When it comes to your LinkedIn profile you can have both recommendations and the relatively new endorsements from your connections. However they are not of equal value.
My friend Dave Delaney said it best: “LinkedIn endorsements are a smile and a nod, while a recommendation is a hug or a high-five.”
There are a few problems with endorsements. Don’t get me wrong – I love it when someone endorses me. Having a long list of smiling faces next to the various skills on my profile gives me the warm fuzzies, but the value is somewhat lacking.
First of all, I have been endorsed for skills I either don’t want to use, or even don’t have. I’m not the only one. I frequently hear this same complaint from my clients. There are two reasons why this happens.
First, LinkedIn suggests skills you can endorse your connections with. Sometimes these recommendations are not accurate or corret.
The second and biggest problem with endorsements is that some people use them as a way to get endorsements for themselves. I’ve seen several heated discussions in Groups around this topic. Some people get genuinely angry if they endorse someone and that person doesn’t immediately endorse them back – even if these people don’t really know each other well.
This is the deep flaw I see in endorsements. For me, if my little photo is going next to a skill on your profile, I want to make darned sure that you actually have the ability to deliver that skill. When my name and photo is attached to a skill, I’m lending you a piece of my reputation. When my name is attached to a skill on your LinkedIn profile, I’m lending you a piece of my reputation. [Tweet this]
Because I know some people on LinkedIn aren’t approaching endorsements the same way, I tend to take them with a grain of salt when looking at someone else’s profile. They’re nice to see but they don’t give me a ton of information.
Recommendations are a completely different story. When I see a recommendation on someone’s profile I pay much closer attention. The person giving the recommendation had to do much more than click a button. They had to take the time to think about and write down what is so great about you. It took effort and time. They had to really want to let the world know how great you are. As a result I take recommendations much more seriously.
What do you think? Do you like LinkedIn endorsements or has their value been eroded because of how some people use them?