That's where I come down on LinkedIn's endorsement feature
. I'm not alone. It's highly controversial. But love them or hate them, more than 200 million endorsements have been made since they were introduced in September.What It's AboutLinkedIn
has a product called Recruiter
, which they sell to companies for big bucks. And endorsements were introduced to make that product more desirable. That makes sense if you are hiring a programmer and seeking specific skills. But it doesn't work so well for the rest of us. Endorsements were also designed to increase engagement
. (See more about that in "Rules of Engagement,"
from the Oct. issue). How has it turned out?
I agree with Paul Furiga
: "From my perspective, the endorse button is an inauthentic application of what makes LinkedIn authentic
." Ouch. Mess with authenticity in business networking and you're on thin ice.
I know a lot of people in my network really well without having a clue whether they are skilled at what they do. It turns out my situation isn't unique. People are endorsing others out of reciprocity--just to be nice
. That's great for LinkedIn
's engagement, but it's not worth anything to someone who is seeking to fill a position. And oh, by the way, that's not why most of us are using LinkedIn
in the first place.Your ChoicesShould you add skills to your LinkedIn profile?
I'd say yes to this one. It's not clear that endorsements are here to stay, but if they are, you should have them. But be careful. List the top 10 skills you want people to endorse you for in order of importance
. (There are "how to's" in my previous article and in the resources below.) Pick these carefully as the sequence can't be changed once someone clicks on your skill.Should you endorse others?
This is controversial, too. My view: endorse the people whose skills you can really testify for
. Ignore the rest, even if you like the people. I still think it's an interesting bad idea that should go away. But I'm not sure that it will. Your thoughts?ResourcesForbes
- Everything you need to know about LinkedIn endorsementsWord Write Communications
- To endorse or not to endorseTheresa Merrill
- Got skills? Get endorsements
(has some useful "how to's")