The problem with LinkedIn

I used to admire LinkedIn. It served a purpose, had a solid business model and meant recruiters could easily find me and contact me. LinkedIn had the amazing advantage of doing three things that could seemed contradictory at first glance but worked in its unique ecosystem:
Provide me with a convenient place to host my resumeAllow me to contact recruiters and peersDo so without being an addictive platform like Facebook or Twitter (my personal opinion)
Basically, the sweet thing about LinkedIn is that you could just create your profile and only log in when absolutely necessary such as when you changed jobs or earned a new qualification. LinkedIn had a definite purpose and everybody was using it the way it was meant to be utilized: as a platform to connect recruiters and prospective candidates and to allow professionals to grow their networks and showcase their skills.

Then, things changed. People started using LinkedIn as a way to get in touch with key executives to sell their products o…

LinkedIn endorsements are stupid

When LinkedIn launched the concept of Skills Endorsements, a lot of social media professionals, including me, said it was a bad idea and that the concept of public testimonials was more than enough to indicate a user's skills. The argument was that the Endorsements would basically be like Facebook Likes, turn into a popularity contest and would end up hurting LinkedIn in the long run.

While we have not yet gotten to that stage, what percentage of recruiters and head hunters actually pay credence to the number of endorsements listed on a user's profile? I have professional peers, past colleagues and former students often endorsing me, which is great as I've worked with them and their feedback means a lot to me.

However, I've also been receiving endorsements from users, based both in Mauritius and abroad, who have never worked with me and don't know anything about me other than what I've decided to put up on my profile. Do they expect me to reciprocate and endorse them too? The fact is that unless I have personally worked with someone and admire their work, I will never endorse them as it would also reflect badly on me. 

This does even even take into consideration the fact that LinkedIn's endorsements are basically generated and populated by the users. For example, I have been endorsed for both "Social Media" and "Social Media Marketing" when they are the same thing. Or does the "Social Media" one simply mean that I'm good at just maintaining my personal profile on Facebook. But then the endorsement would still be a terrible one as I rarely log into my Facebook account, less alone post anything, and closed my Twitter account several months ago.

Unfortunately, I cannot just turn off the endorsements (LinkedIn does have the option) as this would mean weeding out those that I feel I've deserved from my colleagues and other people I have worked with. The ability to management endorsements and show only those I want is also great but it gets cumbersome after some time and feels more like an option to get me to log in daily.

Which I'm totally not doing!


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