LinkedIn loves its Skills & Endorsements feature. Its strategy is to use members’ input to build a global economic graph — an increasingly accurate, proprietary database of the global labor supply chain.
Jeff Weiner wants to know what we all do (see p.16) — and if we’re any good at it.
So far, that hasn’t gone well for Jeff. People don’t take LinkedIn skills endorsements seriously because they’re so easy to give.
The New LinkedIn Skills Endorsement
However, endorsements might be getting more meaningful.
Last week, I was on my LinkedIn mobile app endorsing one of my friends when this screen popped up — like the love child of Yelp and Lake Wobegon:
Being a fangirl, I gave my friend three stars.
It didn’t occur to me at the time to ignore LinkedIn’s request or lie in my responses, but I could have used either of those options instead of giving serious answers. (Note: As of May 2019, you can’t ignore the request. No stars, no endorsement.)
LinkedIn told me my friend would never know I’d given her skill a star rating (but if she’s reading this, she probably does now).
After I clicked “Next,” this screen popped up:
LinkedIn wanted to know how well I know my friend. Again, it assured me they would never display my response on LinkedIn or share it with her.
How Will LinkedIn Use This Information?
Which made me ask myself, “How will LinkedIn use this information?”
Does it go to:
- LinkedIn data scientists?
- SEO algorithms (they vary by LinkedIn product)?
- LinkedIn Recruiter subscribers?
- Policy and academic researchers?
They didn’t say.
Will they aggregate responses and display average/median scores for individual members’ top three skills, or all their skills?
They didn’t say.
The LinkedIn Star Ratings Are Here to Stay
As of May 2019, LinkedIn appears to have institutionalized this system. I see it, pretty much as described above, every time I endorse someone.
How Can LinkedIn Star Ratings Help/Hurt You?
Given that the star system is now a fixture, it’s good to be a bit strategic about how it affects you:
- If any new endorsements concern you, learn about your options.
- If someone loves you, definitely ask them to endorse you!
- Decide if you want to allow/prohibit endorsements on your profile.
Then use your Linkedin mobile app to give a friend/colleague a private Sally Field moment:
Let’s Connect on LinkedIn
Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here: Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.
Updated May 2019
© 2018 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.