By Lauren Riley
Inspiration for today’s blog came in the form of a LinkedIn message I received this week asking for a recommendation.
Some context: I have never worked with, spoken to or had any correspondence with this person, but they thought I’d be the best person to recommend them to potential future employers. Hmm.
This message got me thinking about LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations and the real value of them. Then it dawned on me… there isn’t any. While there may be the odd credible endorsement or valuable recommendation, most of them are from people you don’t know, haven’t worked with or who have only endorsed or recommended you in the hope you’ll repay the favour.
While doing some research for this blog, I stumbled across a website giving me the option to purchase 15 LinkedIn recommendations with one click. If that isn’t a sign that this feature is useless, I don’t know what is.
Another problem with recommendations is that most of them are “trades” and not a true testament to your work life or style. Getting Debbie from accounts to write verse and chapter on your social media expertise in return for you lauding her ability to crunch numbers like there’s no tomorrow isn’t really helping either of you. Remember, recruiters will look at your LinkedIn profile to get an idea of your experience and qualifications. Getting fake recommendations is no worse than lying on your CV – which is a big no-no in job land!
The best tip I can give is to only get recommendations from people who have actually worked with or hired you utilising the skills you want showcasing to potential employers and recruiters, otherwise it’s a completely futile exercise.
Now, you might want to take a breather before this next bit, as I unleash my fury on the useless feature that is LinkedIn Endorsements.
Not a day goes by when someone in Bubble HQ isn’t endorsed for a) something they are not actually skilled at by b) someone they don’t even know. I wouldn’t go on Joey Essex’s LinkedIn profile and start endorsing him for economics and mathematics, so why people feel the need to endorse me for storytelling when I haven’t written a piece of fiction since my English GCSE days is beyond me.
The main problem with endorsements is not just that people endorse you for stupid skills, but that the more and more people endorse you for them, the further down your actual skills get pushed down the list – something that is really not ideal when potential employers are scouring your page for skills.
Don’t get me wrong, real endorsements can have great value, but they are cheapened by the blind/fake endorsements thrown about like they’re going out of fashion.
This isn’t helped by LinkedIn’s extremely irritating reminder pop-up box that tells you to endorse five people at once for a load of skills you don’t even know if they have. There’s no difference between this and liking your mate’s Facebook status. The value of these endorsements is about as much as the effort it takes to do them – not a lot.
So, while these features were a great idea, they have been cheapened by people who are too eager to build up endorsements and recommendations while forgetting about the quality and credibility of them.
I’m keen to hear what you think on this one. Are LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations a great feature to showcase your skills, or waste of time tools that hold no value whatsoever?
Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs! :)