The power of third-party credibility is undeniable and social media is it’s biggest champion. LinkedIn provides two basic ways for people to showcase the third-party credibility others have given them on the network:
LinkedIn endorsements are similar to Facebook’s “Like” system, where a single click shows a form of approval. LinkedIn recommendations have a bit more substance to them but tend to be less common. So what is the difference between a LinkedIn endorsement and a LinkedIn recommendation?
LinkedIn Endorsements: Is One Click Enough?
LinkedIn endorsements are a one-click process that allows a user to publicly endorse specific skills or expertise right on a profile. In general, the process functions very much like Facebook’s “Like” function or Google Plus’s “+1” option. You simply navigate to the area that you want to endorse and click on the appropriate button to complete the process.
Because endorsements are a one-click process, people tend to hand them out like candy compared to recommendations. However, you should keep in mind that the less effort something takes, the less likely people are to put stock in it. An endorsement might be a great way to get new users to view your profile, but it only becomes a big benefit if you get a lot of them.
LinkedIn Recommendations: A True Measure of Credibility
Recommendations on LinkedIn are closer to what you would expect to find in the traditional business world. They are customized to the individual’s business or professional credentials and they have much more impact on your credibility than LinkedIn endorsements. Anything that takes more time, thought and effort will be taken more seriously than a passive click-based system.
Recommendations are best obtained through personalized requests to other individuals on LinkedIn. Avoid form letters and always offer to recommend the person who would be writing you the recommendation. If there are specific points about yourself that you want to get across, you should consider providing a sample recommendation when you send a request.
Which is Better?
I think my opinion is obvious but both LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations have their pros and cons. The former are easy to obtain, but do not mean much unless you get a lot of them. To maximize your benefits from endorsements, you should encourage others to give your material endorsements and also return the favor.
When someone has a lot of endorsements, it may draw users’ eyes but it’s safe to say that they are not as effective as great recommendations, at least in small numbers. Recommendations are more personal and show more effort put in on behalf of the person recommending you – how is that not more valuable, right?
Like any social media network, the key to LinkedIn is not only knowledge about what each feature does but also a strategy to most effectively use it. In the matter of LinkedIn endorsements versus recommendations, you should utilize both to maximize your reach while realizing the benefits of each. There is no question that recommendations are more useful in the long-term but you should always make sure that you request them from people you know and don’t skimp on giving credit where credit is due!
Do you prefer getting endorsements or recommendations? Do you see one as being worth more than the other? Let us know in the comments below!