Congratulations! Your mom has endorsed you for the following skills and expertise:
LinkedIn used to be the one social networking tool that could be depended on for a certain level of professionalism. It made complete sense that a site meant for professionals to network, post their resumes, and discuss their industry-related topics would have a certain level of decorum. Professionals had a place that was so boring, the uncaring and silly users were less likely to show up and make pointless comments.
One of the best features of the site was Recommendations. It was pretty much like References on an analogue resume. Recommendations is where Contacts, unsolicited or not, would go out of their way to write something about a professional and then that professional could then choose to have this appear on their LinkedIn profile or not. While this option still exists, it and LinkedIn with it has been sullied by a new feature on the site (no, not the advertising), Endorsements.
Endorsements are those emails that everyone on LinkedIn gets now: Congratulations! XXXX has endorsed you for the following skills and expertise. While they have certainly made users more aware of LinkedIn and they probably bring more impressions to the ads that LinkedIn are trying to sell, they are excessive and way too easy. Contacts are given a list of Skills and Expertise of their contacts and within a couple clicks, their endorsement can now show up on that contact’s profile. There is no vetting by the profile user other than receiving an email saying that the endorsement has been posted to their profile. There is nothing to stop high school pals from endorsing someone for work that they’ve never seen done.
Endorsements are way too easy to make, professionals should have an easy way to exclude Endorsements from their profiles, either as a whole or for each Endorsement that they’ve received. There also needs to be fewer emails. Quite frankly, more emails from a social networking site do not make that site more attractive. At the same time that LinkedIn is trying to sell more ad space to make themselves more viable and further into the wonderful black, they are also making their site less appealing to professionals that were drawn to the site in the first place.
C’mon LinkedIn, stop being the “cool” Dad and just be you. What do you guys think about Endorsements?