Stuck in a Career Rut? Allow us to point you in the "Wright" Career Direction

LinkedIn Endorsements: Fad, Foe or Friend?

If you are active on LinkedIn you may have started receiving endorsements from some of your connections. I have, and must say that when they started arriving in my Inbox I thought spam hackers had infiltrated the accounts of some of the people in my network and were sporadically sending out these messages. I became a bit more curious when I noticed endorsements were coming from some individuals with whom I had very little, if any, interactions. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate all I have received so far, but because I wasn’t aware that such a feature exists, I was sceptical. It wasn’t until I saw several posts on a discussion board and visited the LinkedIn blog that I realized the emails were legitimate.

LinkedIn Endorsement is a feature that allows your contacts to click a button and recognize and validate skills and expertise that you have on your profile. They can also add skills and expertise that they know you have but ones you may not have listed. In fact, in a word or phrase, a LinkedIn endorsement could help to answer the age old question, “What are you good at?” The feature also allows you to pay-it-forward by endorsing the expertise of people in your network who you know quite well or by reciprocating the favour of those who have endorsed you. Having said that, is this LinkedIn Endorsement feature a fad, a foe or a friend?

Fad. From much of what I have read, some people have characterized it as a fad – a trend that will pass. One individual curtly said, “This too shall pass”, referring to Twitter‘s #FollowFriday and Facebook‘s ‘Likes’. A comment on states, “As the feature stands, it’s really just eye-candy for Linkedin, perhaps catching the attention of an employer but quickly fading away under detailed scrutiny.” One colleague commented that, “This whole endorsements thing is kinda brainless…silly and devoid of meaning.” Digital marketer, Eric Whittlake, portends that the value of LinkedIn as a business network will decrease while traffic to the site and potential advertising will increase. And, blogger Garrett Heath, said, “The Endorsement feature cheapens some of these accomplishments and turns a candidate’s profile/resume effectively into a “Like” contest.”

Foe. Although this could be more perception than reality, somewhere down the road, recruiters and hiring managers could be tempted to look at the number of endorsements one has and eliminate some otherwise talented people from the competition because they do not have many endorsements. This is not too far-fetched as there were discussions in the blogosphere and on job boards several months ago about some employers using one’s Klout score (or number of Twitter followers, for that matter), to determine how much clout (influence) one has and which applicants should be short-listed for interviews. Endorsements could also impact the LinkedIn’s Recommendations feature since it is easier to click on a skills button than to write a recommendation. And, in some circles, endorsements could be viewed as a “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” strategy, which could be frowned on and diminish its effectiveness.

Friend. The upside to the act of endorsements is that it could be perceived as a 360° validation of your expertise. Not only are you saying you are ‘the best thing since sliced bread’ but people who are familiar with you and your work also agrees with you. These endorsements add value and credibility and back up your claim of having those skills and expertise. An endorsement could also be mutually beneficial as you can return the favour of the endorser and thereby capitalize on each other’s network. If done correctly, endorsements could enhance the value of the recommendations you already have.

It’s obvious that the feature has friends and foes. From my perspective, however, the jury is still out. First, the feature is only a month old (up to the time of this post); second, I am still not sure how to use it effectively. For example, when I thought I was accepting endorsements, I ended up clicking on the “Endorse All 4” button that popped up without clearly looking at who I was endorsing. There will be many more discussions about the value of endorsements, and when that happens we can all determine if a LinkedIn Endorsement is a fad, a foe or a friend. Leave your comments or your discoveries in the “Speak Your Mind” section below.

Additional reading:

The Pros and Cons of Endorsements

How LinkedIn Skills Endorsement Impact Your Job Search

Endorsement Feature Degrades LinkedIn as a Professional Network



I am Daisy Wright, an award winning certified career management and interview coach, author, and certified resume strategist. I collaborate with executives, managers, and mid-career professionals in all aspects of their career and job search to help them get hired FASTER! I am the Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of The Wright Career Solution and quite passionate about diversity and inclusion and women's issues.

