Are LinkedIn Recommendations and Endorsements Reliable?

free applicant tracking systemAnyone who’s ever been on LinkedIn knows that recommendations and endorsements are a big part of the overall concept. Professionals use LinkedIn to recruit, network, connect with co-workers and more. If you’re unfamiliar with these two things, LinkedIn.com states the following:

“A skill endorsement is a one-click way for your connections to endorse the skills listed on your profile. There is not an automatic way to request an endorsement. A written recommendation isn’t included with this feature. A recommendation is a written statement of recommendation from a connection. You can request recommendations from your connections, as well as proactively recommend your connections.”

The question for most who use LinkedIn regularly is, are these two things reliable when needed as a reference for someone applying for a job? One might think that they’re reliable, but often people you’ve never worked with will endorse your skills. This might seem like an OK thing, but what if they’ve never witnessed you using these skills? What if you don’t actually have the skills they endorse you for?

Same with recommendations. If you’re connected with someone, they’re able to write a recommendation for you. You’re able to ask for one, as well. You might see how this can be unreliable.

Many times though, recruiters aren’t looking at the endorsements and recomendations on LinkedIn, as much as they are your overall web presence. Does your headline speak volumes about your work ethic? Do you have a professional profile photo? These are the things they’re most interested in. That, and of course your work history – which, it goes without saying, should be included.

You shouldn’t have to worry too much about random connections endorsing you for writing or salesperson skills. Recruiters will know what you’re capable of without relying on LinkedIn’s recommendations or endorsements.

If you’re worried about the endorsements and recommendations for connections that shouldn’t be offering their support due to the fact that they’re not a former or current co-worker or colleague, consider going through and removing them. Also, don’t offer bogus recommendations or endorsements to those you’re connected with, either. That should send them a clear statement that you’re not interested in vouching for skills you aren’t able to say you’ve witnessed in action.

Do you have tons of recommendations and endorsements from connections you’ve never worked with directly? If so, do you feel like they misrepresent you and your work ethic? Are you worried that a recruiter will take them to heart?

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