If you click on a LinkedIn profile today, you’ll likely be greeted by a big, blue box like this one:
From here, you have the opportunity to help your fellow man by saying, ‘yes, I know this person is good at those things’ and you can do it with one click. Endorse and you’re done – sort of, because when you reload the page you get more options. If you don’t agree with all of the options, you can click the x to remove them before endorsing.
If you’re really into this, drop to the bottom of the page where most people (but not Andy for some odd reason) have a long list of skills that you can “+” one by one. For each box you click, a tiny picture of you shows up next to a picture of anyone else who agreed with you. Personally, I stopped endorsing because I was tired of seeing my own face pop up over and over again.
Right now, LinkedIn is being very aggressive, pushing people to endorse all willy-nilly with their big, blue boxes. It’s annoying and it feels like begging. Please tell me how great I am. (No, really, please go to LinkedIn and tell me how great I am.)
Endorsements has the potential to be an excellent resource for those looking to hire new talent and for talent looking to get hired. It’s the digital equivalent of a letter of recommendation but how many people will use it properly? If someone you know asks you to endorse them across the board, will you do it regardless of your actual opinion of the work? And how many employers will wander around LinkedIn offering kudos to their connections out of the goodness of their heart.
At this point, Endorsements feels akin to elections for senior class president. The popular kids and the ones offering to do your homework for you will get all the votes. I guess, over time, the system will find its level. The novelty of clicking will wear off and people will start handing out endorsements as a way of thanking a person for a job well done. The law of averages will prevail and you’ll be able to tell at a glance if a person is skilled.
On the flipside, what happens to the social media marketer who claims to be top in his field but doesn’t have a single endorsement? Yeah, this could get ugly fast.
Want to try it? Here’s a slideshow that explains everything: