LinkedIn wants to make it easier for you to get discovered (and, ideally hired) by potential clients and customers.
Its latest attempt to improve that outcome comes with the announcement that LinkedIn has overhauled and improved its oft-maligned "Endorsements" feature.
"Since we first launched endorsements in 2012, more than 10 billion endorsements have been shared by connections for skills ranging from leadership to machine learning," LinkedIn noted in a recent announcement. "The goal of endorsements is to provide a way for your connections to recognize you for your skills and expertise. The skills and endorsements on your profile help people viewing your profile understand your strengths and help you get discovered through search.
"This is important, because people with at least five skills listed on their LinkedIn profile receive up to 17x more profile views."
LinkedIn = Google Search for Professionals
As I've mentioned before, LinkedIn wants to essentially serve as Google Search for Professionals.
The idea being, you use LinkedIn's powerful internal search engine to find whatever it is that you need - be it a business vendor, a news story, an online training course or whatever else.
With 450 million members in 200 countries, and with millions of status updates, blogs posts and other content being created, shared and indexed on the site, LinkedIn has become one of the most powerful online search engines in the professional marketplace.
How Endorsements Work on LinkedIn
That's the idea behind the revamped Endorsements feature, which promises to use a combination of machine learning and user feedback to ensure that the endorsements you want to be known for are more accurate and useful than they have been in the past.
There's no denying that Endorsements play a key role in getting "found" on LinkedIn, so you can't afford to ignore them.
When adding new Endorsements to your profile, LinkedIn will actually give you suggested keywords or terms to use, similar to how Google will suggest popular search terms once you start typing a word or phrase.
What Endorsements to List on Your Profile
The key is to think of endorsements like keywords - what would your ideal client or customer type into LinkedIn or Google Search if he or she were looking for someone who offers your type of products or services?
You can list up to 50 different "skills" to be endorsed for, and I suggest you use them all. Again, think of it like adding keywords to your website or blog - the more keywords you have, and the more times people in your LinkedIn network endorse you for those skills/keywords, the more LinkedIn realizes you are somebody to showcase when someone searches the network for that skill set.
As LinkedIn notes, "we've made endorsements smarter by highlighting endorsements that matter most to the viewer so you always look your best. For example, viewers will see endorsements made by mutual connections, colleagues, and people who are knowledgeable about the skill, which could give you the edge you need for your next job opportunity!"
Order is Important
It's also critically important to that you order that list of 50 skills you want to be endorsed for in order of preference.
"Tip: check that your skills are listed in order of the strengths you want to highlight," LinkedIn notes in its announcement, "And we'll do the rest by targeting suggestions for those top skills."
There's no denying LinkedIn is serious about improving the relevance of search and connecting the right people to the right opportunities, so make sure you take advantage of the Skills & Endorsements on your profile right now.