Ask LH: Should I Be Endorsing Other People On LinkedIn?

Ask LH: Should I Be Endorsing Other People On LinkedIn?

Dear Lifehacker. People keep endorsing me for skills on LinkedIn, but I never endorse anyone back. Am I a bad person? Thanks, Linked Out

Dear LO,

I just checked my own LinkedIn profile, and I have been endorsed for skills which I manifestly don’t have (public relations) and by people who could not possibly know if I possess the relevant talent or not. LinkedIn’s endorsement system isn’t exactly robust, and far too many people randomly assign endorsements to people they know only fleetingly or don’t know at all.

So no: you’re not a bad person for not endorsing others when they endorse you. Far better to stay out of the system altogether than to approach it out of a sense of obligation. Ignore the pop-up requests and get on with your career.

While it can be nice for your ego to be told “you’re good at X”, when it comes to actually scoring a job, that’s not likely to get you over the line. In a job interview, you don’t want to say “20 people have endorsed me on LinkedIn for my crisis management skills”; you want to give specific, measured examples of how you dealt with a crisis. LinkedIn is a very useful tool, but that doesn’t mean every aspect is equally well thought-out, or that you have to buy into every detail.


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  • Concur. I don’t think the endorsements have any credibility whatsoever (e.g. uni classmates endorsing Skill X – how the hell would they know?) so I’ve never returned one.

    • Exactly my experience. I get an endorsement from someone I haven’t seen for years for a job I didn’t start until after I last spoke to them. Odd.

  • I would only endorse someone if i was more senior to them in my company. How weird would it look if the lowly janitor (not me btw) was to endorse the CEO for something? Plus looking at mine i am unsure as to whether i should be endorsed for them sure i use them but i don’t think i am at a level that should get an endorsement.

  • I endorse people when I know they have a skill and are quite good at it. Otherwise no way, it would reflect badly on me I think to endorse someone and they turn out to be bad at it.
    However I think that being endorsed helps people find you linked in profile in the relevant topic.

  • “I’ve been endorsed by 20 people in Synergizing, 15 in Paradigm Shifting, 23 in Touching Base, and 3 in retail management. Believe me, I’ve got the skills!”

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