But I’m an ass monkey that wants you to stop using LinkedIn Endorsements. For. Fuck’s. Sake.
**Note: the language doesn’t get any cleaner from here on out. You’ve been warned.**
First, I’m going to talk about why LinkedIn Endorsements are about as meaningful as having Paris Hilton teach etiquette classes to pre-teen girls. Once I’m done spouting off, I’m going to teach you how to turn them off. You already know how I feel about unqualified connection requests (and apparently, most of you feel the same way).
The Idiocy of LinkedIn Endorsements
Here’s the bottom line about LinkedIn Endorsements: who cares? I know they’re bullshit. You should know they’re bullshit. If you don’t know that they’re bullshit, let’s define why they’re bullshit once and for all.
There are many reasons to connect with people on LinkedIn. Not all of those connections will be people who have direct knowledge or experience as to what’s it’s like to work with you.
The only “barrier to entry” for offering a LinkedIn endorsement is being someone’s connection on the LinkedIn platform. Now, I’m sure that the passengers on the Titanic would not be endorsing Edward Smith for his sea captaining skills. Did they directly work with Smith? No, but I do feel they’re likely a good judge of his experience. But he’s dead. Just like 1,502 passengers on the ship. But that still leaves roughly 700 people who could likely vouch for the fact that Smith missed a giant chunk of ice in the Atlantic martini.
Which brings me to another round of WHO FUCKING CARES?! When the barrier to entry on a LinkedIn Endorsement is only that someone’s clicked a button to acknowledge that they accept a connection, who the hell is giving any credence to Endorsements?
Here’s a snapshot of my Endorsements on LinkedIn:
Now, the only endorsement I really give a rat’s ass about is the one highlighted in red. Guess what? I created that category myself, fully embracing the sheer idiocy of LinkedIn endorsements and figured to hell with it. If people are going to offer me an endorsement on a skill and they’ve never met me, by gawdalmighty, here’s one they can click with fucking certainty.
Blogging? Thank you. After nearly 700 posts since 2006, I hope I know what I’m doing. But then again, shouldn’t other people be the judge of that when they stop by my blog?
Online Advertising? I really know fuckall about this. Facebook ads, their promoted posts, and a deep interest in LinkedIn advertising are the extent of it, I’m afraid.
Published Author? Yes, I am. Twice. But then again, so is this guy. Now you can see how useful broad categories like this are. Kill me now.
It all comes down to an ego-centric circle jerk. Every time I see a fresh Endorsement notification, I feel like the girl who got invited to a random “no, no, I swear it’s NOT an orgy” party and I get stuck hiding in the corner behind a ficus for the entire evening because my ride is involved in a kind of sandwich they don’t sell at Subway.
I’m leaving the Endorsements party. It’s creepy and I didn’t ask to be here. Maybe you’re ready to leave, too.
Now — how do we get these fuckers off our LinkedIn profiles?
How to Remove Endorsements from Your LinkedIn Profile (or disable them completely)
Removing Endorsements from your LinkedIn profile is so damn easy that I feel like a chump for not figuring it out on my own. A big hat tip goes out to my friend Rich Mackey for giving me the gist so I could share this illustrated guide with you.
Step 1: Click on Edit Profile
Step #2: Scroll down to Skills & Expertise (cough) and click the EDIT pencil icon
Step #3: Opt to hide Endorsements in 3 simple steps.
You’re done. All that will show are skills that YOU choose to have displayed on your profile for search purposes or whatnot.
People can no longer offer their nonsensical “vouchings”. And you, my friends, are now free of those useless notifications that someone’s endorsed you.
Want real endorsements? Ask your customers and clients for testimonials. Put them on your website. Make them easy to find and make sure they depict the work you do and how your clients feel when you do it for them. LinkedIn isn’t the only game in town when it comes to building a credible portfolio for your brand of awesome. Stop letting others — the platforms and the people — define how others see you.
That’s your domain, friend. Take it back and make the rules.
OH MY MANY GODS AND GOSHES - Thank you! One of my top endorsements, every freaking week, is something I don't do, have never done, and have no interest in doing. I don't know why people think I have experience in it. I'm so tired of deleting the same thing, while what I actually do languishes.
