I've been a member of LinkedIn for several years.
I'm connected to people I've dealt with in a variety of roles. Some of the people I know very well, others might only be casual acquaintances. However I have some kind of "link" or "connection" with pretty much all of them.
I won't connect to people unless I know who they are and I definitely won't endorse someone unless I've actually worked with them in some capacity.
Over the past couple of years the number of people who seem to be using LinkedIn as an online CV has mushroomed, or at least that's the impression I get.
When it comes to endorsements I've always taken them very seriously and now that I'm seeing more and more people using their LinkedIn profiles to help themselves get work I've come to see them as a replacement for the "references" that you might have had with a more traditional CV.
So when someone asks me for an endorsement I take that request pretty seriously. There are two sides to an endorsement. The obvious one is that it adds a certain degree of "value" to the recipient. A "glowing" review by a previous employer or colleague will add to the otherwise boring list of past positions.
The flipside of it, however, is that by endorsing someone you are making a statement. Not only is that statement about the person you are endorsing, but also about yourself. If a person you endorse isn't truly deserving of the endorsement then it could reflect badly on you as well.
So, for those reasons, I really value LinkedIn endorsements and I won't endorse people unless I feel that I can ie. I know them personally or professionally and feel that they are trustworthy.
It is unfortunate, however, that a lot of people don't seem to feel that way. Why else would people who I barely know and have never actually worked with ask me for an endorsement? If I feel that I don't have any personal experience of their work and cannot honestly make a recommendation of them based on a vacuum, then why on earth are they asking me to? Do they want me to lie about my experiences with them? Or is it simply that they think that people don't value the two way aspect of endorsements to actually take the time to write a proper one?
- Hang on LinkedIn I didn't sign up for that. (jameslarkin.ie)
- How a LinkedIn Endorsement Can Hurt Your Freelance Writing Business (savvywritingcareers.wordpress.com)