Sorry, but I will not endorse you (on LinkedIn anyway)

I’ve written previously about my belief in the value of professional profiles, such as those introduced by professional bodies like CILIP, CIPD and LPI.

It was of interest then to see this article on the success of LinkedIn’s current alternative, the ‘Skills & Expertise’ endorsement.  Whilst I would agree that the author is correct in identifying the viral success of endorsements I would not agree they add anything to the platform.

Problems with endorsements include:

  1. You can set your initial long list, and this list can frame the conversation.  I deliberately set lots of skills in my profile, this was basically because I find this kind of approach a little silly.  The advantage of traditional job descriptions is that they force you to concentrate your application on 10-12 areas.  Having your online profile cover lots of items may be more accurate of a skill set but also dilutes the value of any one item by listing all of those other areas.
  2. It is not “fun”, instead notifications of endorsement can become annoying and the implied suggestion that you should endorse back is somewhat, let us say, pushy.
  3. Short phrase categories are of little use.  My profile currently has ‘E-Learning’ as the highest ranked endorsement.  This comes with a few problems, firstly, at one point I had ‘e-Learning’, ‘E-Learning’ and possibly even ‘e-learning’.  I eventually contacted LinkedIn support about how to merge these just to tidy my profile from the endorsements of others.  Secondly, a skill/expertise such as e-Learning is vague beyond use, do I know theory (yes), do I know how to use some related technology (yes) could I build an e-Learning tool from scratch (no).  Even in combination with other fields it remains vague.

So, whilst I appreciate those of you who have taken the time to endorse me I wont be jumping into that never ending pool.

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader ( and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

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