The uselessness of @LinkedIn endorsements

LinkedInTopSkillsI’ve long been dismayed at the sorry state of LinkedIn “endorsements”. The model makes it really easy for anyone to endorse you for anything – whether they know you have that skill or not.

Mostly I’m baffled by what motivates someone I sat next to in high school choir class to endorse me for my risk management skills. We’ve never worked together, not since the decoration of the homecoming parade float back in (excruciatingly long-ago date deleted) . How does she know if I’m good at risk management or not?

Well, I AM rather good at it, but that’s beside the point.  The point is, probably a good 50% of the endorsements I’ve received have no factual, experiential basis whatsoever. They’re lies.  Why do people lie? Do they think it’s the “nice” thing to do? Do they hope I’ll return the non-factual favor? Well, no – I won’t.

I now view LinkedIn endorsements with a suspicious eye. I would never take them into serious consideration when evaluating someone as a potential business partner or employee. In order to legitimize endorsements, LinkedIn may wish to look into a way to associate skills with the positions we’ve listed. They already associate connections with our positions (or else you just say “friend”, which is what happened with my high school choir buddy).  The next logical step would be to ensure that a person can only endorse you for the skills they’ve observed first hand.

C’mon, @LinkedIn – step up!

Inspire by:  How to deal with weird endorsements from strangers on LinkedIn – Freelancers Union.

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