Finally, you’re happy with your LinkedIn profile! It explains all your relevant jobs, your photo is professional, and now you’re ready to ask people in your network for endorsements. What?! What are endorsements, why are they important, and who should you ask?
LinkedIn endorsements are a way for your network to tell the rest of the world what you’re good at. Your endorsements appear on your profile below all of your profile information and the “resume” portion of your profile on LinkedIn, and act as an objective testament toward your skills. So what should you do to get endorsements?
Share the love
Instead of waiting for people in your network to give you endorsements, go out and endorse people in your network. No, this does not mean you should endorse everyone in your network for something, but if you’ve recently worked with someone on a project in your network, take a moment to endorse them for something that aligns with your experience working with them. When someone in your network sees that you’ve endorsed them for something, they’re more likely to return the favor. So invest a few minutes in reaching out and giving endorsements to your network, you’ll likely find your kindness will result in more endorsements on your profile.
Keep your skills updated
It’s really difficult for someone to endorse you for something that’s not listed as a skill on your profile. So before you embark on the quest to get more endorsements, make sure your skill list on your profile is comprehensive and up to date. Now, if you’ve never done something in PR, but your profile lists it as a skill, people are going to assume that you’ve done something related to PR, and you might have to field an uncomfortable question that you don’t have the answer to. Bottom line; honesty is the best policy here when listing your skills on your LinkedIn profile.
Hide what’s not relevant
If you were a lion tamer in high school and don’t want to be a lion tamer after college, it’s best to leave off the lion taming related skills from your profile. Even though you have a lot of experience in the area, and people would endorse you for it, find skills that relate to your previous endeavors, but will be useful in where you want to take your career.
To ask or not to ask
You can ask people to recommend or endorse you on LinkedIn. Here is the step-by-step process to do it. However, you want to ask politely, write a unique message to each person you ask, and be selective about who you ask. You do NOT want to send a generic message to each person in your network asking them to recommend you for something. Be very specific about what you are wanting from them, and give them a reason for your ask. Do not just tell that your LinkedIn profile is sad because it doesn’t have very many endorsements. Explain that you think their endorsement of your XYZ skill will help because you’re pursuing this job that requires you to have the skill that you’re asking them to endorse. Most people will be happy to take time out of their day to endorse you when they know it will help you reach a specific goal or land you a new job.
Return the favor
Remember how in the first bullet we ask you to reach out to your network to proactively endorse them? Don’t forget about anyone who has previously endorsed you. If you’ve forgotten to return the favor and endorse people who have already endorsed you, there’s no time like the present to navigate over to their profile and tell their LinkedIn network what you think they’re good at!
So can you ask someone to endorse you on LinkedIn? Yes. However, reach out to your network and give out a few endorsements to see if you can inspire your network to return the favor. If you are specifically reaching out to your network with endorsement requests, do so sparingly, and make sure you are contacting them with a unique message that gives a meaningful reason behind your request.
Remember, it will take time for the people in your network to endorse or recommend you, so if they are kind enough to do it, make sure you follow up with a thank you, or an endorsement of your own of their skills and talents.