Endorse All The Things! Actually Don’t…

LinkedIn Can Endorse Your Skills Now! COOL!

LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for young professionals and high-level executives alike; it enables employers to get a quick glance at your resume with little effort, allows recent grads a starting point in their job search, and now even allows you to see what skills a person has based on the new ‘endorsement’ feature. Much like a crowdfunding site or Yelp referral service this new feature has many positives, the greatest being the ability to see what people thing you are genuinely good at….or that what its supposed to do at least.

Endorse All The Things! Actually, Don’t

Though you may be tempted to endorse your friends for all the skills they have listed, you may want to put your friendship aside for a moment and assess what skills you really feel they excel with. Much like the new trend of parents wanting their kids to be ‘perfect’ and excel at everything (and I mean literally everything), I’ve witnessed a new trend of people endorsing their friends for every trait listed. The problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t give an accurate portrayal oh what the individual actually excels at.

What Do You Mean?

For example, a graphic designer that is very talented at certain programs, and new to others may have all the programs listed as skills on their profile. What their profile should reflect, is a strong endorsement in the programs they excel at, and a moderate endorsement in what they are new to: this lets a recruiter know how much training may be needed, and where their strengths really are.

But I’m Just Being Nice!

Another example may be a PR hopeful who has a strong background in traditional email marketing and b2b…but that hasn’t quite gotten a handle on social media. By endorsing this person in social media, this gives the false impression that this person understands social media as well as they understand traditional marketing.

NBD, Right?

Why is this a problem? You might say, “Oh well we all fudge our resumes a little when we try to impress people” but therein lies a fundamental flaw. If you allow a recruiter to assume you have an equal understanding of all the skills endorsed highly on your profile, it could come back to haunt you: If you demonstrate that you are not actually proficient in one skill highly endorsed on your profile, it could invalidate all the skills that have been endorsed on your profile.

So Don’t Get Trigger-Happy!

How can you avoid this? Only endorse the skills you know a person has: if your friend kicks butt at networking….but not so much social networking, ONLY endorse ‘networking’ until you think they are skilled in social networking. When LinkedIn asks you to endorse 4 of your friends at the top, DO NOT click the ‘endorse all 4’ button. Look at each suggestion carefully and endorse accordingly.

Give your friends a more fair shot, and endorse accordingly! Happy endorsing everyone!

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