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Apr
26

You Want Me To Do What?

I was very surprised recently when I received two requests on the same day from two different people asking me to “Endorse” them on LinkedIn. Under normal circumstances, I would be happy to provide a recommendation to someone that I know and that I’ve had some form of working relationship with. As a Social Media Manager, I encourage my clients to obtain recommendations from current and former supervisors or managers, co-workers and those who know their work or can provide a meaningful recommendation.

But the first request for an endorsement came from someone that I had just connected with a few days earlier. This person is in the same line of work as I am, but lives in another country and we haven’t yet exchanged emails. Needless to say, I was stunned that she would ask me for a recommendation. I don’t know her beyond what I read on her LinkedIn profile.

The second request for an endorsement came from an individual that I did meet, about two weeks earlier, at a networking event. We exchanged a bit of information about our businesses and have connected here on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Again, I know very little about this individual except that he appears to be a nice man, based on our initial conversation. But is this what he wants me to write in my recommendation? I would hope not.

Recommendations serve a purpose. People who want to do business with you, or possibly interview you for a job will be interested in reading these recommendations to get an idea of what you might have to offer. But LinkedIn also uses the number of recommendations to boost your search rankings. This is where QUANTITY may outweigh QUALITY and I don’t think that’s right. If these two individuals are requesting recommendations from me to boost their LinkedIn search rankings, then I understand the reason for sending out the request – BUT I DON’T AGREE WITH IT. And as such, since I don’t know them, they won’t be getting my endorsements.

3 comments

  1. Marilyn Kay says:

    Yes. I’ve had the same experience. I think people are being pushed to get recommendations, which is a good thing, But first you have to establish a relationship. It’s the same situation whether it’s online or offline.

  2. Paul Van Wart says:

    Thanks for your input, Marilyn

  3. Len Kamerman says:

    Paul – I assume when you say endorsement that you’re talking about an actual “recommendation” vs. just making a “connection” on LinkedIn, right?

    Give that I’ve just met you at one networking event, I won’t ask you for a recommendation I guess, eh? (Not that I would have disagreed and thought that a good idea anyhow!)

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