LinkedIn SkillsHave you been endorsed for things you don’t do by people you don’t remember? If you are like most of us, this hits home!

Skills and Endorsements might be one of the most controversial topics when it comes to the LinkedIn profile. Some people love it while others just don’t get the point!

So I thought I would offer up Social Sales Link’s view on Skills and Endorsements. We believe that Skills & Endorsements has value in 4 different areas:

1. Perception – even though we know that most of the endorsements are not by people who truly know the quality of the work of whom they have endorsed, it still looks pretty impressive when there is 99+. Perception goes a long way when your prospective clients and alliances are checking you out.

2. Keyword Optimization – We all want to be found when people are actually looking for us, so including keywords used by your prospects when searching for your products and services in LinkedIn’s Skills & Endorsements impacts how your profile shows up.

3. Show Appreciation – Endorsements is a great way to show appreciation to your vendors and networking partners. Just be sure to authentically offer them. Only endorse for skills you have witnessed and know are a strength of your connection are worthy of your endorsement. You are spending your political capital, by backing a connection’s skills you’re putting your name behind it, so be sure you believe in them.

4. Engage & Be Thankful – This is a great opportunity to engage with connections that are endorsing you. Best practices is to not just arbitrarily endorse back unless you know they are good at these skills, but to simply send a message and thank them. Hover over their photo and a box will appear, click on send a message and say:

“Thank you very much for the endorsement, it means a lot to me. I would enjoy getting to know more about you and business so I can endorse you as well. Please let me know if you think it makes sense for us to set up a time to talk.”

It is important to edit your skills so that they represent you well. LinkedIn still my suggest other skills to your connections, but you can simply ignore those endorsements, and accept the ones that you choose to display.

Cleaning up this section is easy and worth the 10 minute investment.

  1. Hover Over the Profile Tab and Click Edit Profile.
  2. Scroll down to the Skills & Endorsements section and click the Edit icon in the top right.
  3. Type the name of a skill and then choose it from the dropdown or if your skill doesn’t appear, you can type in your own.
  4. Click Add andSave.

You can add up to 50 skills to your profile. By default skills with the most endorsements will be listed first. When you are in the Edit mode, you can rearrange your Skills by dragging and dropping them in an order that you prefer they be displayed.

To remove skills in your Skills & Endorsements section:

  1. Hover Over the Profile Tab and Click Edit Profile.
  2. Scroll down to the Skills & Endorsements section and click the Edit icon in the top right.
  3. Click the X next to any skill and save.

TIP: If you delete a skill that has endorsements and change your mind later, the endorsements will show up when you add that skill back to your profile.

BONUS: Oh no, not him…HE endorsed you, really?

There are those people that you may not want showing up on your profile, so now what? No worries, you can hide them!

  1. When in the edit mode in Skills & Endorsements, Click the Manage Endorsements link next to Add & Remove.
  2. Click a skill in the left column to reveal the connections who endorsed you for that skill. You may need to use the scroll bar on the right side of the box to view skills further down in the list.
  3. Uncheck the box next to any you want to unhide and save – boom they are hidden. And if you make-up you can always add them back again.

TIP: If you want to keep specific people up front and visible, you can uncheck and then check again and they will show up front and center!