LinkedIn Skills and Endorsements: Why They Matter Career Rx Podcast Marjorie Stiegler

What are LinkedIn endorsements and why do they matter? Is your LinkedIn profile doing you any favors, or getting you any opportunities? Would anyone recognize you professionally based on your profile?

In this episode, I talk about the importance of LinkedIn as a professional platform (especially if you’ve got some career ambitions) and specifically about endorsements on LinkedIn – what they are, why you need them, and how to do them the right way. I explain how to deliberately showcase your skill sets to enhance your profile and attract that next leadership opportunity or career pivot. If you’re ready to let LinkedIn do some of the hard work for you, join me on this episode!

In this episode of The Career Rx we’ll discuss:

  • How to highlight your best transferable skills on your profile
  • Why it matters who you are endorsing for what, and who endorses you [hint: mutual connections boost your social proof]
  • How endorsements may be one of the easiest ways to keep your network powerful, fresh, and connected

By the end of this episode, you’ll have a different way of thinking about your LinkedIn profile, how you showcase your skills and deepen the social proof around your top skills. I cover four reasons why you should be concerned about and cultivating endorsements.

“I’m just really excited to be doing this together with other physicians looking for non clinical careers with a focus on their LinkedIn profile.” – Marjorie Stiegler

In this Episode:

[2:00] Not already using LinkedIn? Why it is one of the most powerful professional sites
[3:30] What I was doing wrong on my profile (as so many doctors do!) [Episode 26 for more]
[5:15] Job searching on LinkedIn
[6:40] How recruiters use LinkedIn, and how to make that work for you [Episode 29 for more]
[8:30] Showcasing your transferable skills (for the job you want!)
[10:00] People are searching you by name, AND they’re searching for experts by SKILL
[11:40] Don’t be shady – legitimate endorsements are the only way to go
[12:50] The right endorsements skyrocket social proof and trust – here’s how
[13:55] This micro-act helps keep your network fresh and powerfully connected (and it’s so EASY)
[15:00] Facebook group about LinkedIn for physicians – if you can get in, better join now!

Links and Resources:

The Branding Rx 18 hours of CME, mastering digital strategies for advancing your career, building your business, and growing your professional brand
Physicians LinkedIn Popup Jan 2021 Facebook Group
Episode 26: How To Use LinkedIn for Doctors: 5 Profile Tips
Episode 29: Why Use a Physician Recruiter? 5 Things You Need to Know



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The Branding Rx 18 hours of CME, mastering digital strategies for advancing your career, building your business, and growing your professional brand

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Industry Insider – what to know about landing a nonclinical career without a new degree, a foot in the door, prior experience, or a pay cut

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TRANSCRIPT: Episode 49 – Why LinkedIn Endorsements Matter

Hey there, welcome to The Career Rx. I’m your host, Marjorie Stiegler. This podcast is all about the important stuff. They don’t teach you in medical school, about how to treat your career, like the business it really is, and how to be strategic about your success. I’ll show you how to use modern strategies to get ahead, create your own path, and do more of what you love. Every episode is inspired by questions from listeners just like you. So be sure to subscribe and of course, send me those questions, so I can use them on a future episode. So you don’t miss anything, be sure to always check the show notes on my website. Are you ready? Let’s get into it.

Okay, fun.

So today I’m doing a few things at one time, we’ll see if I can pull it off. I am on the new social media app Clubhouse. Talking to the Clubhouse audience. I’m also live broadcasting into my Facebook pop up for physicians about LinkedIn. It’s all about endorsements and transferable skills. Now, don’t worry, nobody can see or hear the other. So there’s no privacy concerns. I just have multiple microphones, and cameras going on. And also, I had planned to record a podcast episode on this very topic. So here I am doing all three of these things at once.

So today’s topic is all about LinkedIn, specifically LinkedIn for physicians, although I think probably any professional could apply this to their, to their professional work, and specifically talking about the importance of endorsements and a little bit about how to do them the right way. So as with anything on social media, and social platforms, whether that may be your website, or anything else, anything digital public facing, I do think there are probably many right ways, but there’s certainly some wrong ways. So there’s some right ways I’ll talk about today.

This is to really answer the question about why we should be doing endorsements, why should you care about that? Why should you have it set up? So first, I want to acknowledge that, generally speaking, most doctors either don’t use LinkedIn at all, or they really under utilize it. Many people have a profile setup, but they haven’t really, you know, haven’t buffed it up in years, or it really just consists only of you know, a face and and their current title or things like that.

Certainly, I had had a LinkedIn profile for a long time, because as part of my social media work, and as I’m always telling you guys, it’s really important to sort of curate your professional image online. And LinkedIn is one of those very, very important places to do so for everybody really, regardless of your career because it’s public, and it’s searchable, and it has a high digital reputation, right, Google finds it to be a trustworthy source, which it does. LinkedIn is important in that way, then you want to be well represented there, because it’s going to come up relatively high up in search results about you. So if someone is looking up, you know, you and they will likely check LinkedIn directly, but they will almost certainly Google you. And LinkedIn will show up nice and high on the search results there. So it’s important to be on and I had, so I had been on it for a long time. But I hadn’t really been using it, so to speak, you know, I had put it I’d put some stuff on there. But I hadn’t really looked into you know how to connect with other people, what people really did on LinkedIn, like, what was the point? I’m not sure I really got that.

