Have you noticed the ‘endorsements’ coming into your inbox during the last week? LinkedIn has developed endorsements as an opportunity for people to recommend or ‘endorse’ somebody’s skills or experience.

Over the last six months, there has been a move away from a list of specialities (new profiles don’t even get this option) and a towards listing a number of skills or expertise.  You can choose from a predefined list of skills or add your own.LinkedIn Skills

Now when you look at somebody’s profile, you are asked to endorse their skills.  If you endorse a skill for Joe (say), your profile picture will appear next to the skill on Joe’s profile.

In the last couple of days, I have been lucky enough to have been endorsed by a number of people for a variety of skills. During the last 24 hours, I have contacted everybody who has endorsed me to say “thank you”.  I just sent a message through LinkedIn, making the message personal if possible.  I know that endorsing is an easy process, but I still think if one of my contacts has taken the time to do it, I would like to thank them.  It has also been a good excuse to recontact people who I haven’t seen or spoken to for a while!

Well – I’ve had a great result so far.  Nearly everybody has replied with some news of their own, I have had one request to quote for some training and one request to meet up face to face!

During the process of replying to those who have endorsed me, I have also been spending time endorsing others.  This has brought home to me how important it is to have relevant and current skills listed on your profile  – the number of people who have ‘small business’ listed is extraordinary – there can’t be that many experts in ‘small business’ – and what does an expert in ‘small business’ do?

LinkedIn will suggest that you give endorsements to people for certain skills.  You can click the cross at the top right of the box if you don’t want to endorse for that skill – but unfortunately LinkedIn doesn’t remember which ones you’ve closed – but this is an annoying but minor glitch.

All in all, a good addition I think – but make the most of it.  Get your skills correct, endorse others and thank those who endorse you.