A few weeks ago, I shared an infographic from LinkedIn which basically said, “Everyone is looking for a new opportunity.” If that’s true, and I have no reason to believe it’s not, then keeping your brand relevant is important. For example, your LinkedIn profile should always be current. That’s one of the ways recruiters and hiring managers can find you.
In case you missed it, LinkedIn announced some changes to their endorsements feature. We did a post here on HR Bartender a couple of years ago about endorsements – why they’re important and how to use them. It’s possible that endorsements might have fallen off your radar, so I asked Yolanda Yeh, product manager at LinkedIn, to give us an update on what’s happening with endorsements.
Yolanda, let’s start with a brief overview of endorsements – what are they, how many people use them, etc.?
[Yeh] The goal of endorsements is to provide a way for your LinkedIn connections to recognize you for your skills and expertise. Since 2012, more than 10 billion endorsements have been shared by LinkedIn members’ connections for skills that range from leadership to machine learning.
The skills and endorsements on your profile help others understand your strengths, and help you get discovered through search. People with at least five skills listed on their LinkedIn profile receive up to 17 times more profile views. When viewers (like hiring managers or recruiters) see that you’ve been endorsed for those skills, it helps you put your best foot forward.
Now that we’ve been using endorsements for a while, what has LinkedIn discovered? Are endorsements being used exactly the way LinkedIn anticipated? Any nice surprises that you didn’t think of?
[Yeh] The goal of endorsements has always been to help members validate their strengths and expertise, and we’ve seen strong traction on this front.
While many people on LinkedIn use endorsements, we realized that there was still more to do so we began to rethink the endorsements feature. Delivering endorsements that provide even more value required a blend of research, new machine learning models and re-architecting the backend infrastructure that both serves and recommends new endorsements. These changes to the “Skills & Endorsements” section means we can better surface the most relevant endorsements that help to validate your skills via “Featured Highlights,” and prompt endorsements based on how well a connection knows you and how well they know a skill.
We’ll continue to work on the endorsements feature to make it even more useful to our members in the future.
LinkedIn recently announced that, when recruiters view a candidate profile, they can view the endorsements of mutual connections. Two-part question here: First, if I’m a candidate, why is this new change important? And second, is there anything I should consider doing to my profile to take advantage of this change?
[Yeh] Being able to view the endorsements of mutual connections creates an immediate connection that helps you stand out: recruiters can see right away that people they know and trust have endorsed you for your work.
Which is why you should make sure your skills are up-to-date so that your connections can help you connect to opportunity. Also, check that your skills are listed in order of the strengths you want to highlight, so LinkedIn can help by targeting suggestions for those top skills.
The other new endorsement feature that LinkedIn rolled out is suggested endorsements. Tell us a little about it and how should I (as a LinkedIn user) look at these suggestions and use them appropriately?
[Yeh] We’ve improved targeting of suggestions to the people that best know the skill and person, so that the most relevant connections are giving endorsements. To best take advantage of this feature, members should list their skills in order of what they want to highlight, and continually refresh and update their skills as their role changes. We do the work of targeting endorsement suggestions for those skills.
My thanks to Yolanda for giving us the latest on LinkedIn endorsements. If you haven’t updated your profile lately, it might be time to make sure it reads the way you want it to. And if you want to stay up to date on using LinkedIn, be sure to read the LinkedIn blog.3