There has been a lot of debate about the new “endorsement” feature on LinkedIn. Previously one could give and receive recommendations and that seemed to be a pretty good system. For the most part we received written recommendations from people who actually knew us or who we have done business with and we tried to do the same for those that we would heartily recommend. Then came this “endorsement” feature…
So how does it work? I can go into my own account and add skills and if you visit my page you can with the click of a button agree that I am good at those things and “endorse” me. I can then do the same for you. Sounds good doesn’t it? Except for a few problems:
- I may not even know you. So why are you endorsing me?
- I keep getting requests from others to endorse them or recommend them on the previous feature and again if I don’t know you, why would I do that?
- If I accept connections with people who don’t even put their photographs on their profiles my endorsements look unprofessional. There are a lot of blank silhouettes that don’t look like real people and it gives the blocks a trashy appearance. Fortunately for me, I have made it a policy to not accept connections without pictures unless I actually know them, and then I send them a message encouraging them to put up a photo. If they continue to not show themselves, I usually remove them from my connections list. So my endorsement collection looks better than most. It is just another good reason to have a good head shot on our profile. If we are going to recommend or endorse someone, others should be able to see who we are to make that credibility real.
Over the last few months my personal profile has had a lot of endorsements and I think it has actually caused the legitimate recommendations to slow down. People feel that an endorsement was enough. I am not sure that it is though. A recommendation is more personal and more meaningful.
Some days I look in surprise to find out that 9 people endorsed me today on a dozen different talents that I possess. Most however are just following the crowd. They don’t even know me. At least I don’t think they do, but on the other hand I also got a phone call from someone asking my company to do a job for them because they got a live recommendation from someone on LinkedIn. I didn’t know the person who recommended me either. I can only assume he was watching me online and thought I looked capable for the job he recommended me for. Doesn’t social media make this a funny world? Who would have thought 10 years ago that one could get business with this kind of technology?
Are the endorsements harmful? Not to me, they are not. I have lots. They all have real heads in them. It makes me look real knowledgeable about many subjects. However, knowing that I don’t know these people who are so quick to make an endorsement does make me more skeptical when I look at your page and see whatever I see there…
I still believe in real recommendations of real people that I really know. I hope that you take the time to show real appreciation for the ones that you know too and write a real note that is true that represents the nature of your actual relationship with that individual.
If you need help getting your LinkedIn profile current and pimped out, check out one of our previous blogs for help with that.
Kerry George is the owner of Loyal2U Communications & Marketing as well as the CEO of the Canadian Imperial Business Network and the CBN. She has taken these networking companies and put them on the map commanding the Calgary Market in only two years using LinkedIn and social media as her primary marketing tools.