The Social Media Examiner published a great article today about the use of endorsements as a metric for valuing your individual Linkedin account. What are endorsements you ask? They are a way for you to both advertise your skills and areas of expertise as well as recognize the skills and expertise of others.
I utilized this feature for the first time about a month ago, soliciting an endorsement from a buddy of mine for a project that we were working on together. One of the reasons these are so important, at least from my perspective (as an SEO guy), is that Linkedin, moreso than all the other social networks, retains the greatest social link value. So, while a “like” on facebook, or a “+1” on Google+ might give you a slight boost followed by a fairly quick return to the status quo, a shared Linkedin link has shown over time to provide a more permanent lift.
This of course, must be taken with a grain of salt. Simply placing an outbound link in your Linkedin profile won’t guarantee you spontaneous improvement. It is very important to make sure to completely fill out your profile (including adding any affiliated websites, relevant social networks, interest, and associations.) Once that’s done, don’t be ashamed to add all of your talents, both personally and professionally into the “skills & expertise” section of your profile. Then, whenever a connection visits your profile page, they will have the option at the top to validate those previously identified skills.
This is just a very brief intro to Linkedin and the endorsement feature. Like all social networks, you really only get as much value out of it as you’re willing to put in.