Begone, pointless endorsements. I will SHOW you what I'm good at, given half a chance. Anyway. Thank you - that's one less annoyance in my life. Can you do anything about the 21 year old 'kid' on my couch? ;-)
Erika - I believe there is no way to restrict "Endorsements" on Linked IN. What you probably did was just turn off notifications when people endorse you.
Here is a FAQ from Linked in:Opting Out of Endorsements
Can I completely opt out of endorsements?Last Reviewed: 11/19/2012 Report Answer Inaccuracies
My first reaction to these was to respond in kind - then I immediately knee-jerked 'no this is more K bullshit but worse.' (Skipping Klout ramble; still haven't made up my mind.) I'd just shared a post the other day on how to hide them - b/c I hadn't quite figured out what I wanted to do: hide, delete, opt out entirely (if that's possible). Love reading these comments - esp. those on the other side which voice some of my own 2nd thoughts. Like @mikelking I'm like it's free advertising and some people buy into these vanity metrics crap. Maybe for now I'll edit - and per your trick - create some custom ones like 'inscrutable acronyms' and 'WTH?! blog comments' and see what happens. FWIW.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Thanks for writing about this and letting me know I wasn't alone thinking how stupid these endorsements were. Never realized I could turn them off so thanks for the visual "how to".Love your stuff, keep up the great work!
Oh I love you! As much as I love to see people endorse me for things I know nothing about - things I never even thought to learn - I love you more for never having to endure feeling stupid - because I've been yet again reminded that there is so much out there I know nothing about - regardless if I have fooled people into thinking I am an expert in said field!
Done and done! *dusts off hands* What's next?
Thank you for sharing how to do this. Hopefully we can all start getting REAL testimonials soon!
I worked my butt off for a year and a half--daily!--for the same person... When the project ended she gave her "testimonial" in the form of clicking one (just one!) of the endorsement buttons. Ugh. Heartbreaking.
OK. I'm going to screw up my courage and -- disagree. (Gulp.) To an extent. (That's better.) I agree that these endorsements have little meaning or relevance to most folks. I agree wholeheartedly and enthusiastically that real testimonials from actual clients are FAR more valuable - no question. But don't we tell folks that inbound content-based marketing is the way to go? Don't we encourage them to blog and publish relevant, helpful, valuable content on their sites for their ideal clients/customers? Don't we do that in part because it helps them become seen as experts in their relative fields? I think I *can* judge that you're awesome at blogging, and at social media, because I read your blog, I see your social media interactions, and I know you know your shit. Maybe that's worth less than a client testimonial but that doesn't mean it's worthless necessarily. My two cents, YMMV, etc.
Thanks, Erika, for this. Endorsements turned off...
I always felt that the only reason people would "endorse me" when they barely know me, is to get their own names linked to mine and therefore get free advertising. Not that I have any great following, but it just seems so wrong to me. What does some guy I met once in a networking group know about my vibroacoustic therapy skills??? Does he even know what vibroacoustic therapy is? I'll bet not.
While I am not a huge fan of the vapid endorsements floating around thanks to LinkedIn, I am not about to turn off the free advertising. As irrelevant as they are the have the effect of bouncing you into the content stream which is not a totally bad thing. For instance if someone takes the time to endorse me in say WordPress or Beer Brewing then they are telling their circle of associates that I am some one that they value in this area because it shows up in their and your update streams.
However, that sums up the intrinsic value of the endorsement, and is no where as impactful as a true recommendation. In fact it is kind of like a recommendation-lite a.k.a. the equivalent of a Facebook 'like.'
Ultimately, anything that helps people connect me with a specific technology or beer is usually good.
In either case I do appreciate this and do not think you are an Ass Monkey... it the notices can feel like static...
THANK YOU! I've been wondering how to stop the madness with these things, but never stopped to figure it out. I wholeheartedly agree with you on them too Erika. I keep getting endorsements from people I vaguely know, and never understood how they could make a comment on a skill or expertise. Now a recommendation is a different story, as that typically comes from someone I DO know, or HAVE worked with in some capacity. Ditto on testimonials. :)
I was sitting in Starbucks a few months back and a man sitting next to me (who I was eavesdropping on because I thought he was a genius) said, "The new LinkedIn endorsement format is BULLSHIT and the ONLY reason they did this is because people are too lazy to write sentences anymore. Thinks like Twitter and 140 characters have dumbed us down, so we'd rather just point and click instead write something meaningful." That sums it up. Not that I don't like and appreciate the people who take time out of their busy schedule to stop by my LI profile because we are connected, after all, and click on some button in an attempt to make me "look good" but the truth is, as a Chief "Get Shit Done" Officer, the people I actually Get Shit Done for couldn't possibly care less about these endorsements. Hell, they don't have time to read a 3 sentence recommendation. They just want me to get shit done. LOL!
