For many of us our LinkedIn profile is our CV or resume. Can you trust a LinkedIn profile? We need people to trust what we have on the screen. It’s our sales page. Unfortunately some people seem to treat it as a game of the worst kind.
One of the features that LinkedIn have introduced is skills endorsements. These can only be given by first connections. That is people that ‘know us’. They are supposed to be endorsements that we can do certain things or that we know about certain topics.
Points make prizes
Like other gamification tools in LinkedIn and other platforms provide, they are supposed to encourage people to take part. Unfortunately they also become a target for people. Something to collect. a ‘thing’ that can be used as a measure against others. LinkedIn have not helped because they have introduced a few ‘badges’ that people collect.
Here are 2 great examples:
And this one:
These are aspirational ‘badges’ to have on your LinkedIn profile. So some people game both. They collect connections, and they have people they are artificially connected to ‘endorse’ them for skills. The same is true for LinkedIn Company pages, but we will explore that another time.
Have a look at these sets of skills endorsements:
Which image looks authentic? Which one can you trust as a valid LinkedIn profile?
Linkedin Sometimes allows you up to 5 skills to endorse at a time. My skills endorsements are on the right. The one on the left is one I found a a members of a group I belong to.
Which set of data are you more likely to trust if you are a recruiters?
The image on the left looks artificial. Would a real person, a genuine connection endorse a person for 10+ skills? Would person after person do that for the SAME skills? Remember there are up to 50 to choose from.
Are these things important?
The sad things is that in the world of LinkedIn, the more connections you have, the more successful you COULD be on LinkedIn. That is it is easier to find you.
As for skills endorsements, these appear an important element in the search for people. So having the skills listed is important. then its how many people have ‘agreed’ that you do have the skills. this seems to impact how easily it is for people looking for ‘left handed screwdriver operators in the EU’.
If you play straight you wont get found
The disappointing thing is that the straighter you play on LinkedIn, the less likely you are to be found. There is a game to play, but its about how you play.
LinkedIn is potentially a persons livelihood. We all need work of some kind. LinkedIn is supposed to be the place for professionals. But for those that play it straight, they are less likely to get work.
Play the game but play ethically
It seems we have no choice but to play the game. For me though its about ethics. I want my profile to reflect who I am and what I do. Equally I want recruiters or people looking to engage a consultant to find me. I also need them to trust what they see.
For me this means:
Getting connections to endorse me – we can kick start the process by endorsing PEOPLE WE KNOW for one or two skills WE KNOW THEY HAVE.
It means connecting to people I know or have ‘talked with’ online. A few years ago I was persuaded to be an open networker and connect with anyone. That was a mistake, and a week does not go by when I remove some of these connections – there is no quick way!
It means posting articles like this and asking my network to look at them. It has to be a trust thing.
Can you trust a LinkedIn profile?
One of the acid tests of an authentic LinkedIn profile is what we see on screen. Do the number of connections match they type of job roles held. How long the person has been working. How long a person has been with a particular employer or country.
Look at your profile. Ask yourself “Does it LOOK right?”. Is it gamed? Does it look authentic. If not, remove connections that over endorse – that removes the wrong looking endorsements too!
What do you do to check the authenticity of a LinkedIn profile? I know many use Google Image search to check a profile is not a fake.