LinkedIn Endorsements: Career Booster or Quid Pro Quo?

Posted on February 7, 2013 | 19 comments

There’s a timely Brainyard discussion taking place on the value of LinkedIn’s recently added endorsements feature. The broad consensus of the blog writer and commenters is that endorsements aren’t particularly helpful or meaningful.

It’s hard to escape LinkedIn’s efforts to push the new endorsements feature. But that’s precisely the problem: the process requires nothing more than the click of a button, ensuring some number of endorsements have little more value than a Facebook “friend” you’ve never met or interacted with. It’s unlikely all endorsements are driven by actual experience with, and professional knowledge about, the person being endorsed.

You can only give a meaningful endorsement for someone – coworker, business partner, client – when you’ve worked with them directly and you have the confidence to vouch for their skills and expertise. LinkedIn’s approach has dumbed down the endorsement significantly. I recently came across one LinkedIn profile with over 2,500 endorsements, a number that seems somewhat implausible in terms of truly substantive feedback.

There’s a definite quid-pro-quo trait to this process, and now wonder if I was selective and thoughtful enough at the time I was getting so many prompts. I appreciate the endorsements I have but, at the same time, a few of them are from people I haven’t interacted with in the last 3-5 years, endorsing me for work that they’ve never had any direct exposure to. Thanks, I think.

I encourage you to weigh in on this important social media/career topic at the Brainyard, and to give serious thought to the weight of your next LinkedIn endorsement.