Can you endorse me?
One of the most enjoyable developments in recent digital history is the arrival of a new feature on LinkedIn where you can be “endorsed” by your colleagues for various skill sets. LinkedIn scans your profile to identify “skills” you may have and then asks your colleagues to endorse you when they log in to their page. I think this could be really accurate if used correctly.
The tactic is an obvious ploy to create page views, upon which you can sell ads, so I can’t knock LinkedIn for that. However, the execution does make me wonder. In the last month I had two different people send me a note asking if had actually endorsed them for obscure derivatives of what they do for a living, or if what they'd received was just spam. I responded with “Yes, I did endorse you, but I think there are more accurate ways to describe you.”
I tend to run past the various pop-up messages embedded in LinkedIn very quickly, because most of the time they’re simply asking me to update elements of my profile. For more than seven years now my profile has been between 85%-95% complete, and it’s kind of a challenge to get to 100% without being in market for a job. They want to have you post a resume, which would seem unnecessary or even redundant if you are A) not looking for a job, and B) on LinkedIn in the first place, since the site is basically a digital resume.
So if you’re like me, you tend to breeze through and click stuff to see if it will go away. However the “endorsement box” is now something of a game for me. It’s more of a “match the face to a job” game, where I try to see if the endorsement accurately matches the person who pops up! In some cases I have to say no because it’s clear some people have embellished a bit on their profile, overstating their expertise in certain areas while underplaying others that may seem less “managerial”. For me, I think it may be time to add endorsements that are more accurate, and even a little bit more fun in a character-building kind of way.
I have gone in and added two skills to my LinkedIn page: “Being a pretty cool guy” and “smiles ‘good.’” I think these two skills are accurate. I try hard to be a pretty cool guy, and I think I smile pretty good, too. Do you agree? If so, then endorse me! Let’s see if I can be more accurately described in these ways than I am in the areas of Advertising or Marketing Strategy (which I certainly do appreciate). After all, in 50 years when I’m old and gray, I certainly want it be known that I was good at my job, but I also want to be remembered for being a “pretty cool guy” who “smiles good” and LinkedIn will surely outlast me at this rate (and yes – I know that is poor grammar not to say “smiles well,” but I never wanted to be seen as pretentious, either).
What about you? What do you want to be remembered for? I see no reason why we can’t all add some key skills to our LinkedIn profile that would most accurately describe us as well as our careers, right?
What do you want to be endorsed for?