LinkedIn Endorsements Have Gotten WAY Out of Hand

I debated whether I should write this posting; the last thing I would ever want to do is offend someone who has good intentions.

Folks: LinkedIn Endorsements have gotten WAY out of hand.

A quick explanation. LinkedIn Endorsements are different from Recommendations. With an endorsement, anyone you have a connection to on LinkedIn can check a box to “endorse” your skills and knowledge in one or multiple areas. It’s as simple as having a conversation with someone and for me to say, “Mary is really great at raising money for foundations,” so I might check “nonprofit” or “fundraising” in her profile, for example.

I like the idea of endorsements very much, and while I have had some colleagues who know me and my abilities endorse my skills, an endorsement from someone I hardly know or haven’t worked with in 10+ years is a bit ridiculous.

Unlike Facebook where I know all of my friends, I really don’t know everyone I’m connected to on LinkedIn; the ones I don’t know are those who reached out to me because we’ve shared a mutual connection. In reality, none of these people have ever really tried to network with me by writing or calling me to talk. I would welcome those kinds of conversations, but they just don’t happen.

So why do people who are almost-complete strangers feel the need to rate my skills, even if I haven’t worked with them or it’s been a long time since I’ve seen them?

It’s the need to be noticed, of course – and to seem as if you’re participating in social media so you can raise your awareness and get more business.

OK people – I see you, but wouldn’t it be better – and I apologize for repeating myself – to reach out to me one-to-one to have a conversation to talk about our businesses, what we’re looking for and who we’re trying to connect to?

Maybe I missed this chapter in my Networking 101 book! Has technology so invaded our lives that we avoid connecting to people, let alone picking up the phone to have a conversation?

For those who have endorsed me and know me, thank you. However, the next time I’m endorsed by someone I don’t know very well, I really do want to be very Un-PC and fire back a note asking them how the heck they have any knowledge of my abilities.

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Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales. Contact him at scott@cytronandcompany.com and visit his blog, www.absolutecytron.com.

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