By Danielle Beauparlant Moser and Renee Zung
The recurring inquiry of the week has been around LinkedIn's mandatory field: Skills + Endorsements.
One question was: "It is funny when connections will endorse me for skills where they have absolutely no way of knowing whether I do or don't possess those skills ... why is that?"
This is the way we answered it.
The challenge lies in the fact that the Endorsements weren't allowed to grow organically. That is why they're given little or no consideration in LinkedIn. Some experts suggest that the number of endorsements play into the algorithm, but we don't know how heavily weighted they are.
Given that anyone using the recruiter subscription doesn't see endorsement at all, it suggests that endorsements aren't given a heavy-weighting.
To be clear, including skills is important. In the recruiter subscription, those skills (without endorsements) do help increase your visibility to that audience.
The way skills + endorsements work are two-fold:
One, you can add skills yourself – creating your own or selecting from the LinkedIn suggestions. When others visit your profile, they can, with a click, endorse you for the skills you’ve listed.
“This is the optimal way to control the skills listed on your profile.”
The second way explains the question above -- about people offering endorsements for things about which they have no frame of reference.
LinkedIn looks at the titles in your profile and suggests to your connections that they endorse you for skills that others (with the same title) have listed in their profile. This is all in the hopes that you will add those same skills to your profile because you've been endorsed for them. That's what we meant when we said endorsements were not grown organically.
When you sign in to edit your profile and LinkedIn prompts you to add skills based on endorsements from others, they’re artificially generated. Consider them carefully before adding them to your profile.
In fact, we would encourage you to carefully review your list and delete those that do not speak to the strategic level of your skill set. In the new desktop redesign, the top three skills on your list will be considered your strengths. Please make sure you are driving that train and not letting LinkedIn's algorithm do it for you.
We recommend using a tool such as an online word cloud tool (wordsift.org is our favorite), to help you define the tops skills you possess that are important to your targeted audience.
What is your favorite strategy for building your skills + endorsement's list?