What does a LinkedIn endorsement really say about you? Nothing. Due to the lack of credibility, endorsements have garnered a pejorative connotation. With fairness to LinkedIn, it was a valiant effort to boost the little interaction that occurs between connections, but it leaves something to be desired, especially from a recruiting standpoint.
The problem with endorsements is that they are based on a 1st connection’s (typically someone you know) impulse to extend a compliment that often lacks merit. Someone who feels that your skills and expertise in one particular area such as say “Strategic Planning” is so great should be letting people know with a recommendation. To me, all an endorsement says is that you have a friend nice enough to recognize your functional knowledge of a particular area. If you truly feel that strongly about someone take the time to write them a recommendation. It is a lot more genuine than clicking the endorsement button.
When I hear endorsements, I think Michael Jordan, Donald Trump, and Beyonce. Sure, I may be more inclined to pick up the latest Air Jordans, retreat to a Trump penthouse, or grab a Pepsi, but I certainly do not have the desire to check out Johnny Doe because his cousin Jane said he is a wiz at Microsoft Word. An endorsement may not be the appropriate word for the actual context of the tool, because what is an endorsement without credibility?
I am not against boosting engagement on LinkedIn, and I feel that endorsements have certainly helped. However, if LinkedIn users want to be serious about their profiles, I don’t see any need. We have to remember that LinkedIn is a professional network, and making connections is more about interaction.
What do you think of endorsements on LinkedIn? Do you feel that they have become meaningless? What alternatives are there? Share your thoughts below.