To Endorse or Not to Endorse?

” Hey, can you endorse me please?”
Sound familiar?
If you are a member of the largest professional social network on the planet, LinkedIn, it’s likely not only familiar, but starting to become a tad annoying.

LinkedIn, in an attempt to become even more of an online professional resume, has offered its members the opportunity to very easily endorse each other based on the skills you have listed in your profile.

In theory it sounds like a great idea but in practice it’s not only falling short of its target, it might even be wiping out the credibility of LinkedIn in the process.

Here’s the problem, in the past 3 hours I’ve received two endorsement requests from people I have never done business with. We may have connected through a networking event, we may have intentions of doing business in the future but nevertheless, as of the time of the request, we have not. If I were to recommend your business skills without having experienced them, wouldn’t that be a lie? What if, worst case scenario, I did endorse you and you were lying on your profile. Could that not come back to affect my credibility in a very negative way?

In fact, we should all think long and hard before ‘endorsing’ anyone, from a lawyer to a realtor to a hairdresser – not having our ducks in a row could have catastrophic consequences.

So here’s what I propose, don’t put your colleagues, clients or potential clients in the awkward position of having to turn you down. Stop asking anyone other than regular, satisfied customers for endorsements. If your skills are what you say they are the endorsements will happen naturally and no one’s credibility, resume or hair-do will have to pay the price.

%d bloggers like this: