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LinkedIn – Recommendations vs. Endorsements

LinkedIn Recommendations vs. EndorsementsIf you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve probably been baffled by receiving endorsements from people who don’t know anything about you.

You may also be aware that you can give and receive recommendations.

Why are there two similar features, and what’s the difference?

(If you’re not on LinkedIn, by the way, you may want to read my post LinkedIn, Who Needs It?)

Here’s how LinkedIn explains these features:

“An endorsement is a one-click way for your connections to endorse the Skills & Expertise listed on your profile. There is not an automatic way to request an endorsement. A written recommendation is not included with this feature. Learn more about Skill Endorsements.

“A recommendation is a written statement of recommendation from a connection. You may request recommendations from your connections, as well as proactively recommend your connections. Learn more about recommendations.”

Do you see the difference in the level of effort involved?

Endorsements are often given so casually that they may not carry much weight in the mind of someone – perhaps a recruiter or potential employer – who is reading your profile.

However, they do affect your profile’s ranking in search results for specific skills!

A recommendation, on the other hand, requires some time and thought. The person recommending you actually has to write something (or you can draft it for them!). As with an endorsement, the person is putting their name on the line to support you, but it’s much more complete and conspicuous.

A word about recommendations and references.

It surprises me when I hear statements like this: “I don’t need LinkedIn recommendations; I already have good references.”

When does a prospective employer check your references? Usually it’s after an interview, when they are already close to a decision. Or maybe never.

In contrast,  LinkedIn recommendations are right up there on the Web to be seen, before the decision is ever made to bring you in for an interview. They can become a significant factor in that decision.

Underutilizing the power of recommendations is one of the top mistakes most people make in their LinkedIn profiles.

Watch for my next post, which will offer tips on obtaining and using recommendations. Subscribe to this blog to make sure you don’t miss it.

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