I think you hurt LinkedIn's feelings.....but social can be cruel like that sometimes....just like life....
I love it, but I am too chicken to let go of the Endorsements. The fact is that most of the Hiring Gods are not far-sighted enough to share your idea that the Endorsements are bullshit, but rather take them as a page of gospel.
Awesome, thanks for this. I removed my skills list but am thinking of re-adding with a custom list of skills (much like your dropping the F-Bomb) to see if anyone agrees with me.
@sridhar9 No, that's not what I did. I disabled Endorsements from displaying on my profile so that ass monkeys who don't know me can't leave a review of my work. :)
@ecoofficegals Love you back :)
@marketingxprtis Your words here are endorsement enough :)
@Lauren Tharp Oy vey. Well, I sit down once a month and think, "Who did I really enjoy working with this month?" Then I email a testimonial request. Ka-POW! Slowly but surely, they build right up :)
@ColleenLindsay Mmmmmmmmwaaaaaaaaa back atcha!
@Annie Sisk I think that you have a valid point on the basis that "nothing is absolute." It's not that LI endorsements are worthless to EVERYBODY. There is probably going to be Client Joe or Client Jane that looks at a LI profile and sees 552 endorsements for everything under the sun and decides that they want to do business with that person. There are people out there like that.
I think it's all about knowing your audience. Like I said previously, my audience doesn't care, so it would make sense to me to turn it off. Hell, my ideal clients may NEVER even look at my LI profile at all. Some people need the "social proof" before they work with a person and a lot of it is completely arbitrary.
Other people prefer more solid stuff.
@Annie Sisk Everyone will have their own opinions about this, but I hate Endorsements and think they're useless. Most of the people offering endorsements -- especially in my case -- have never worked with me. It's filled my stream up with useless clutter. And there are better ways to be recognized as an expert in a field than through LinkedIn's parameters, I feel.
But hey -- keep 'em if you like 'em. Me? I don't see the value due to the low barrier to entry and lack of context.
And Annie -- no courage-screwing required to disagree. Your thoughts are always welcome here :)
@mikelking See, that's precisely why I turn them off -- they're static. And as someone who pays no attention to Endorsements since I don't place any value in who can offer them, I'm not looking for static. But, use them as you will -- I can't recall earning a single client from someone who said, "Hey, I caught that so-and-so endorsed you for branding." My best business (and most of my business) comes from direct referral. Tomato/tomato, I suppose :)
@spacebarpress You are welcome. I'm glad you found it useful.
@AssistantNikki THIS. And THANK YOU!
@bdorman264 LinkedIn could care less what I think. Just like I could care less what they think :)
@bookgirl2 I think a handful of well-written recommendations on LinkedIn would be more impressive to a potential employer than a hundred endorsements. If I am hiring someone tomorrow, I'm not going to pay much attention to endorsements at all.
@lizctaylor Me either...
@MOALee You bet. Delighted to be of service!
@Erika Napoletano That's a fantastic suggestion. I'm going to have to start doing that. I'm slowly but surely getting over my fear of "bugging" people for the things I want/need. Baby steps!
And definitely an "oy vey" moment. She wasn't one of my *ahem* better clients, but I kept hanging in there thinking "Well, at least I'm going to get a great testimonial out of this!" HAHAHA! Live and learn!
And seriously -- would you want to work for a company that would base a hiring decision on endorsements that can be made by people who don't even know you? Ugh.
You can still create Skills, which are entirely searchable. And why not craft an intro to your profile that explains that potential employers can find a selection of earnest Recommendations offered from people who have truly worked with you, which is why you opted to turn off Endorsements?
@Erika Napoletano That's exactly what makes them so gosh-darned interesting. Haha. ;) Thank you again for the advice!
@Lauren Tharp Write your own rules. People will never cease to amaze!