In the past week or so, anyone familiar with LinkedIn.com has noticed the flurry of activity surrounding the networking website’s rollout of “endorsements.” And I have to say, the excitement around this new feature has certainly gotten the interwebs hopping!
So, how do we use these endorsements in a way that truly maximizes their potential value without quickly transforming them into yet another gimmicky “flash in the pan” that will become annoying, pointless, and overused within a week’s time? Here are a few suggestions that I’ll be using……
DO use the endorsement feature!
As with most features on LinkedIn.com, the endorsements could and should be a valuable tool for spreading one’s influence and professional footprint. But if you don’t use the feature, you will miss out on the value it could provide.
Limit your use of endorsements.
Be judicious with your use of endorsements. One of the quickest ways to diminish the value of a tool like this is to overuse it. Start endorsing everyone, and you’re reputation for discerning between high quality and mediocre talent will suffer. Cautiously and deliberately employ these endorsements, however, and you’re perception as a gauger of true talent can soar.
Tie your own credibility to your willingness to endorse someone else.
Similar to the last point, understand that when you endorse someone, you are staking your own professional reputation to the endorsee. Don’t take this lightly. You build or tear down your credibility with the flick of your finger.
As you see the four-square evaluation area appear on your LinkedIn homepage, pause momentarily before you begin your wild clicking. Make sure you think through whom you endorse, selecting those 10-15% of your contacts who are actual “experts” in a particular skill. In doing so, you will strengthen the endorsement tool AND boost your own credibility. Because, after all, that’s what it’s all about, right?