One of the most common questions I hear is: “Christine, what’s the difference between LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations?”
The answer is, they’re similar…but different.
Here’s some background…
LinkedIn is more than just a place where you find opportunities; it’s a place where opportunities find you.
For that to happen you have to put yourself out there (completing your LinkedIn Profile, sharing content, engaging with your network, etc.), and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
Including endorsements and recommendations in your LinkedIn Profile is a great way to complement and confirm the skills and positions you’ve listed while also catching the eye of your Ideal Clients.
And here’s the big news on managing your LinkedIn recommendations:
Earlier this year, LinkedIn made endorsements easier to manage by allowing you to highlight the skills and strengths you’re proudest of, and now, they’ve done the same for LinkedIn recommendations.
Your LinkedIn recommendations management page makes it easy to manage your LinkedIn recommendations and recommendations requests.
You can also now reorder your LinkedIn recommendations.
BONUS TIP: Move your best LinkedIn recommendations to the top of the list for each position.
So what are the real differences between LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements?
A LinkedIn endorsement is like a vote of confidence – your contacts are confirming your talents when it comes to a specific skill or trait. These votes of confidence add up and send a strong signal about your abilities.
You can vouch for a skill listed on a connection’s profile with a simple click of a button, or, if you feel they are missing a skill, suggest they add a new one (rest assured, you have a choice of whether or not to add that new skill to your profile if someone suggests one).
The right endorsements can go a long way in helping you establish your professional brand — and not all endorsements are created equal.
For example, a coaching endorsement from a client is more valuable than a similar endorsement from a high-school friend might be.
It is therefore in your best interest to add the most appropriate skills to your profile and select the most relevant and credible endorsements to show. It is also advisable to keep this in mind when endorsing your connections. Ask yourself, what will really help them the most?
BONUS TIP: As you get more endorsements for a skill, not all the pictures of your connections will show. Also, as you have over 99 endorsements per skill, the number will show as 99+. When you get to this point, you’ll want to be sure to evaluate your time investment in managing endorsements versus other revenue-generating activities.
Writing a LinkedIn recommendation lets you drill down into the how and why of your experience working with someone. The golden rule of powerful Linkedin recommendations is “Show, don’t tell.”
Wouldn’t it be more telling for an Ideal Client to read how you helped an existing client get the results they wanted instead of “Allison is a great coach”? Always remember that the most compelling recommendations tell a story rather than provide empty statements.
A well-done recommendation should describe and give specific examples, whether they reflect your contacts’s ability to excel under pressure, act as a compassionate leader or succeed as a collaborative business partner.
For potential business partners, such a recommendation provides an important sign that this connection could be the person they are looking for.
If you’re the one looking to receive LinkedIn recommendations, always begin by identifying the people who know you well and who can best speak to your aptitude for excelling in a particular professional domain, attest to your speaking, coaching, training or other skills or otherwise shed light on some of your best accomplishments.
BONUS TIP: When you get positive feedback about the results someone’s experienced from working with you, ask if you can send them a LinkedIn recommendation request.
If you’d like a copy of the template I send when I ask for a LinkedIn recommendation, click here.
The bottom line
Together, LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements give a better idea of what you’re like to work with, what results your clients can expect, where your true skills and passions are and what some of your strongest soft skills just might be.
They also make it easier for opportunities to find you.
When all else is equal, they could be the difference between a potential partner or media person looking for an expert opinion reaching out to you or not, and on and on.
If you want more details on how to quickly and easily get better results from LinkedIn, click here to qualify for your complimentary LinkedIn Results strategy session with me to explore that…and to find out what you can do to have a results breakthrough. I have a limited number of appointments available and request that only people who are serious about dramatically increasing their results on LinkedIn apply for a time to talk.
Question: How do you use LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements? What else would you like me to write about for you? Please let me know in the comments below.
© 2014 ChristineHueber.com
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Adapted from the LinkedIn Blog.