For the first day of this new year, I offer a sort of a pledge coupled with a request for all of my connections:
Please do not endorse me on LinkedIn for anything and I’ll do the same for you!
For at least two reasons:
One, a ‘rating’ system that only has ‘likes’ but no other option available to choose from to express one’s opinion on someone or something is not really a rating system. It’s collecting stamps.
Two, look at the ‘endorsement categories’ the thing will offer you to ‘pat someone on the back with’;
LinkedIn may have done spectacularly well in becoming the first ‘serious’ business-flavoured social networking site, but when it comes to learning the buzz words and specific fields I operate in (and am possibly good at) – it still has a way to go.
Admittedly, it is trying hard to catch up and is forever giving me new opportunities to stuff some more data about myself into their bottomless bucket of information.
Likely to regurgitate it and through endless analysis and data crunching make some dosh by selling it to someone else at the other end.
I have no problem with these practices in principle – I wrote on the subject before.
It is their right to try to manipulate me and the info I willingly share on the www, it is my right to say ‘no’ to certain offers they make.
Remember it is mostly ‘free’ and with that there is a price to pay.
Problems start when this system becomes so entrenched in the industry, that HR people will not look at you if you do not have (let’s say) 50 endorsements for BIM on LinkedIn.
Not that HR people bother me that much, really – yet to find one that is clued up on BIM to even intermediate level.
I’m always happy to give references for people I worked with on areas I know their capabilities in, work ethics, personalities and other stuff that makes them a possible asset to a new employer.
I do occasionally ask others to do the same for me and am grateful for anyone that has refereed for me at any time in the past.
I will never confuse these acts with clicking the ‘endorse x for y’ button, even if this will make me look heartless (for not doing it for others) or ungrateful (for frowning when others do it for me);
With that declared publically, I’ll take the risk of being unendorsed on LinkedIn for anything and everything.