But when I left academic and clinical medicine in 2017, then I very quickly realized that my public facing information that was on LinkedIn did not seem to match my new role as a pharmaceutical company, medical director. So you know, I had, I had spent this more than a decade in academic and clinical medicine, and anesthesiologist by training. So I had a lot of stuff about anesthesia. And my academic focus was in patient safety and simulation related work. And I had a whole bunch about that. And then I had other interests like healthcare, social media, and none of that had anything at all to do with what I was doing in my new role. And I became just acutely aware of that, because LinkedIn is so huge in industry.

So once I was in a non clinical role in industry, I really started to, you know, I noticed that all of my colleagues were checking LinkedIn, very regularly, they were post, that’s where they posted the news articles, they thought were of interest. That’s where they heard about each other’s sort of moving and shaking and moving on up. That’s where they kept in touch with a lot of people. And while it’s not somewhere that they posted, you know, what they had for lunch or anything like that. They were very, very active on it. And so as I began to become more active on it, I thought, “Wait a minute, when I reach out to connect with people who currently are my new colleagues, and they look at my bio, or my page, like they aren’t even going to recognize me.” I mean, they’ll recognize my face, but they’re not going to recognize me professionally. I won’t seem like I’m the right person, or I’m the person they know.

Now, in contrast to a lot of people who are listening, I had already gotten that new job, right? So I was already in that new role. But that sort of contrast struck me as being really important. What if I were job searching? If I were job searching, and I were representing myself in that way, then nobody would recognize me as being the person for the job, because it wouldn’t appear that I had any of the skills or any of the aptitudes or the competencies that were needed for the role that I was currently holding. But that in my hypothetical that I would be looking for, right, so that that mismatch was really, really highlighted to me. And then the other so that’s sort of one one reason that this really came to my attention and got me very curious, got me learning.

The other thing is that once I was in that role, perhaps because of just the way the search engines are, I started to get contacted by a lot of recruiters, all kinds of different recruiters, many, many more recruiters than I’ve ever been in contact before, when I was mostly clinical, I would get approached by recruiters who had locums opportunities, or occasionally a leadership opportunity that would have involved you know, taking a high level, Vice Chair or Chair role and moving, you know, institutions are something that wasn’t really of interest to me.

But when I started with industry, I got recruiters calling or calling, reaching out on LinkedIn at a very frequent basis. And it occurred to me at that same time to especially after had a few phone calls with a couple of them, because that’s the that is also like part of the culture really, is to always be looking for that next opportunity to grow and develop and it might be in the organization that you’re currently working in, it might be somewhere else, nobody is going to begrudge you that. So I always have those conversations. So when I did start to have some of those conversations, I realized, with a lot of growing pains, frankly, that a lot of the skill sets that I had, were just invisible to the recruiters so they were calling me up for some reason could be because I was already working at one of the top pharmaceutical companies. And, you know, maybe that was enough for them to be curious and to reach out and to assume that I had, you know, some certain competencies, but I realized I was not displaying that anywhere in a way that made any kind of sense.

So those, those are the two kind of main reasons that I got really interested in learning more about LinkedIn. And so I did. But now for the purpose of this exercise, I’m going to pare this down to narrow my focus on endorsements. Okay.

So reason number one, why you should be cultivating your endorsements, or why you should be concerned about endorsements, especially if you are newly looking to transition to a different kind of role. Or you’re looking for that jump up to leadership and you’re trying to be able to explain how your actual life experience and work experience have equipped you with the skill set necessary to do the job. Knowing that that job itself looks a little bit different, right? So the skills are the same, they are those transferable skills. But the specific activities, you know, or accomplishments that you’ve done on the basis of those skills is going to be a little bit different when you’re pivoting, it’s not going to be the same as what you have demonstrated in your prior role.

But you also know that the person who might hire you isn’t going to make that direct connection without a little bit of helping, you need to be able to help showcase how it is that you have these specific skills that they want, that you are the real deal that you have those chops, that is a much easier sell. Because people who don’t know you, your future bosses, other companies, may be opportunities to do something like be a consultant or to be a speaker, when they’re checking out your profile, they cannot connect those dots, you’ve got to connect the dots for them. So you want strong ringing endorsements of the transferable skill set that you believe is going to take you from where you are currently to where you want to be. Alright.

Reason number two, that you should pursue those endorsements is because more endorsements generally means more profile views. And it might even mean that you’re higher in the search rank – in the algorithm. So just like Google or anything else, LinkedIn has an internal algorithm. So that might lead you to ask who is even using the algorithm, because of course, there’s two primary ways to search for somebody. One is you can search for someone you know, and you search for them by their name. The other one is you search for a skill set or you search for a job type, right? So if you’re a recruiter or you’re a company, you are an event planner, looking for a speaker or anything else, you’re going to be searching not necessarily for a person by name because you may not know who you’re looking for, you’re going to be looking for skills. And so, you first of all, if you don’t have your skills section turned on, you’re not going to show up in that. That’s one. Unless it’s highly represented in your summary section and elsewhere.

