Are LinkedIn Endorsements Valuable?

LI Endorsements: Valuable, or a Waste of Time?

By now most everyone who has a LinkedIn profile has seen the LinkedIn Endorsements feature. But I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out the value in them. Sort of reminds me of Barney the purple dinosaur’s song, but this time for the B2B marketplace. For those who have purposely blocked it from their memories (and, yes, I’ve spared you the video that repeated it 15 times), here we go…

Watch “Barney I Love You” on YouTube

When LinkedIn sends you an email that so-and-so has endorsed you, they ask you to endorse this person back. Sing it together, “I endorse you, you endorse me, we are one big family…”

What I find even funnier is the laundry list of mad skills that some people give themselves and for which they solicit endorsements. Actually, it appears that I can add up to 50 skills to my profile. 50! Thinking of adding brain surgery to my list. Think anyone will notice? Heck, I’m sure I’d get somebody accidentally endorsing me for it. I know, I’m evil. But that highlights one of the downsides of the system: lack of oversight. But then that’s a problem all over social media.

To be fair, I can see why adding these skill lists might be valuable to LinkedIn and its users in terms of search results, similar to tags. But would you really make your decision on whether to do business with or hire a person based on how many people clicked a particular skill button?

I’m wondering if this new click-to-endorse system was introduced to overcome the difficulties some users face in getting people to “recommend” them on LinkedIn. It’s not that they aren’t worthy. It’s just sometimes difficult or awkward to get people to take the time to write a recommendation and, like the Endorsements feature, you were always asked to write a recommendation in return. More Barney mutual admiration “I recommend you, you recommend me…”

Let’s be honest, there are really only two “endorsements” that matter: referrals and genuine customer testimonials. The LinkedIn Endorsements can’t compete.

I applaud LinkedIn for continually trying to make the system more valuable. But adding these Facebook-ish type features and functions detracts from their core strength which is being the world’s best database for professionals, particularly those in B2B.


It’s pretty obvious how I feel about Endorsements. What’s your take? Useful? Useless? Enlighten us in Comments below.

B2B Insights