What are LinkedIn endorsements and what they mean to you

LinkedIn introduced endorsements on their website back in September 2012. David Breger, LinkedIn’s product manager at the time, explained endorsements in his blog post, this way:

“On LinkedIn, you have many smart, talented, and skilled professional connections. Starting today, we are introducing Endorsements, a new feature that makes it easier to recognize them for their skills and expertise. With just one click, you can now endorse your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile or recommend one they haven’t added yet. Think your connection is great at programming AND project management? Let them know!”

Since then, LinkedIn made a couple of changes on how the endorsements are displayed:

The original design from 2012 displayed the profile pictures of the latest 12 people who endorsed the top 10 skills of the profile. The rest of the skills had only numbers displayed.

LinkedIn Endorsements old design
Old design of LinkedIn endorsements from 2012

New design since 2016 displays only the top 3 skills instead of top 10 skills with profile pictures, also there is only one endorser’s profile picture displayed per skill. The rest of the skills has only numbers displayed.

LinkedIn endorsements new design
New design of LinkedIn endorsements after 2016

“Having a range of people in your network specify certain skills that they feel you do best provides an interesting data point for recruiters looking at your profile,” said Tony Deblauwe, senior HR manager/business partner at Citrix.

LinkedIn Endorsements may also reduce some of the risk associated with bringing a new employee into the company.

“LinkedIn Endorsements might be a useful business tool for customers to review people. For example, I have a search for a VP and I see two potential candidates rated highly in a skill. But one candidate is rated highly by someone I respect. I will contact that individual for a detailed reference without the candidate’s knowledge. In other words, this may be a tool that can reduce risk to ‘buyers.'” said Larry Stybel, president and CEO of career management and leadership development firm Stybel Peabody Lincolnshire.

Frequently asked questions about LinkedIn Endorsements

What are the benefits of skills and endorsements?

  • They’re a simple and effective way of building your professional brand and engaging your network. Including specific skills on your LinkedIn profile is a great way to showcase your abilities to other members, such as your peers, colleagues, managers, and even recruiters. LinkedIn claims that people with at least five skills listed on their LinkedIn profile receive up to 17x more profile views. When a connection endorses your skills, it contributes to the strength of your profile, and increases the likelihood that you’ll be discovered for opportunities related to the skills you possess.

Who can endorse each other on LinkedIn?

  • Only 1st-degree, direct connections can endorse each other. If you exchanged endorsements with another LinkedIn member and you disconnect from each other, or one of you deletes their LinkedIn profile, the given and the received endorsements from that person will disappear.

How many skills can I have?

  • You can add a maximum of 50 skills to your profile. You can highlight 3 skills in the top of the Skills & endorsements section and the rest of your skills will be sorted in different categories, such as: Industry Knowledge, Tools & Technologies, Interpersonal Skills, Languages and Other Skills

How many endorsements can I receive?

  • On your profile in the Skills & endorsements section LinkedIn displays maximum 100 endorsements/skill, as “99+” but when someone clicks on number of endorsers next to the skill, then the whole list is displayed, which is unlimited. Some people have hundreds of endorsements on their skills.

Can I remove or hide endorsements?

  • You can reorganize your skill list, add or remove skills and also hide endorsements any time. If someone endorsed you for a skill that you don’t want to display on your profile or you don’t want to display the endorsement that you’ve received from that connection, then you can easily remove/hide them from your profile in the Skills & endorsements section.

How to accept a LinkedIn endorsements?

  • LinkedIn endorsements do not automatically appear on your profile after someone makes the endorsement; you have to accept them yourself. You will receive a notification (on your LinkedIn account and, if you have so opted, via email) when you get an endorsement. Click on the notification and then accept the endorsement.

How to turn off endorsements on your LinkedIn profile page?

  • If you ever find yourself getting too many endorsements from people you would rather not have recommending you, or if people are endorsing you for skills you feel misrepresent you, you can turn off endorsements for as long as you would like. First, go to your profile page and scroll down to the “Skills & Endorsements” section, then click the pencil icon on the section. Then, on the bottom of the popup window, click “Adjust endorsement settings,” then toggle “I want to be endorsed” to “No.”

How to endorse someone else on LinkedIn?

  • Visit the profile of your LinkedIn connection who you would like to endorse. Scroll down to the “Skills & Endorsements” section of the page and view the skills they have listed, then choose which to endorse. Click on the blue plus (+) symbol beside the skill, then select the level of endorsement you wish to provide (“Good,” “Very good,” or “Highly skilled”). If you wish, click the “Select a relationship” dropdown menu and specify how you know the individual, then click “Submit” to make the endorsement. A check mark will now appear beside the skill, indicating that you have endorsed the skill.

If you have further questions about endorsements or something has changed on LinkedIn since our latest update of this article, please don’t hesitate and reach out to us! Until then, we wish you a lot of endorsements!