My friend Jack is looking for new career opportunities. Jack noticed his friend Larry had endorsed Moe, a senior leader at a company he’s trying to get into. Jack asked Larry to tell him about Moe, figuring if he knew him well enough to endorse him, he’d know him well enough to offer a warm intro.
“Who’s Moe?” Larry replied.
“You endorsed him on LinkedIn!” said Jack.
“Oh. Him. I don’t know really know him.” Larry said. “And I just clicked that stuff to get rid of it on the screen.”
This is a true story. While the names have been changed out of respect for my still-employed-friend, it also sums up the core problem everyone seems to have with LinkedIn Endorsements. They take zero effort. They’re a hit-and-run social interaction. While it’s easy to blame LinkedIn for making this feature too easy to use, as my friend Tim Burrows says so well, “A social platform is no better or worse than the people that use it. And more importantly, how they use it.”
The real issue I see is that improper use of this feature creates more noise than value. That said, I believe there are six ways we can all improve LinkedIn Endorsements so they’re more authentic and real for everyone.