Logging into my LinkedIn profile is now like a game - I get for little boxes up top, each with aconnectionand a skill. I can click yes or X out and a new one pops up in its place. I could sit and click for a long time - I have a lot of connections. It's a bit like roulette or a scratch off lottery ticket with no rules, winners or prizes.
What! There are no prizes?
Many HR bloggers have taken great stabs at the newish LinkedIn endorsement feature that rolled out in September of last year. I held off for a while and observed for a quarter like a beast of prey, watching and waiting to see what would happen and what experiences I personally would have.I'll admit to being a little put off at first with this feature, thinking here we go with a quasi 'like' button - how cheap. I chewed on that for a good long while and started maturing my initial impression. After quite a bit of reading, being endorsed and endorsing others it's time to dish...
Crowdsourced Skill Recognition
When enough people (when is enough ever really 'enough'?) click on the skills you have self-selected, or they have selected for you, trends emerge and your profile starts to look like a mosaic or quilt of all your connections. They are crowdsourcing your skills. Your connections decide where your talent reputation lies.
Feeling helpless and not in control over the skills you want to be most known for? Trying to re-career or look for particular opportunities? Of course many skills are transferable, they cross-over, mutate, get married and have babies.. but if you are bucking for a headliner you do not need to let the cards fall as they may willy nilly - you have complete control over what visitors see.
Tip: Goto edit mode on your profile. Click on the pencil icon next to the skills and expertise section, and add or remove skills from your profile to your heart's content.
It's like a skill set infographic when a recruiter visits your profile if you have your connection quilt dragged to the top of it.
Recommendation Escape Hatch
I include myself among those who have mixed feelings about the validity of 220 recommendations on someone's LinkedIn profile. I take recommendations incredibly seriously and will not write one for someone I have not worked with. The last thing I need is a call from someone asking me specifics. What am I supposed to say "I follow her on Twitter"?
When it comes to writers (print or digital content), if the recommendation is for that work then I think a recommendation is acceptable. After all - they are on the backs of books too.
How far is that virtual puffy chest going to get you in the real world?
With all that said, it's so easy to click the spin the wheel endorsement button that it almost relieves one's anxiety and mental nagging to write one... as in:
Whew, there I endorsed all 35 skills in 1:30sec I am hereby guilt-free to move on without further time suck.
Is it professional bacon or meh...?
On December 18,LinkedIn blogger Prachi Gupta postedthatmore than 550 million endorsements have been made since launch. That's like (averaging here) 2 recommendations per resident of the USA. I know the world is a big place but that's a lot of clicking going on. And that'spreciselywhy my home page timeline is filled up with a bajillionskills and expertise endorsements of all my connections - diluting the updates I really want to see, with no option to opt out of seeing them. Yes, of course I checked.
What do you think? Hold em' of fold em'?