If you’re like me, you are probably wondering how LinkedIn Endorsements and Recommendations differ and if they even really matter? Well, they do. Not only are they really helpful to your job search but also your career!
Because LinkedIn is the place to go for professional networking, it’s important that you are easily found by recruiters and hiring managers. Endorsements act as a “review” system or your own personal SEO. The idea here is that the more often you are endorsed for a skill, the higher you will rank and the more often you get found.
Endorsements are also a way for you to stay in touch with your network. Every time you endorse someone for a skill, you’re name pops up for them. This keeps you “top of mind.” Not only that, but you can look at it like a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality. If you endorse them, they will be more likely to endorse you and offer help when you need it.
So where do recommendations come in?
Recommendations are more than just a number on the scale. They are a “written reference” for you as a professional overall. So rather than focus on just one skill as endorsements do, it allows a previous supervisor, customer or peer to write a more in-depth recommendation for you as a professional.
Do you need both? Yes!
LinkedIn’s “endorsement feature” gives you an edge. Think about it. If two people are competing for a job, the one with more endorsements for the required skill sets may win the race. In order to make the most of this feature, you will need to:
- Allow endorsements to be visible on your profile
- Put them in order of importance
- Hide ones that don’t matter
And those “written recommendations” give the recruiter and/or hiring manager an insider’s perspective that the application or interview can’t provide.
So how do you manage these features?
Pick one day to endorse others. Monday morning, for example, is a great time to spend 30 minutes tending to your network. Endorse peers, colleagues, mentors and vendors.
Use a script! Donna Svei from Avid Careerist suggests the following when asking for recommendations. Use it as a guideline for creating your own:
“I’m buffing up my LinkedIn profile. Would you be kind enough to write a recommendation for me? You know me, and my work, so well that I would really appreciate your help…If you’re too busy, no worries, but I would really value your recommendation.”
Think of LinkedIn as your “agent, recruiter, mentor, reference check, teacher and publicist.” Or as William Aruda puts it,” LinkedIn is a one-stop shop that fulfills many roles.”
How are you using these two features?