Yay or yuck? People have lots to say about LinkedIn skills endorsements

LinkedIn skills endorsements, LinkedIn,
About 60% of respondents dislike the new skills
endorsement effort ... at least so far.
I stirred up a hornets’ nest when I asked what people thought of the LinkedIn skills endorsement effort. I received or ton of responses ranging from loving to loathing with lots of good reasons for their opinions. See if you agree or have different thoughts. If so, share them here or on the LinkedIn discussion group that might have brought you here.

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UPDATE: A couple of years later and now I am a big fan of LinkedIn endorsements. I now have more than 5,200 skills endorsements and I know that they cause me to show up higher in search for the jobs I want or the business opportunities that I want to secure. -- Kathy
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Tip: Don’t get bogged down by the positive comments at the top … there are many more negative and neutral comments about the endorsements than enthusiastic ones!



Positive


They will be seen by recruiters, so job seekers should be ready and willing to participate – Denise


It's a helpful tool in determining how people perceive you. From a personal branding perspective that is important. – Lesley


It’s helpful because of how easy it is to endorse someone. People are busy and may want to recommend people, but not have time to write a detailed testimonial. – Howard


This new tool can be used but should be accompanied by a recommendation. -- Lisa


I think it's kind of neat. It will not replace quality written endorsements, but is a great quantifier that purports to encourage interactivity and engagement. – Gloria


I love the one-click endorsements. They take less time and are easy for those who have not asked for an actual recommendation. They help alleviate the stress that people have when a recommendation is requested. It may help encourage engagement among connections and speed up the process of offering a recommendation. -- Cindy

It makes me think about how well I know someone. Do I have first-hand knowledge about whether they demonstrate a particular skill? If so, then I can endorse that person and feel good about it. -- Eloise


Because most of us share the LinkedIn space with previous employees, peers, and management, profiles tend to be more accurate than resumes. The endorsement reinforces our published skill set with potential employees since the profiles are up for peer review and scrutiny that a potential employer would not be able to accomplish.  --  James


This feature will be popular. Endorsing skills is much less intimidating than writing a recommendation. -- Elizabeth


It’s beneficial because someone can endorse your skills without being a co-worker or having worked with you in a professional capacity. – Kimberly


They prove aptitude for specific skills whereas recommendations tend to be a review of one's character and their work in general. I see the value in both. -- Dawn


I like endorsements if people endorse what they actually know about a connection and hiring managers read it as such. People have endorsed me for skills I wouldn't have added and having a vendor/client add and endorse such skills shows a hiring manager how clients perceives my work. That added perspective has made me expand the way I look at what value I will add to a company. -- Terry


They give a stamp of approval to the skills we list on our profiles. – Marie


It's great for individuals who do not have recommendation. -- Kathleen



Negative


Because the box simply pops up, people are clicking because it's there, which makes the endorsements meaningless.  -- Nancy


Endorsements are awkward to ignore, but I am not going to perpetuate this meaningless exercise. It is worse than seeing people with oodles of recommendations obviously traded as mutual favors. -- Ann


I think LinkedIn is listening, but not to us. They get their income from the recruiters and the skills endorsement will be helpful to them. We are just minions the big LinkedIn world. – Denise


It becomes too much of a popularity/numbers contest. There's no way an outsider viewing your profile can verify who's endorsing you. A terrible idea. -- Catherine


It is a pain in the ass. In the financial industry, such testimonials are not allowed. It is nice that I have gotten so many endorsements however; I must remove or not allow them on my profile. More work for me! -- Robert


While the endorsers may be well-intentioned, a better value would be gained from a thoughtfully written recommendation. -- Susan


The value of an endorsement falls short of a genuine testimonial/ recommendation. -- Howard


The preselected choices of endorsements do not help the quality of LinkedIn. The larger your network, the more endorsements that you will likely have. I have seen profiles with 99+ in nearly every category, which is clear sign of abuse of the system. It shows a lack of integrity for that person. – Christopher


This is starting to feel a bit like Facebook. Ugh!  -- Susan


I hope LinkedIn does not turn in a professional Facebook.  -- Mary


They take away the seriousness of real endorsements from people who really know you. -- Fernando


It makes it seem as if the endorsement request came from me and it didn't. That’s embarrassing. -- Nancy


I don't find them as informational or compelling as written recommendations. They are the Linkedin equivalent to 'Like' on Facebook, which has become meaningless. Making things easier doesn't necessarily make them better. – Lisa


I suppose whoever thought of it imagined that it would be an easier way to endorse your contacts. But the boxes popping up are soulless and don't give real background. – Helen


