Does a LinkedIn endorsement from a colleague imply reciprocation?

Recently I have been receiving endorsements from colleagues on my LinkedIn profile.  That is a good thing, but I am a bit out of touch with the etiquette of the situation.  Should I reciprocate an endorsement for them on LinkedIn?  Should I write a short "thank you" note or email to show appreciation for them taking the time and effort to do that?

My high D-I tug-of-war is taking over.  Anyone have some "S" to share?

Thanks in advance for the help.


rwwh's picture

How would a High S  ask you for an endorsement? Probably by making one for you. Of course there is never an obligation to write an endorsement, but if someone writes one for you without being asked, it is a good idea to at least think whether you could reciprocate.

jkuntz's picture

 Personally I think thanking them is sufficient. I'm not a fan of "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" which is how reciprocal recommendations look to me on LinkedIn. When I'm reading someone's profile and see a recommendation and they returned the favour at the same time, I don't put any stock in the recommendation. If the recs are nowhere near each other time-wise, that is different, it doesn't seem like as blatant a favour.

If one of my connections recommended me and asked me to write one for them in return, I would explain my issue and simply say I'm happy to write you one but will not show their rec of me on my profile. (Assuming that I'm interested in recommending them in the first place of course).

TNoxtort's picture

 I do not think much of Linkedin endorsements because Linkedin gets so in my face about endorsing others, and all you have to do is click to give them an endorsements. I've had recruiters I've talked to once endorse me on lots of things. So I don't put much to them. On the other hand, a Linkedin recommendation is something else and perhaps worth reciprocating.

Mark's picture

I think in the ecosystem of LinkedIn and social media, there's an assumption that such an endorsement or recommendation implies a reciprocation.  But not all implications require the corroborating inference.  I don't reciprocate, unless I have first hand knowledge.  If you DO have first hand knowledge, and (1) don't want to reciprocate and (2) don't want to offend, write a soft recommendation.

Or, screw your courage to the sticking post, and say nothing.  It's easier if you have NO OTHER endorsements.


dad2jnk's picture

Thanks for your thoughts.  Where I have first-hand knowledge (and that knowledge supports the endorsement), I will do my best to reciprocate, otherwise I will visit the sticking post.

All the best,


Nik's picture

Unless someone specifically requests a reciprocal endorsement, you have no responsibility beyond a "thank you." And even if requested, GENERAL LinkedIn etiquette is definitely that you can ignore any such requests without stigma. (Individuals may vary, of course.)

But do consider the value of endorsements to your business associates, and spend some time writing them for the key people you work with. It will help them advance their own careers, and is a great way to say "thank you" for their good work.


bfelix's picture

I wondered this too. Unfortunately in my case I have no idea if my connections are qualified in some of the things they say they are! One connection writes websites, I don't know what half of the terms even are.

mickmgrtools's picture

 I have chosen to not give any endorsements or write any recommendations on linked in as I fear it will open the flood gates.  I usually tell people that request a recommendation that I will be happy to write a paper letter.  If you have to write 10 or 20 recommendations, they will start to sound all the same.  At least mine will.

GlennR's picture