LinkedIn skills endorsements

LinkedIn’s New Strategy to Make Skills Endorsements Meaningful

LinkedIn loves its Skills & Endorsements feature. Its strategy is to use members’ input to build a global economic graph — an increasingly accurate, proprietary database of the global labor supply chain. 

Jeff Weiner wants to know what we all do (see p.16) — and if we’re any good at it.

So far, that hasn’t gone well for Jeff. People don’t take LinkedIn skills endorsements seriously because they’re so easy to give.

The New LinkedIn Skills Endorsement

However, endorsements might be getting more meaningful.

Last week, I was on my LinkedIn mobile app endorsing one of my friends when this screen popped up — like the love child of Yelp and Lake Wobegon:

LinkedIn Mobile Skills Endorsements

Being a fangirl, I gave my friend three stars.

It didn’t occur to me at the time to ignore LinkedIn’s request or lie in my responses, but I could have used either of those options instead of giving serious answers. (Note: As of May 2019, you can’t ignore the request. No stars, no endorsement.)

LinkedIn told me my friend would never know I’d given her skill a star rating (but if she’s reading this, she probably does now).

There’s More

After I clicked “Next,” this screen popped up:

LinkedIn Skills Endorsements Star Ratings

LinkedIn wanted to know how well I know my friend. Again, it assured me they would never display my response on LinkedIn or share it with her.

How Will LinkedIn Use This Information?

Which made me ask myself, “How will LinkedIn use this information?”

Does it go to:

  1. LinkedIn data scientists?
  2. SEO algorithms (I think, “Yes.”)?
  3. LinkedIn Recruiter subscribers?
  4. Policy and academic researchers?

They didn’t say.

Will they aggregate responses and display average/median scores for individual members’ top three skills, or all their skills?

They didn’t say.

The LinkedIn Star Ratings Are Here to Stay

As of May 2019, LinkedIn appears to have institutionalized this system. I see it, pretty much as described above, every time I endorse someone.

How Can LinkedIn Star Ratings Help/Hurt You?

Given that the star system is now a fixture, it’s good to be a bit strategic about how it affects you:

  1. If any new endorsements concern you, learn about your options.
  2. If someone loves you, definitely ask them to endorse you!
  3. Decide if you want to allow/prohibit endorsements on your profile.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here: Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

Updated September 2020

© 2018 – 2020, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 6

  1. I see it on my droid LinkedIn app. It seemed that I could only endorse with endorsements we had in common, so I would be qualified to give the endorsement? Because some I couldn’t click on…

  2. Hi Donna,

    Yes, my experience is the same, when I give an Endorsement on my IPhone LinkedIn gives me the Rating System. When I give an Endorsement on my PC, I don’t get the Rating System.

    This is a very clever way that LinkedIn is collecting more data. Thanks for illuminating this new process for us!

  3. Ellie,

    People have told me they:

    1. Get the star rating on their mobile.
    2. Don’t get the star rating on their mobile.
    3. Get it sometimes.

    We’ll see where it goes!

    Thank you,


  4. Donna,

    Yes, it’s all about data now.

    Think of the value of a global economic graph for so many applications!


  5. Hi,

    Ok, now it happened to me while I was endorsing a friend. And, I noticed that when I was in closer relation to them on a skill (worked with them) the skill moved up above other skills in the list when I finished the endorsement. I don’t know if they stayed in the new order or not. But, that movement means something!

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