Thursday, October 04, 2012

LinkedIn Skills Endorsements for Lawyers

If you use LinkedIn, then you are probably familiar with the Recommendation function. It’s the one where you can write up a glowing report about someone with whom you have worked or vice versa. The idea, of course, is that your positive opinion of them enhances their credibility.

Well, LinkedIn has introduced a new feature called Endorsements. With just one click, you can now endorse your connections for a skill they have listed on their profile or recommend one they have not added. The upshot is that now when you look at a connection’s profile, you not only see the skills he or she claims to possess, you see what others agree are the skills that he or she actually has.

Here’s how it works:

On the top of your connections’ profiles, you will now see a box titled recommended endorsements. You just click the ones with which you agree.

Or, if you scroll down to the new Skills and Expertise section, you can see which skills were endorsed and by whom. The skill that has been endorsed by the most people appears at the top of the list with the rest appearing in descending order of popularity.

The great thing about this feature is that it creates an easy way to scan for a specific skill set. It’s also faster to create than writing a recommendation. After all, it can take some time and forethought to write up a good one.

My own experience as a PR person tells me that you’re going to want to keep asking colleagues for written recommendations as well as endorsements. Endorsements focus on skills while recommendations focus on your qualities as a co-worker or strategic partner - they should be complimentary.

Also, you’re going to want to give some thought to the skills that you want endorsed. You need to manage how you are perceived and act accordingly. While you can’t control which skills people choose to endorse, you can let your connections know which ones you want featured. Or, at the very least, check your endorsements periodically to make sure that the picture being painted of you reflects your best talents.

For more on One Click Endorsements, check out Dave Berger’s write-up  on the LinkedIn Blog.

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