On LinkedIn Endorsements

I‘m not sure I get the point of LinkedIn “endorsement.” I suspect that the original idea was that people in your social network could endorse skills that you’ve listed and as the endorsements accumulated, someone could get a picture of how skilled you are in a given area of expertise. I suspect this is not how it is working out in reality. For one thing, I’ve noted that I’ve gotten quite a few endorsements from people who I don’t actually know, on skills for which they have no basis for judgement. For another, I get the feeling there is a¬†quid pro quo to the endorsements. But why would I endorse a skill for someone just because they did it for me? What if I didn’t think the skill was endorsement-worthy, for instance?

endorsements

For example, I’ve received 6 endorsements for PHP, but so far as I can tell, only two of the people who have endorsed me for this skill actually have experience working with me on some PHP-related project. Two of the six people I don’t even know.

Then, too, I can’t be the only one ¬†getting endorsements from people I don’t know, for skills they are in no position to judge. And if it is happening to others it means that to some degree, large or small, the endorsements you see in LinkedIn come from people who don’t know the person they are endorsing and have no way of judging that person’s ability at a given skill. So how could I trust the endorsements in the first place? Certainly some of the endorsements are genuine and reflect actual experience with the person and skill in question–but how do you know which and to what degree? You can’t.

It makes it seem like a big waste of time. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate people taking the time to endorse a skill that I’ve listed on LinkedIn, but I take it more as someone trying to say something nice about me, as opposed to having any real value.

5 thoughts on “On LinkedIn Endorsements

  1. As someone that LinkedIn has informed is in the top 1% of Apache endorsements (I have @28), I have yet to figure out how that can be translated into something meaningful for getting a job (other than raw boasting of pointless numbers).

  2. I was recently notified that I was in the top 1% of ‘Software Documentation’ endorsements in the country. While flattering, I haven’t worked with that many people who actually know the quality of my work. I consider this is a nice gesture but ultimately near meaningless with regard to actual career value.

  3. I have been “endorsed” for a couple of things, but it all seems noise, not signal, to me.

  4. yeah, i find the same. i think that LinkedIn sends out requests for people to give endorsements without the “sender’s” knowledge–that is, that it’s sending requests to people in my network asking them to endorse me.

    also questionable: LinkedIn sent me an email a week or so ago telling me that my profile was one of the 10-percent most-viewed profiles in 2012. i’m preeeeeetty sure that’s not true.

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