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LinkedIn upgrades its endorsement feature

The professional network updates its feature that enables people to validate the skills of fellow members.

LinkedIn is relaunching its "Skills & Endorsements" feature with recommendations from peers.

LinkedIn is updating a key feature that could make the difference in someone getting that new job or big promotion.

The professional network relaunched on Wednesday its popular "Skills & Endorsements" feature that allows people to verify the strengths and abilities of fellow members. Now, viewers can see key endorsements from important people such as co-workers, colleagues and others closely familiar with someone's skill set.

The goal is to make the feature more personable and offer "meaningful validation," said Hari Srinivasan, LinkedIn's head of identity products.

"We're going to highlight those endorsements because they really do matter," Srinivasan told CNET. "If you get a new skill, now you can validate it to make sure all of the people who think highly of you say that."

LinkedIn's latest retooling arrives nearly two weeks after LinkedIn announced another feature, Open Candidates, that lets members discreetly notify recruiters they're looking for a new job without their current employer knowing. It also comes about four months after LinkedIn announced it will be acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion.

The endorsements upgrade has been months in the making, said Srinivasan as more than 10 billion endorsements have been shared among LinkedIn's 450 million members since its launch in 2102 with skills ranging from "leadership" to "data analysis" to "troubleshooting." The feature is vital, claiming members with at least five skills listed on their profile can get up to 17 times more views.

"With more than a third of hiring managers spending more than 60 seconds browsing your skills and endorsements, we want to make sure they're seeing skills and endorsements that best represent your aspirations," LinkedIn product manager Yolanda Yeh said in a blog post.