Twitter: @CareerTips2Go

About Daisy

I am Daisy Wright, an award winning certified career management and interview coach, author, and certified resume strategist. I collaborate with executives, managers, and mid-career professionals in all aspects of their career and job search to help them get hired FASTER! I am the Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of The Wright Career Solution and quite passionate about diversity and inclusion and women's issues.

Twitter: @CareerTips2Go


  1. I agree completely. I didn’t know what to think when they started showing up in my inbox. Then I was flattered. Then I started to be concerned about the value of such a surface recommendation. Of course I have endorsed people who I feel deserve recognition. So I will wait and see, it might fade quickly, but for now it is catching our attention, isn’t it?

  2. Thanks for your comments Marylou. I guess we should take a wait-and-see attitude. I read again today that LinkedIn has been getting a lot of flack for it. but we will see. My preference is to write a recommendation for someone whose work I am familiar with, or have someone one write a recommendation for me, but am not complaining about endorsements. They will serve a purpose until the next feature comes around.

    Best wishes,

  3. Interesting discussion Daisy. I have had a number of endorsements and just started to complete a few for others. What I have decided to do is only endorse people for one main thing that I would know them for – their uniqueness as far as my mind thinks anyway. After all it’s my perception.

    Also I need to know them well enough to identify that. It has certainly helped me to reach out to a few as I feel that I do not know them well enough. I figure I should, otherwise why are they a connection in the first place?

    Just my toonies worth

  4. I agree with your blog, really don’t know how long this will last, and a written recommendation I think holds more value. The nice thing though has been that people I haven’t connected with in awhile have given me an endorsement, so opened up the doors to re-connect with them. It does drive more traffic to the site, and it is nice to see who is endorsing you.

  5. Paul, the strategy to reach out to those you don’t know well enough is a good one, and something I hadn’t thought about. It’s another chance to get to know them and answer your question, “Why are they a connection in the first place?”.

    Thanks. Appreciate your perspective, as always.


  6. Ingrid, I think you and Paul are on to something I hadn’t thought about, and that’s ‘opening up the opportunity to re-connect’. It could even open up the doors for new recommendations. Afterall, these endorsements may not be as banal as many people think.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  7. I received a blast of a sort from one I would call a friend. I recently endorsed one of his skills in the area of his employment. I did not do, as some seems to feel propelled to do, in that they check off a whack of skills of mine, some that I would not necessarily endorse for myself. In these cases, I simple un-click these endorsements as I do not feel they ring so true for me. I have worked in the same field as the gentleman with whom I endorsed one skill. He seemed for some reason that his integrity would come into question because we had never worked on the same team or even for the same company. This baffled me. I found the corrective tone in his communication misplaced and even curt.

    I did respond and let him know that although he may not be aware, I did indeed have experience in the field he is now working although this does not show on my resume when he checked me out after my endorsement. In so saying, I did not personally feel I could or should not endorse him as he is doing well in his career. I have removed him from my Linked-In professional network as I do feel strongly that a certain decorum needs to be present in how we treat others, especially those in our networks.

    Yes, the jury is out, Fad, Fan or Failure…time will tell. The misuse of this all too easy click would potentially render the feather cheep and devoid of true value if misused. The feature itself I think is super as many have difficulty promoting themselves or even finding the appropriate terminology to do so.

    I am of the opinion that when another trusted friend, colleague or acquaintance, who knows our professional history, does the endorsing for us I think this is a win-win, not lose-lose scenario. Deep in thought, Dianne

  8. Hi Dianne,

    Thanks for taking the time to offer your comments. Your experience with this individual is precisely why we have to be cautious about the people and skills we are endorsing. Am sorry he found it necessary to be curt and unprofessional with you, but it could be a misunderstanding as we all grapple with this new LinkedIn feature. Like the term you used: “Fad, Fan or Failure”.

    To your success,


Speak Your Mind