Linkedin’s Endorsement Feature – Fantastic or Folly?

Yes No Button-Linkedin Endorsement If you’ve visited Linkedin recently, it’s likely that you have noticed the new skills Endorsement feature. As described by Linkedin:

“Skill endorsements are a way to endorse your 1st degree connections’ skills and expertise with one click.”

When I first encountered this feature I thought, “Oh, how nice. I’m flattered to be endorsed for my skills and expertise by my peers, clients and connections. Isn’t it nice that Linkedin has made this easy for everyone.” However, within a few days I began to see how this feature can quickly become a folly for the Linkedin community.

By making it so easy to click a button and endorse hundreds of people for skills and expertise, the whole idea of being endorsed is in threat of becoming trivialized and meaningless.  I’ve already received random requests for endorsements from people that I hardly know. I connected with these people because they were in my industry — not because I know if they “Know Social Media” or “Know Marketing Strategy”. Webinars are sprouting up on how to profit from the new endorsement feature. And if you visit the Linkedin site, you’re immediately pressured to endorse someone; message boxes pop up everywhere asking you if so-and-so KNOWS the skills they claim to possess. All this hype is not helping to legitimize this feature.

Don’t get me wrong, a true skills endorsement from a respected connection is fantastic! I’ve been giving and receiving endorsements and have found it to be a very gratifying experience. Of course there is also the added benefit that being endorsed might add a factor of trust for people who do not know you well. This is all good, but it assumes the feature does not get abused.

The idea is right. It’s the method that’s in question. Back to making it too easy and  trivializing something that is important to us as professionals – our skills and expertise. Compared to Linkedin’s Recommendation’s which take more time and thought, the Skills Endorsement feature is like playing a video game. Click on the button and win a prize!

I think Linkedin should have thought this one through more carefully. They could have attached the Endorsement feature to the Recommendation’s feature and let users alert the people who have recommended you in the past. For new Recommendations, it would just be part of the process. For a feature that has so much potential, it’s sad to see it already getting misused.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried the Endorsement feature? Would you endorse someone before you’ve seen them use their skills or expertise?


Image courtesy of © Sergey76 | Stock Free Images &Dreamstime Stock Photos



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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.