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LinkedIn Endorsements: Value or No Value?

The Cynical Girl asks:

What’s the value of a LinkedIn endorsement or recommendation?

I won't blockquote half her article here, you can go over and read it if you'd like to (and you should). I will, however, give you a good example of why endorsements are pretty dumb.

You see that? Those are, apparently, the things I'm good at according to my endorsements. You'll notice, however, that accounting comes in at #5, even above Photoshop which I find offensive since I created this masterpiece all by myself and clearly that makes me an expert. Anyone who knows me knows I can't add to save my life, Excel frightens me and the only reason I know which side debits go on is because I was forced to sit through 400 hours of CPA review classes. Maybe if this said writing about accounting but no, it says "accounting" which implies I'm the person to ask when you have a question about which line goes where on your 1040. No no no no no.

I'm not sure about you guys but I often get drive-by endorsements from people I've never met in my life who couldn't possibly know how hard I worked to get on the first page of Google for "Ben Bernanke exposed" (Google that at your own risk). Someone casually stalking my profile has no idea if the endorsement comes from a former colleague or some random guy I followed on Twitter 3 years ago who has no idea what I actually do for a living even though it's right there on my profile.

It doesn't help that LinkedIn encourages you to endorse people based on the endorsements they've already been given, many of which they themselves endorsed themselves for when they added it to their profile! Hell, I've endorsed some of you for crap that I have zero clue whether you know or not. Oh, you're into compliance? Cool, have this endorsement.

Where's the value if we're just clicking buttons out of courtesy like the #TeamFollowBack of LinkedIn? Doesn't that defeat the entire purpose? I'm still not convinced my mechanic is skilled in vehicle maintenance and I know that guy, how am I supposed to know if some CPA I met once at a conference knows GAAP from a hole in the ground? I mean, I'd hope so but… you never know.

On that note, I'm going to take a page from Cynical Girl's playbook and go change my skills to more relevant ones such as "cat wrangling" and "badassery." If they're going to be worthless anyway, might as well go all the way.


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