I think it’s almost standard now that most types of professionals these days have a LinkedIn profile. It effectively works as an online CV, allowing contacts to easily review your skills and experience, and lets you gather many disparate facts about you into one place, such as your non-work skills and experience.
One element of the LinkedIn offering is that colleagues and contacts can “endorse” your skills, allowing you to build up a list of your abilities that have been verified by others. On the face of it, this is a handy option – people who know you and your skills are able to vouch for you, and allow others to get an unbiased view of what you can actually do. Skills would be selected from a pre-approved range of options. It all sounds sensible, and useful.
However, the reality was a little different in practice. It turned out, those pre-defined options were actually quite wide ranging. And in some cases, somewhat odd. I’ve attached a screenshot of the current endorsements I have, that are waiting for me to approve them before they go on my profile (endorsements for a skill you’ve not been endorsed for previously seem to have to be approved by you before they’ll show on your profile…thankfully). As you can see, there are some very strange skills you can be endorsed for, albeit they’re relevant in their sector. And there are some very strange skills, full stop.
Personally, I’m proudest of my “Murder” endorsement. I could tell you how I got it….but then I’d have to kill you….although “Breathing” is a close second favourite.
The endorsements above are the result of an endorsement war that myself and a few friends launched when we realised that there were such odd options available. We went all out to find silly skills, and endorse each other for them, and laughed ourselves silly when we found a new, obscure skill for each other.
So, in the end, the Skills section of LinkedIn became so easy to mess with that those endorsements were irrelevant. And it appears that at some point recently, LinkedIn realised that. This week, I went to endorse a new contact for “Library”. This is my favourite pointless endorsement, as it’s a skill that looks like it’s real, but in reality it’s utter nonsense. Imagine the conversation:
“What are you good at, I was going to endorse you for your skills on LinkedIn, but I wanted to be sure they were ones you agreed you had a strength in. It suggests I endorse you for Library. Are you good at Library?”
“Oh yes, I Library really good. Of all the people who can Library, I am the best at Library, I can assure you. When my peers think of others in the profession who can Library, their thoughts immediately turn to me as an outstanding Library-er.”
So, needless to say, I wanted others to know that she was good at Library. But…it’s GONE! As are the other fun endorsements. No more Murder. No more Cucumber. No more Breathing.
Dagnammit, LinkedIn went and took the only fun bit out of having an online CV!