LinkedIn: New One-Click Skills Endorsements

LinkedIn recently introduced a new feature on its site, one-click skills and expertise endorsements. Now you can go to a friend or colleague’s profile find the skills and expertise area and click on a listed skill (or even add some skills or other areas of expertise that aren’t yet listed). This new feature makes it very easy to endorse your connection on LinkedIn. Think of it as LinkedIn’s version of a Facebook “Like”.

This is very different from a recommendation on LinkedIn. A recommendation requires that your connection actually sit down and take the time and energy to write a thoughtful and articulate testimonial regarding your work and performance. For a recruiter or decision-maker reviewing a job candidate’s profile, the recommendations can give additional insight into a prospective candidate’s background.

The ease of the one-click skills endorsement begs the question of how much weight someone reading the profile will give to these “likes” on LinkedIn. To me, gathering these endorsements is reminiscent of Valentine’s Day back in elementary school. Do you remember (I know, for some of us this goes back a little ways) running home with your little cardboard box filled with Valentine’s and counting and comparing with your friends how many Valentine’s you’d received. Most with “Roses are red, violets are blue . . .” not exactly the quality love notes we come to expect as adults from a single special admirer.

Which brings me to my point, quantity versus quality. Are we just becoming a one-click “Like” world and moving away from quality assessments that actually add value and insight into a person’s background and capabilities. I’d love to hear from recruiters and HR professionals on their feelings regarding the new one-click endorsements and how much they will impact their decisions in contacting potential candidates.


The Key To Executive Networking

The Key To Executive NetworkingFor many executives and professionals, identity and self-worth are defined by the work they do. So what happens when you no longer hold the position that defines you; when you’re made redundant because your company has been acquired by a larger entity and you’re subsequently let go, or when your position is outsourced overseas?

Any of those scenarios can be like a sudden earthquake, rocking even the most confident executive to the core, not to mention being a huge blow to the ego and leaving even the best and brightest questioning their desirability in today’s competitive job market.

For example, I worked with a former corporate president who was going through a career transition. When I suggested he network with other presidents and CEOs he said, “why would they want to talk to me, I’m not the president of anything any more?” To which I responded, “I see, so all of your past knowledge of running a company has just evaporated and you have no experiential advice or wisdom you can impart to anyone?” After thinking about this a moment, his eyes brightened, he sat up straighter and he was able to rethink his approach to his career transition and networking.

Remember, as an executive, you bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to any discussion. When you reach out to fellow executives to network, you’re reaching out as a peer, an equal, someone with whom a conversation can be mutually beneficial. This enables you to approach networking from a position of strength and confidence. So, the key to executive networking is to remember your self worth, to remember that you are not your job, and to approach it as a peer to peer meeting or discussion.