How Genuine are you When Providing Endorsements/Recommendations?

In the other week’s #Tchat, we tackled the topic of endorsements and recommendations via social media. With all these new social media platforms emerging, people can easily locate and research companies and individuals for jobs, partnerships, or just generally to discuss specific things. Although technology has made it extremely easy to interact with people you wouldn’t normally run into every day, it also can have its disadvantages. For example, people can easily be whoever they desire to be online or may exaggerate some of their credentials and skills. So how can we ensure that what we see is what we get? Simple: by reviewing the public and accessible endorsements and recommendations found on their social profile.

Endorsements and recommendations can be a great way for people to verify that the person is who they claim they are and that their experience, credentials, and skills are legitimate. It’s almost like doing a pre-reference check and another source for referrals. This is all good and dandy, but most of us have noticed that sites like Linkedin are making it extremely easy for people to endorse one another. It can be a one-click free-for-all if someone’s feeling overly generous that day. For example, I have received endorsements from people who I’ve never conversed with in my life- so how can they know that I have the abilities to successfully perform the skills they endorsed me for? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the endorsements and recommendations I received, but I’m more concerned about quality over quantity.

The more that people endorse others in this way, the quicker it will reduce the accuracy and meaning of these endorsements and recommendations. And then after that occurs, we’re basically back to square one. So how can we try to limit this? By being genuine in our own recommendations. Set the bar again. If you are going to endorse someone, it would be beneficial to endorse them for things you truly know the individual has done and is capable of doing. Let it hold some weight.

But let’s even do one better- let’s also utilize the recommendation function. If you have time and honestly feel strongly about a person’s skills/work, do them (and all those reviewing their profile) a favor and write something for them. Leave a few sentences or paragraphs about your experience with them, what you learned about them, and make it thoughtfully written. Help paint a picture of their capabilities.

Remember, endorsing and recommending someone doesn’t only reflect on their reputation, but yours, as well. Make others believe in your words and trust in your opinions/suggestions by providing honest feedback. We all work so hard to be recognized for what we do, don’t let our reputations get muddied up by false endorsements.

If you enjoy topics like this, be sure to join in #Tchat on Twitter- Wednesdays at 7pm EST.

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One thought on “How Genuine are you When Providing Endorsements/Recommendations?

  1. Ashley – I couldn’t agree more – LinkedIn recommendations are the worst in this regard. People I don’t know, or hardly know, and who can’t possibly judge the level of my abilities are giving me recommendations for skills that sometimes I don’t even have. I have to clean them out, as I want any recommendations I have to be meaningful and look credible. Perhaps people are being friendly, and the cynic in me thinks they just want some juice in return. For example, there’s a guy who worked at the same company as me six years ago; we never did any projects together and he left soon after I arrived – now he has started regularly endorsing me, 20 skills and counting – he can’t have any real insight into my abilities, and over time, it feels plain creepy. As another example, I checked the LinkedIn page of a local business guy who I heard is interesting in working with me. He has about 30 recommendations, but I notice almost half of them are from his wife – she has a different name so it’s not obvious to everyone, but that clearly doesn’t help his credibility with me. So I think if we are going to have recommendation systems, they need to work in a way that makes them credible to both the ‘recomendees’ and the people who view them.

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