The box which seems to randomly appear and shows me 4 random people with random skills for me to endorse is stupid since the skills are NOT the most reflective of anyone's abilities. With no instructions for how to select a different skill to endorse, well-intentioned colleagues hit "endorse" for the skill shown. But who knows if the ones I am best at, or that I want highlighted, will ever appear? And what if potential employers see my endorsed skills and think the skills rated highest on are my BEST skills - or that since the others haven't been endorsed, I LACK the skills in those areas? -- Suzy


The amount of room it takes up on the profile is out of proportion to any purported value. I hope that LinkedIn will consider discontinuing it and find a better way to deal with skills. -- Paula


I find myself in the position of either appearing like only a few people endorse a particular skill of mine or seeking endorsements, which I don't like doing. -- Steven


I’m not happy about the design or implementation of endorsements. They have far more problems than benefits. -- Alejandro


LinkedIn: Listen to Your Users who believe in quality service. Let's keep this site real. -- Lisa


Listing your own skills somewhere is fine; connecting with folks for recommendations is wise; but endorsements are just too superficial to be meaningful. – Davia


It wastes space, has little to no meaning and seems like some kind of high school popularity contest. When LinkedIn was for grown-ups it had value and this dumbs it down. -- Pat


Endorsements are meaningless and misleading. It means much more to me to see 'Likes' on things I post. I vote for eliminating the practice or giving me the option to opt out on my profile. I prefer strong recommendations. – Karl


How does one click from someone equate to a strong endorsement? All endorsements seem to have the same value. You can get higher numbers of them, which may be an overall indicator of "strength" but it can also be an indicator of networking, arm-twisting, and plain old campaigning (I'll endorse you if you endorse me). I'm not a big fan of crowd-sourcing, which is what this feels like to me. Too many games are played with it. Has LinkedIn finally made an “oops”? – Susan


I would rather have a strong recommendation from someone that really speaks to how I assisted them. This is a shortcut that is not very valuable.  -- Cathy


I've seen some people load up on dozens of endorsements for a specific skill just to be 'perceived' as an expert. I'd rather rely on recommendations from people I know and trust and to focus my energies in different places on LinkedIn like the 'Answers' section and using LinkedIn Signal. -- Kenneth


Linkedin must see this as a precursor to make money down the road. I'm not clear how, but they will figure out a way. – Robert


That LinkedIn would have us believe we're merely endorsing skills is pure smoke and mirrors.  Endorsements are about how much influence you wield within your network and how likeable and trusted you are. -- Judy


I don't like that LinkedIn is sending these requests to just any connection. I'd prefer to solicit my own endorsements rather than having LinkedIn send them to people. I don't like people thinking I asked them to endorse me when I didn't even know they were sent a request. -- Marsha


Random endorsements could sway a person looking at my skills to ignore those skills that I want to be known for, simply because I don't have endorsements across all the skills yet. I would prefer the person who wrote my recommendation have the ability to endorse the skill set I used for their project. -- Kimberly


It’s almost too easy, and therefore, dilutes the importance of a certain skill. Recommendations carry more weight. I glaze over when I see someone's skill endorsements. Something that is too easy to get doesn’t seem as valuable. -- Shelley


I figure LinkedIn is trying to rival Klout by measuring your influence based on number of endorsements. -- Judy


I find it limiting to be herded into saying I have a certain skill. Most skills are implicit in jobs. I will not be using the feature. – Phil


I used to have my skills toward the top of my profile (in my summary), but now, the section uses up too much of the above-the-fold real estate. The numbers and photos of connections was too distracting. I wonder why LinkedIn thought this would be a wise move to make. -- Norine


I prefer the recommendations, which are more thoughtful and come from people you know. I have received endorsements from people I've never met in person or online. -- Michele


Is it a "do ut des" mechanism? I endorse your skills and you endorse mine? Why should I use it? What for? To me it is nonsense, even counterproductive. LinkedIn remove it ASAP! -- Franco


It seems an unreliable indicator of your ability since people endorse me who never used my services and do not have firsthand experience of the skills they're endorsing. -- Amy


A well thought out written recommendation is more powerful. The skills list is very soft and unfocused. Someone reading a profile would get a general idea as to what a person is comfortable performing, but have no idea of the level of his or her expertise. -- Shelley


I've seen the same guy endorse 15 - 20 people a day including people he couldn't realistically know or deal with. I'll trust recommendations over these silly endorsements any day. -- John


It seems they’re good for Linkedin because it will generate more traffic on their site, but that it's not as good for the users. A short but well-written recommendation means a lot more than a one-click endorsement. -- Dennis


It makes it too easy. Written recommendations are truly earned. – Thomas


The randomness of selected skills has Microsoft Office as my number one skill. Who knew?!
Arlene


