LinkedIn Endorsements: Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?


image: LinkedIn logo with endorsements lettering

(actual recent email)

Dear Marketing Consultant,

I have a question: What is the convention these days around “endorsements” on LinkedIn? Certainly every endorsement is an opportunity to re-connect. But, should I say, “thank you?” Am I expected to “endorse them back?” I received an endorsement from the former CEO of a past employer and I don’t think he is expecting me, who was five layers lower, to endorse him. This is a creation of Linked in, but I’m not sure how much I want to “play” a back and forth mutual admiration society game.

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I’d appreciate your feedback.



Dear Baffled,

Good question on the endorsements – here’s how I handle them: I periodically do endorse people for 1-2 things that THEY REALLY DO; I don’t simply check all the boxes as across-the-board back slaps. I don’t automatically check all of the “Skills” LinkedIn suggests, and especially don’t endorse someone just because they endorsed me.

Here are the positive results: one is notified by LinkedIn when he or she gets an endorsement, the endorsements show up in status updates of both endorser and endorsed (valuable exposure), they are indicators of who’s active on LinkedIn and, of course, it is nice to be recognized.

When someone endorses me, I do thank them with a short email – another good way to keep in touch. Endorsements are factored into LinkedIn searches, which is also a plus.

More impressive are recommendations (I’ve heard some people say they’ve been expected to reciprocate here but I don’t agree).  You may need to request a recommendation…it’s just not something people think of doing. And you may want to make subtle suggestions of content the recommendation could include (highlighting a particular skill or talent that was a valuable contribution; an outcome in which you were integral).

Always be marketing,

Martha Spelman

Discuss This Article

Comments: 3

  • Sharon Hill says:

    I have made it clear in at least a couple of posts on LinkedIn that I do not value endorsements and think it’s a lousy product that breeds misuse. I don’t endorse people and I don’t make public the endorsements I receive from others. I think the “I’ll endorse you, now you endorse me” concept it’s likely to foster is what makes it valueless, unlike it’s long-time recommendation feature. LinkedIn endorsements put me in mind of the “buy 1000 Twitter followers today” concept. Not quite the same, for sure, but both smack of “I don’t care who you are or how well I know you and I don’t care to get to know you. Just be another statistic for me, please.”

    • Sharon – thanks for your feedback – it’s interesting to hear what people have to say about this. On one hand, the endorsements popping up keep your name “top of mind.” On the other hand, it may seem a bit insincere and “gimmicky.” Stay tuned for “Mentions.”

  • I agree with Sharon. In fact, I have written a couple of posts on my blog about my feelings regarding endorsements. One hundred and sixty six people have endorsed me on Linkedin. Of these, one hundred and sixty five are strangers – we have ‘met’ only on Linkedin. They have no idea whether what I have said about myself in my profile is true or not. Yet not only have they endorsed me for the skills I listed on my profile but they have also endorsed me for skills that I don’t have and have never claimed. As I said (tongue in cheek) on my blog “I’m tempted to try a little experiment . . . to list one of my skills as ballet dancing (something I’ve never done in my life), and to see how many people I can get to endorse me!”

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