How to hide endorsements from your LinkedIn profile

Advisers must hide LinkedIn Endorsements to avoid compliance violations

Update 01/21/2013! LinkedIn is rolling out completely new profile designs to users, changing the way Endorsements are managed. Go read How to hide LinkedIn Endorsements on the new LinkedIn profile design now and watch the screencast reflecting the new changes.

As a financial adviser, you’re well aware that you can’t use client testimonials in any of your marketing materials. SEC and FINRA regulations prohibit the use of client testimonials (see: Adviser Use of LinkedIn May Violate SEC Rules).

LinkedIn’s latest feature called Endorsements, opens up another issue for financial advisers with LinkedIn profiles. Anyone can visit an adviser’s LinkedIn profile and endorse specific skills and expertise. Considering the broad language against client testimonials, allowing such endorsements should be avoided.

So how do you remove or disable Endorsements from showing up on your profile?

In the screencast below, I walk you though two ways you can prevent Endorsements from showing up on your public profile.

Watch the screencast now and hide any public endorsements on your own profile to avoid triggering compliance violations.

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20 Responses to “How to hide endorsements from your LinkedIn profile”

  1. Justin Smith October 5, 2012 11:30 am
    #

    Done and Done. Thanks for the reminder and walk through.

  2. Heather Cobbs October 8, 2012 10:04 am
    #

    How do you disable recommendations from the Company Profile?

    • Bill Winterberg October 8, 2012 2:00 pm
      #

      Good question. I tried editing the company page for FPPad, but LinkedIn kept getting stuck in an endless loop when I clicked the Edit button.

      Here is a not-so-useful article on editing Company Profile information, but it doesn’t specifically address hiding or editing recommendations: http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1591

    • Erika Safran October 8, 2012 4:16 pm
      #

      Hiding Your Recommendations: ( I cut and pasted)
      How do I hide a recommendation currently showing on my profile?
      Last Updated: 06/14/2011
      Report Answer Inaccuracies
      A recommendation can be hidden but not deleted. To change the visibility of a recommendation on your profile:

      Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your home page and click Recommendations.
      Click the Manage link under the position with the recommendation you want to hide.
      To the left of the recommender’s name, uncheck the box labeled show.
      Click Save Changes.

      If you choose not to show a recommendation on your profile, it can still be viewed from a recommendations module on the right side of the recommender’s profile.

  3. Ann Minnium, CFP® October 25, 2012 12:32 pm
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    Hi! Thanks so much for this video; it was very helpful!

  4. Daniel Larsen October 31, 2012 6:49 am
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    Thank you Bill. Do you agree that it would be a step in the right direction for FINRA and the SEC to make an effort to let the American public know about this rule? e.g., anyone allowing these recommendations and endorsements on their Linkedin Profile is showing a clear sign of lack of ethics and should be avoided.

    I have heard from a potential client that their decision came down to the fact that a certain advisor had a great collection of personal recommendations and endorsements on his profile. I don’t make disparaging remarks about competitors, so I left it at “we’re not allowed to have those.” Shouldn’t the agencies make it clear that anyone doing so is potentially a wolf in sheep’s clothing? (that particular adviser has in fact done financial damage to clients that came to us after leaving him)

    • Bill Winterberg October 31, 2012 7:40 am
      #

      Do I think public awareness of the prohibition of recommendations would be a step in the right direction. Sure, but I don’t think it ultimately serves the interests of the public.

      See, back when the rule against recommendations was created, brokers, reps, and advisers largely controlled the recommendations available to the public. As such, many cherry picked the best ones, skewing the authenticity of recommendations overall.

      Today, regulated advisers largely have no control over recommendations due to the shift towards independent third-party websites with ratings of all kinds.

      Advisers can be rated on Brightscope, Paladin Registry, and even Yelp of all places, and there’s little advisers can do to influence those ratings.

      In the example you provided, however, I interpret the situation as the potential client lending credibility to what might be cherry picked recommendations. So what is FINRA/SEC to do? The cop out choice is to ban recommendations altogether.

      This would be a great subject for some podcasts and interview with thought leaders. But without a technology focus, I don’t know if I’m the best outlet for the discussion.

  5. Maria Marsala November 14, 2012 7:39 pm
    #

    Thank you for this article. Des, on a LI Group I’m in sent it to me. It came in handy since I viewed a prospects LI profile and saw his endorsements which shouldn’t be there.

    Personally, I don’t like this feature. I feel that it lowers the quality of LinkedIn.

    Thanks again. I’m plan on sending this URL to the GROUPS I’m on.

    As someone who teaches LI Programs myuself, it’s so important to keep up with new features. I fell down on the job on this one. Glad you didn’t.

  6. Michael November 19, 2012 12:53 pm
    #

    Has LinkedIn removed this functionality, or is it just me?

    I successfully followed the procedure described in this article to remove an endorsement within the last month. I attempted to do so again for a different endorsement that I just got, but I did not see the “Hide Endorsement” button.

    I tried it in Chrome, IE, and Firefox with the same result. I’m using Windows 7. I think everything is up to date. Is it just me?

    • Bill Winterberg November 19, 2012 1:08 pm
      #

      Michael,

      I just checked my own profile on LinkedIn. I can still open the pop-up window that has the “Hide Endorsement” buttons on both my Mac (Chrome and Safari) and PC (Chrome and Firefox).

      Are you certain that you are logged in to your account?

  7. Brian November 28, 2012 8:25 am
    #

    LinkedIn changed the procedure to hide these, at least for the new profile look they are offering to some people.

    I personally wish they never offered this feature, recommendations are good enough, to me it’s all fluff and lacking credibility.

    • Bill Winterberg November 28, 2012 8:34 am
      #

      Brain,

      Yes, the new profiles handle endorsements a bit differently.

      Still, LinkedIn hasn’t worked out all the bugs in the new profile layout. Several advisors have reported to me that they can’t hide any endorsements because there are no icons to open the endorsement edit window. LinkedIn support is trying to fix the problem.

      See this post for more details: New LinkedIn profiles raise compliance concerns as there appears to be no way to hide endorsements

  8. Eric Smith December 2, 2012 8:15 pm
    #

    For two reasons, it seems like it might be better to delete all your “Skills and Expertise” items, rather than just the individual “endorsements” coming in:
    1. It is a hassle removing new “endorsements” coming several times a week.
    2. Displaying “skills and expertise” in your profile and lacking any endorsements on them looks worse than not displaying any “skills and expertise” items in the first place. (Other than compliance officers and colleagues, people don’t know why you apparently lack endorsements.)

    Since I’m not looking for a job, I don’t think the loss of skills search impacts me.

  9. Neil Dinndorf, CFP® March 19, 2013 5:17 pm
    #

    Hi Bill- read through your post, do you know if there is a way to retract or delete an endorsement I gave to someone else? Per compliance, I can’t endorse others, so I am going back to try and delete them, but I don’t see where I can do that. Many thanks in advance.

    • Neil Dinndorf, CFP® March 19, 2013 5:27 pm
      #

      Nevermind, I found how to do it. Pretty simple…just hover over the ‘+’ on the profile you endorsed, then it allows you to remove.

      • Bill Winterberg March 19, 2013 8:15 pm
        #

        Neil,

        Glad to read you found your solution. Perhaps another simple screencast showing how this is done would be helpful for others. What do you think?

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