Linkedin Endorsements vs. Recommendations

What was Linkedin thinking when it gave control of our brands to others through the endorsements feature? I have to say, I’m not a fan. And I believe the endorsement function also cheapens the overall Linkedin brand.

A recent article in Forbes says …

“To endorse someone on LinkedIn, all you need to do is click a box and you’re done. No thinking involved.”

and I totally concur … no thinking involved.

People who don’t know me and who have never worked with me are giving me endorsements for skills they assume I have. So far, and thankfully, they have been pretty accurate.

Linkedin Skills

However, the ease and thoughtlessness with which endorsements can be given means others, and sometimes others who don’t know you, are now driving your brand. And from a branding perspective, that makes the endorsement detrimental if it is off-brand.

And it sometimes seems like a “tit for tat” kind of deal … folks who want endorsements are eager to give endorsements in order to – hopefully – get endorsements.

Endorsements seem to me to be the antithesis of the recommendations feature, where you approached someone who DOES know you and HAS worked with you and asked them for a recommendation that includes SPECIFIC evidence of your skill sets. To me, that has immense value, particularly for well-branded CFOs.

Is it just me? What do you think?

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4 Responses to Linkedin Endorsements vs. Recommendations

  1. Brad Celmainis says:

    Cindy,

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been debating this issue with several on a LinkedIn group. Some people really like it and when you check their profile, you can see why. Reading between the lines, you can tell they solicit those endorsements.

    I get a lot of endorsements from people who not only have I never worked with, but have yet to meet them in person. I simply will not return the favour and only endorse those for skills I know they do, and know they do well.

    The feature isn’t going away any time soon unfortunately. I still put WAY more stock in proper recommendations.

    • Cindy Kraft, the CFO-Coach says:

      We totally agree on this issue, Brad. And sadly, I don’t see it going away either. Apparently, it’s a pretty popular feature.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Brad! I appreciate your thoughts.

  2. Joel Ungar says:

    Cindy – My experience is very similar to yours. Endorsements are just to easy and, frankly, seems like giving a +K on Klout.

    LinkedIn is changing. Answers, one of my favorite features, is going away in the next week. I understand they are doing what they think they need to do to be relevant and grow. I just don’t understand their reasoning.

    • Cindy Kraft, the CFO-Coach says:

      A good lesson for all of us … sometimes being relevant comes at the cost of diluting your brand. Apparently, it’s a price they are willing to pay with 100M members.

      Thanks Joel. Sound thinking as usual!

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