LinkedIn endorsements: a dime a dozen or valuable?

LinkedIn EndorsementsTaking a break from drafting a sustainability report about a diamond mine, I was enjoying an endorsement by someone who has been observing me dealing with biodiversity and stakeholder engagement. I cherish it along with my other ca 200 endorsements (many thanks!). But are such endorsements gimmicky or do they provide insights about core skills, experiences & peer network?


As Sheryl Smolkin blogged recently on, LinkedIn introduced the endorsement feature only in September 2012. She notes that LinkedIn stats suggest that this feature has been a huge success: there have been over 550 million endorsements and 10 million are given every day.

Does this mean that, unlike recommendations, endorsements are a dime a dozen and have no value? This is perhaps why Sheryl also points out that her conversations with recruiters showed that endorsements are viewed as “gimmicky” and are generally ignored.

But for me, a CSR and ESIA advisor at Prizma who benefits from recommendations by associates, partners, peers and clients to find or participate in his next interesting assignment, the views of recruiters are not particularly critical. I feel that, having collected a few, endorsements suggest that some of my skills and experiences highlighted in my LinkedIn profile are not just a figment of my imagination. Instead, they underline that my profile is verifiably real, and that my skills and experiences are recognized by my LinkedIn peers. This is leveraged further by the fact that, by and-large, my endorsements come from credible professionals who are recognized in their own peer groups.

Based on the LinkedIn endorsements received to date, my 'Top 5' skills and area of expertise are the following:

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  2. Sustainability
  3. EIA Environmental and Social Impact Assessment)
  4. Sustainability Reporting, and
  5. Stakeholder Engagement.

There is one more important thing. I feel that endorsements I have received allow me to see how others rank my core skills and areas of expertise - and not just to consider my own judgement. Do you feel endorsements on my LinkedIn profile are gimmicky, are skewed in some way or do they tell you a story about my skills, experience and peer recognition?

3 Comments to LinkedIn endorsements: a dime a dozen or valuable?

  1. […] Very interested to read that my LinkedIn profile is among the top 1% most viewed profiles for 2012 (now over 200 million members). I welcome your curiosity. But what does this mean? Indicator of networking mojo & peer recognition, or sign of pending fame & fortune? Either way, I decided to update my LinkedIn photo. Do you like it…? Check out also: LinkedIn endorsements: a dime a dozen or valuable? […]

  2. Bruce McKean says:

    Mehrdad: I much more value recommendations. The “endorsement” requires only a click…and LinkedIn (in its wisdom) suggests the skills that you might want to consider. A no-brainer. And that’s the problem. LinkedIn offers people who know me a single choice (CSR) and guess what? I have the most “endorsements” for what LinkedIn puts in front of people. But my experience, success and passion is “product stewardship”, for which I have 1 (ONE) endorsement. What does this mean? It means that there are a significant number of people out there that think well of me professionally (thank you) but which have just clicked on what LinkedIn offered. That doesn’t mean I have nothing to offer in the CSR world but that whatever logarithm LinkedIn uses is skewing the results. Bottom line: endorsements mean that you have respect in your community (you more than me but you have earned it) but that it is a generic endorsement. Absolutely nothing wrong with that…but read it broadly.


    Bruce McKean

  3. Mehrdad says:

    Salam, Bruce, thanks for your note. I share your view that there is a very ‘low (clicking) barrier’ to endorsements. Almost like handing out candy someone else is supplying. I feel a good portion of my endorsements relate to being an active networker, being actively present on social media (mainly my blog, leveraged though LinkedIn Groups). I also think some topics are much more ‘public topics’ (say CSR), while others are more difficult to bring into the limelight (say Independent Engineer or Expert Witness)…
    Koda Hafez and enjoy your weekend!

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