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What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You

LinkedIn's new Endorsements feature lets people easily recommend each other, but it will be the quality--not the quantity--of kudos that count.

Jeff Browning, networking company F5's senior director of online strategy, wondered whether LinkedIn was counting on that mindset.

"LinkedIn has established itself as a professional social network that has very quickly become an HR platform," said Browning. "It has become very much about hiring and recommendations and career building, so I think the whole approach to endorsements provides a way for users to engage. I ultimately think it will feed into a larger gamification strategy. I think what will happen is it will probably be a concept that LinkedIn will develop and build in other ways, building a credit or scoring system that can be used by people as a global profile piece."

Brown also wondered whether LinkedIn Endorsements could be paving the way for new advertising or marketing models for the platform.

Whatever LinkedIn's business goals, for users, it will be the quality of endorsements--not the quantity--that ultimately matter, according to Stybel: "The key will be the quality of the people endorsing you, not the number. Is someone with 500 links 100% better connected than another person with 250 links? Of course not! Quality counts more than numbers."

That qualitative nature is what sets Endorsements apart from the more quantitative Klout, according to Deblauwe. "Klout is pulling in your exposure and mentions across the Web, including social media, not just skills," he said. "Klout is a very interesting way to draw attention, while LinkedIn is important because the skills endorsements there represent support of specific skills of people you have worked with."

Of course, people can also give props to their colleagues through LinkedIn's Recommendations feature. But, let's face it: With Recommendations, you're expected to be thoughtful, to provide relevant detail about a person's experience, and to actually write sentences. With Endorsements, you simply click a button to give kudos to a colleague. "It's a pretty low bar," said F5's Browning.

Deblauwe sees Endorsements not as a replacement for but a complement to Recommendations, and notes the importance of reciprocity. "I think reciprocation is very important," he said. "Just like Recommendations, if someone takes the time to support your expertise, you should return the favor. Growing your professional credibility is largely based on how well you support and prop up others, not just yourself."

What do you think about LinkedIn Endorsements? Will you take the time to endorse your connections? Will you feel obligated to endorse those who have endorsed you? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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NJ Mike
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NJ Mike,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/29/2013 | 6:47:38 PM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
OK, so Endorsements are a year old, and all I have to say about them is they are utterly worthless. I'm not a devoted user of LinkedIn, but I have racked up a large number (at least I think it is) of endorsements. Almost with everyone of them my first thought has been "This person has no idea of my skills in that area." With that in mind, if I was in a hiring position, I wouldn't bother looking at a person's LinkedIn endorsements, because all I see them is a way for a friend or colleague tries to be nice to you.
aryavaru
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aryavaru,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/24/2013 | 6:25:43 AM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
I got so irritated with the skill endorsement feature on LinkedIn that I wrote a piece on it. https://medium.com/tech-bloggi...
Sylvie St-Amand
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Sylvie St-Amand,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/6/2013 | 12:26:08 PM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
I don't quite know what to think yet about this new feature. It has some good points, namely that it requires less engagement from the people in your network to recommend you - oh wait, is that a good point?

Of course, getting written recommendations may be difficult because it involves time and reflection from the other party. However, don't these same factors add value to the said recommendation?

As with the number of contacts, this could easily become a popularity contest where some people aim at quantity above anything else. Does the fact that someone has more endorsements a real measure of his or her expertise? Maybe so, and maybe not...Many people with a staggering amount of connections don't actually know half of the contacts in their network. Some of them may, some of them not.

Whih brings me to the crucial question here: does the fact that someone has less connections or endorsements mean that they have less expertise? Or does it simply mean that the members of their network are less active?
Sylvie St-Amand
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Sylvie St-Amand,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/6/2013 | 12:25:36 PM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
I don't quite know what to think yet about this new feature. It has some good points, namely that it requires less engagement from the people in your network to recommend you - oh wait, is that a good point?

Of course, getting written recommendations may be difficult because it involves time and reflection from the other party. However, don't these same factors add value to the said recommendation?

As with the number of contacts, this could easily become a popularity contest where some people aim at quantity above anything else. Does the fact that someone has more endorsements a real measure of his or her expertise? Maybe so, and maybe not...Many people with a staggering amount of connections don't actually know half of the contacts in their network. Some of them may, some of them not.

