other words, you’re recommending an individual for a particular skill or expertise you think they’re good at.
When someone endorses you, or you give one of your contacts an endorsement, it shows up on your LinkedIn profile if you click the ‘Add to Profile’ button in the notification you receive. That way, you have control over what appears on your profile that others say about you, just as you do with the current recommendations you write about people or they write about you.
What I find especially appealing about this idea of endorsements is the opportunity it offers for anyone to help anyone else fine-tune their skills and expertise list.
For instance, you might have chosen keywords that appear in the Skills & Expertise section of your profile that now don’t best reflect what you actually do in your work: they may have when you first created them, or you’re doing some new things now, and perhaps you haven’t updated that list in a while.
With Endorsements your connections can propose skills and expertise as they see them based on their experience with you in working, seeing you speak or present, consuming your content online, etc. And vice versa.
So you have the benefit of seeing what others say you’re good at, rather than only you saying it. Powerful stuff. And you can do it so easily: choose from a list or type a couple of words, and click – no fuss, it’s done.
Inevitably, many people will see LinkedIn Endorsements as a kind of professional equivalent to Facebook Likes. Is that a bad thing? If it helps everyone understand them and make use of them effectively, then I’d say it’s a good thing.
LinkedIn says it’s rolling out Endorsements over the coming weeks, starting now in the US, India, Australia and New Zealand. More information on the LinkedIn blog.