So you want to have it in your skill section. But more importantly, you want to have a lot of endorsements in your skills section. Because that’s going to help you to get found by people who don’t already know you.

And now the third reason that you should really be curating those endorsements is that people who visit you see your skills, and they see them specifically as to whether or not they’ve been endorsed by mutual connections. Okay, so that’s someone that the two of you know, right. So now we’re talking about three people. So if you have strong networking, and strong building of those endorsements, then people who come to check out your profile will have that very strong, really personal, like, highly trustworthy experience when they land on your profile, because they will say, hey, my colleague that I already know has endorsed this person for this skill set. So it takes that social proof for that testimonial, and it brings it right home to them, because it’s someone they know. So LinkedIn loves to do that. And it does it preferentially in the algorithm by showing anything that is, you know, that you have a mutual connection, if you had a mutual connection and endorse you, then that person is going to see that first. And it’s going to feel really, really personal.

So this is not only a good reason to do, you know, careful and deliberate building of your skill sets and your endorsement, your network is also a really important reason to not try to do this in a shady way. Right? It is absolutely deadly to your LinkedIn profile, to have random people, people outside your professional circle running around endorsing you. This is why legitimate networking is so important. And this is also why you would absolutely never never never want to go on like the black market, and by false endorsements. And if you’ve never heard of this, I’m glad that you haven’t. But that kind of thing does exist in the world. And usually though it becomes clear, and then you get banned from the social platform that you’re on just like buying followers. And again, when somebody who matters like the person that you are hoping will want to hire you or interview or whatever lands on your LinkedIn profile, and they see that you have all of these endorsements, but they see that the like they won’t have mutual connections are the people who have endorsed you or people who are not thought to be highly expert in that skill and that’s much less convincing.

So for example, if you are really great at public speaking, and you want public speaking to be a top skill for which you are found, and for which people may want to hire you, you want to have other speakers endorsing you for that, because then what shows up on the profile is that other speakers, other people who are expert speakers think you are an expert speaker, and those speakers who are known to the person who is visiting, you are saying that you’re a great speaker, and you can see immediately, I hope, by the way that I’ve just verbalized that, how that would be really, really strong endorsement, and really sets that trust factor and almost establishes rapport for you just right away, right there.

Okay, the fourth reason that I think it’s so important, fourth and final reason for you to be curating those endorsements, is not so much for you to get them, although you likely will if you engage in this practice, but it is to give them so you’re thinking to yourself, like oh, you know, I’m not that great of a networker. I mean, I connect with people, but I just don’t stay in touch with people. Well, I’ve got to tell you, sitting on LinkedIn for a couple of minutes a day or even a couple of minutes a week, and just popping over to the many connections that you have that you haven’t talked to in years. But you do know, right, because again, trying to keep it authentic here, right that you know them, you know, their skill set, popping over to their profile. And clicking the endorsement button for one or two of their skills that you do indeed know a bit about is a great way to keep those connections fresh, and to stay in touch. And for them to feel like they are connected to you, right, you won’t feel quite so distant. This is a two second act, that is really, really great.

Plus, they’ll get an immediate notification that you have just given them an endorsement and LinkedIn even prompts them to thank you. So then they might send you a text back. So not only does this facilitate like an actual dialogue, where you may actually get back in touch for a little while. But it may also result in them thinking, “Hmm, this person has given me an endorsement. That’s so nice, maybe I’ll come over to their profile and give them an endorsement.” And again, because these are people that you know, and you do have authentic knowledge of their skills. This is a person that fits into that category, we were just talking about where you do want endorsements, right? What you don’t want to do is, you know, call up your brother in law in a totally different industry and say, “Hey, come over and like you know, click endorse all my skills.” That’s not going to really help you very much and in extreme cases, or in cases where that’s abused, I mean certainly can hurt you.

Okay, so those are the four main reasons why endorsements matter why you should be excited if you’re in this LinkedIn pop up group about transferable skills with a focus on LinkedIn. I’m just really excited to be doing this together with other physicians looking for non clinical careers with a focus on their LinkedIn profile. And if you’re just listening to this, now, you can pop over if you’re a physician, you have to be a physician to be eligible. But you can pop over to Facebook, and you can search for Physician LinkedIn pop up 2021. And you can possibly get in the group if you’re listening to this on the career prescription podcast. Get on the list for the next one if you want to. So with that, we will wrap the podcast episode right here.

I hope that helped you to have a different way of thinking about your LinkedIn profile, and how you showcase your skills and how you go about continuing to network and to deepen the social proof that you have around your skills that’s going to make you so attractive to that next leadership opportunity, that opportunity to be a speaker or consultant, or the future employer, the new company or new person that you really want to work for, maybe even in a totally different industry, because they’re going to be able to see from your profile and your skills that you are absolutely a great match for them.

Thanks for joining me bye for now.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx. Be sure to leave me a review on Apple podcasts or whatever podcast player you’re using to listen today. And definitely send me those questions so I can answer them and give you a shout out on a future episode. Bye for now.

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