Whih brings me to the crucial question here: does the fact that someone has less connections or endorsements mean that they have less expertise? Or does it simply mean that the members of their network are less active?
Bob LeBlanc
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Bob LeBlanc,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/24/2013 | 2:55:57 PM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
I have connections with people who aren't qualified to make these endorsements, meaning they have no clue what I know, what I do, or how well I do it, and yet they're just clicking at anything. This endorsement thing started out with good intentions, but people have turned it into a joke. and that's my opinion.
Ed Brophy
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Ed Brophy,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/27/2012 | 8:46:55 PM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
"Technical Endorser...or "People Skill Endorser?"

The most important and the most highly paid form of intelligence in America is social intelligence, the ability to get along well with other people. Social intelligence is also known as human engineering or Gǣyour people skillsGǥ:

Personal Branding & Profiling Your People Skills:
Examples:

Imagineer, problem solver, open minded, sense of urgency, encourages others, meaningful specifics, father, open networker, takes initiative, mom, change leadership, resourcefulness, unshakable optimist, pay it forwardGǪand the list keeps going.

GǣSome painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun.Gǥ ~Pablo Picasso

Many people say that most skills belong to skill sets.

GǣEven in lines such as technical engineering about 15% of ones financial success is due to technical knowledge and about 85% is due to oneGs skill in human engineering.Gǥ ~ Dale Carnegie, Carnegie Institute, GǣHow To Win Friends and Influence peopleGǥ.

By profiling the Gǣ85%Gǥ or so of your people skills, you can highlight your emotional intelligence and how you go about orchestrating your technical knowledge.

GǣTrue effectiveness is a function of two things: what is produced (the golden eggs) and the producing asset (the goose).Gǥ ~Stephen Covey

A complete stranger from a resume service will beef up or 'reframe' your skills and qualifications on your professional resume. Why?

...Because, unfortunately, people from professional resume services have seen from the people they sometimes fail to help get hired that:

Employers don't hire employees, they hire certainty. They hire trust and likeability, they hire perceptions and reputations.

How you are known to employers is your most valuable asset when seeking employment, not necessarily how good your work or skills really are.

Like marketing Coca Cola or Pepsi, personal branding often works the same way for why people choose one employee and not the other.

Do you suppose Britney will ever join and endorse people on Linkedin?
@AMULETAnalytics
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@AMULETAnalytics,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/25/2012 | 11:04:13 PM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
LinkedIn was a trailblazer with recommender systems when it released its unobtrusive feature that recommended people to add to your network. It works pretty well as was often impressed by its selections. LinkedIn wisely continues to use machine learning technology for competitive advantage. Its nice to see us Data Scientists creating real-world impact.
Tom Simeone
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Tom Simeone,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 3:23:42 PM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
As with anything else on the web, you will think of endorsements based on your own personal slant. If you are more cynical, you will believe that people are gaming the system for their own benefit. If you are more positive, then you may see the endorsements as thoughtful representations of how people view their connections. Many people are intimidated by the thought of writing a recommendation simply because they don't care for writing. The endorsements are far easier. I have endorsed many of my contacts for skills that I personally know they have. If it is someone I haven't worked with in a while, they may very well have developed new skills, but, since I have no direct evidence of them, I do not endorse for those. I am naive (or hopeful) enough to think that most people will endorse based on positive motivations. As such, I am positively swayed by the endorsements I see on profiles.
IHAUERL6H
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IHAUERL6H,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 12:07:09 PM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
Last month our company dismissed a marginal employee.

Yesterday I noticed a large number of endorsements that appeared in his profile.

LinkedIn profiles are often misleading (another employee who was let go more than 6 months ago still claims to be working for our company), recommendations are nothing but self serving puffery, and endorsements are meaningless.

I doubt that LinkedIn's mutual admiration social network will have much positive effect on employers.

Albert Kurucz
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Albert Kurucz,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/15/2012 | 9:22:57 PM
re: What LinkedIn Endorsements Mean To You
How one can get reputation on that other site, stackoverflow, that is the example to follow!
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