At the risk of sounding like an ingrate, this whole LinkedIn endorsement thing is kind of ridiculous, yes? Pretty much everybody on LinkedIn has a bunch of endorsements. But endorsements are so easy to give, what value do they have? And who knows who has given you all these endorsements? What weight should each endorsement carry? I’m not on Facebook so I don’t really have any experience with “likes”, but I assume endorsements are the LinkedIn version of likes. In any case, both gestures seem so easy, they’re empty.
Take me for example. Someone stumbles on my LinkedIn profile page. They see that I have all these endorsements. Should they be impressed? Well, since they have no idea who has endorsed me, they can’t determine what meaning the endorsement has. Maybe I just have a lot of friends who have taken pity on me.
And if they’ve been to many people’s LinkedIn pages, they’ll notice a pattern: the longer you’ve been doing what you do, the more endorsements you probably have. It’s probably are more accurate gauge of longevity that skills.
If the person on my page takes the time to add them all up, he’ll see that I’ve been endorsed for 46 skills. Really? Who even has 46 skills? Certainly not me. I don’t even know what half of these skills mean.
The process of endorsing is so easy and so wholesale, when I endorse people, I have to really work not to endorse everyone that comes up for everything. Not that it would matter if I did, since, as I say, they don’t actually mean anything.
On LinkedIn, what means something is recommendations, not endorsements. With recommendations, you actually have to write something specific about a person and the recommendation is attributed to you, rather than being anonymous, as endorsements are. Recommendations take thought and effort. And your reputation is on the line to some extent, as a recommender. No one can hold you accountable for an endorsement. But you’d better mean it when you recommend, because it reflects right back on you.
Again, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the gesture, I guess, when I get endorsed, just as I’m sure someone I endorse in turn appreciates the gesture, it’s just that the gesture, while it may be heartfelt in intent, has very little actual effect.
Therefore, I’m going to stop endorsing people. I must have issued hundreds of endorsements, some of which I confess I didn’t really mean, and all I feel like I’m doing is helping prop up the illusion that these endorsements have value. Just to even things out, I hereby give everyone I know permission to never endorse me for anything ever again, with no hard feelings.
Hopefully, in ceasing to endorse, and sanctioning the ceasing of endorsements for me, I’ve made the world just a bit simpler and less dis-ingenuous.