I like that engagement has increased, but I don't see the value in being endorsed. – Judy


What I don’t like is that I chose to endorse, at LinkedIn's recommendation, a skill for a friend that she had not attributed to herself. Now I'm reluctant to offer any more endorsements. The allure of credibility is lost by this experience. -- Jill


I have gotten endorsements that don’t match my engagement with the endorser. It appears more like they are simply checking off a list. – Ernie


They seem unreliable and arbitrary because anyone can click on them, without having to stand behind what they say. I'd be happy if they got rid of them. Recommendations, on the other hand, take time to fill out, have thought behind them and mean something. -- Suzy


I suspect endorsements are more about encouraging more user visits, which is a burning issue for LinkedIn. – Mike


They allow people to endorse you for skills that they have no direct correlation with. With recommendations, you have to associate them with a role on your profile. However, with endorsements, you can endorse someone for legal research without having worked with them or even having been in the legal industry. This makes the endorsement useless. – Kevin


Neutral


It is a quick review of your capabilities so it would behoove people to select their skills wisely. Being skilled in a specific application does not need to be listed (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) List skills that make you stand out or that align you with a job or industry. Your choices give the reader another means to size you up. You do not need a great number of skills, just enough to make them look at you closer. – A. Chas.


Endorsements are good, yet annoying sometimes. -- Praveen


I think it’s an okay idea, but I did get an endorsement from a connection who doesn't really know me. It was possibly to get a return endorsement, but really? No thanks. – Stacey


I’m annoyed by being constantly updated on the endorsements that connections have received or given. I am obliged to my connections for endorsing me and deeply appreciate their endorsement. However, I would prefer that these endorsements be available only when I select to view a profile (similar to recommendations), which I believe are far more important and comprehensive. -- Peggy


Once the endorsements start appearing, you're practically driven to fill up your dance card.  -- Judy


Apparently, this skills endorsement is part of another re-design of LinkedIn coming soon -- http://www.linkedin.com/profile/samplehttp://www.linkedin.com/profile/sample -- Kenneth


I like that engagement has increased, but I don't see value in being endorsed. -- Valarie


It’s too early to determine if endorsements will be a valuable feature. Many of the skills that pull up for me to endorse for my connections are not those I would select myself, (they are not their key marketable skills), which makes the skills endorsement less valuable. – Becky


I like it in concept but don't see why LinkedIn places this method over recommendations which have more impact because they come from people you know. -- James


Well-meaning friends have endorsed skills that date me. I've received endorsements for newspaper" and journalism, even though I'm no longer active in these fields. Uh, thanks? -- Toni


Written recommendations are better, but lacking that, endorsements are better than nothing. In my case, my greatest skill has no endorsement, but all the things that make that skill possible do. – Ron


I haven't had time to work out why an endorsement for someone you only have a marginal online relationship with would have any value in the market place. Some skills I am being endorsed are things that any adult in the workplace could reasonably be expected to do. (MS Word?!) Is this really a highly sought after skill? -- Patricia


I am confused by it. It is like they are asking you to do an indirect recommendation by endorsing a skill set without writing a recommendation. -- Paul


I do not like endorsements, but I don't hate them either; however, I do find them intrusive. I do not like the box popping up when I visit a person’s profile. -- Vannie


Getting the full blown written endorsements can be difficult and doesn't always net the payoff needed for the time invested. I enjoy getting and giving quick endorsements, but don't put much stock in them as far as helping me find a job. – Sharon


The verdict is still out. I find some value in the endorsements, but some people endorse on areas that are not really what I want to show in my profile as my key skill. In addition, if a recruiter is looking at your skills and endorsements it makes it difficult to give weight to the skill if the endorser is an unknown person. – Okey


My opinion may be changing ... reluctantly. I suspect endorsements are here to stay. To be without them might not be a good thing. The cliché "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" comes to mind. While I have enjoyed receiving recommendations (and still do), the value of endorsements is visibility. One can quickly see the number of "likes" without having to scroll and read paragraphs of information in recommendations. In this age of rapid information transfer this is a quick way of implying a recommendation. Therein lies the value of endorsements. -- Karl


Final thoughts ...
And what’s my opinion? (Kathy’s) … Like Karl, I think my negative opinions about skills endorsements are changing reluctantly. I miss the focus on written recommendations which I think are more valuable, but I like that so many people have endorsed me who I may not have worked with at a company, but who value my abilities nonetheless. I also like Praveen's comment that endorsements are good but annoying sometimes. So for now I give the skills endorsement a hearty “Neutral”. Let’s see how it plays out.

What do you think about the skills endorsement effort? Share your comments! -- Thanks, Kathy
Note: I reserved the right to shorten comments to get as many as voices as possible in this post.

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