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back to article When your squash partner 'endorses' your coding skills on LinkedIn...

The amount of virtual spam I get from LinkedIn seems to be steadily increasing, to the point where, frankly, I can usually ignore the majority of email that has its name on the From: line. But maybe a month or two ago I suddenly started seeing a slew of LinkedIn recommendations from friends and colleagues in my inbox. I couldn’t …

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Anonymous Coward

yes.

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Happy

I endorse this comment

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JDC
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Like +1

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doubleplus like

He knows his shit, I can tell - that anonymous coward, guru!

And then, hi-jacking like a tard, I have this to say:

The only way this 'endorsement' bullshit could have any ring of truth about it, is if people with *the same skills sets listed* carried more *weight* when endorsing. Perhaps peers you've worked with, doing the same job as you. However, you'd also need people to be able to un-endorse you.

"Holy fuck, Dave just endorsed Duncan as a Ninja, there's no ways that bastard knows *anything* about being a Ninja, heck, he started crying in a sales meeting once when someone stepped on his toe. - I Un-Endorse this shyster now!"

It's a honesty system at the moment which online equates to getting click happy in the hope someone will notice you exist - "Dude, I just endorsed you as a nuclear physicist , can you big up me as an SEO executive?"

In short, any prospective employer/business partner taking any stock of endorsements you may have as a reason to work with you is a dufus.

There's a lot of dufuses out there, I know, I'm one of them...

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Re: doubleplus like

Completely agree.

I noticed that I got a "Team Leader" endorsement the other day from someone I've never worked with.

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Law

Re: doubleplus like

I got endorsed for my C#, .NET and debugging skills last month by somebody I worked with as a student in a cinema once.

I'm 100% certain she has no idea what the skills she endorsed actually are....

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Re: doubleplus like

You know, that really encourages me to update my profile. I think I'm going to be a theoretical astrophysicist, recreational extreme mountain climber, astronaut, practical exobiologist, retired covert agent, and successful entrepreneur. I could at least partially pull most of those off. I don't think I'd be very good at nuclear physics.

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Re: doubleplus like

I endorse JW Smythe as a theoretical extreme covert exobiologist astronaut. Never seen him entrepreneur anything, though.

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Endorse

I agree on the endorsement side. Actually the people who get a big endorsement score on LinkedIn are those that endorse hundreds of other people. If you endorse someone else, you get a 50%+ chance they will endorse you back out of politeness.

So it seems a huge score means either:

- This guy has way too much time on his hands and wastes valuable working time by giving endorsements out to others like confetti.

- This guy is a salesman and has used endorsements to build up relationships with clients.

I think LinkedIn recommendations are good, because you put your reputation more on the line to endorse someone in public than simply give them a letter of recommendation that will be seen by only a few managers.

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WTF?

So should I endorse back?

I've also seen endorsements arriving, and I've ignored them like I ignore everything from Linkedin (why can't I stop it sending me emails?).

But if someone endorses you, should I endorse them back? By ignoring the endorsement, am I ignoring the person? If they're looking for an endorsement, are they looking for a job? So many stupid questions from a worthless feature!

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Re: Endorsing back is fine if honest

When you click through your endorsement, you are usually given a black of LinkedIn friends and the opportunity to endorse them. My approach to this:

- If I've worked with them and know they are competent in the skills in question, they get the nod

- Otherwise I take no action.

So, it's not abnormal for me not to endorse a skill if, for example, a former colleague has developed new skills in a subsequent job (no matter how honest I personally know them to be). In an industry containing so many arrogant technical primadonnas, charlatans, snake oil salesmen and general purpose legends in their own lunchtime, I feel the need to draw the occasional line in the sand.

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Re: So should I endorse back?

No. It's pointless.

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AAAAAAAAAA++++++++++ Article

Fast delivery, just as described, no problems.

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Re: AAAAAAAAAA++++++++++ Article

Headly, that's close to my standard feedback for a good seller. It's short and conveys the pertinent information. The "AAAAAA....." is a bunch of crap though. It doesn't say anything meaningful.

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Go

Re: AAAAAAAAAA++++++++++ Article

You forgot "would reccommend", "would recomend", "wood reccomend" or the highly unlikely "would recommend"

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LinkedIn a waste of time

As far as I'm concerned LinkedIn is nothing but a waste of good time. Time and time again I'm told by my colleagues that I should be on LinkedIn, because ALL the recruiters use it.

The problem is that fundamentally it's a load of horse shit. People use it to craft this image of themselves which in most cases tends to be a complete lie. One particular example is an ex-colleague of mine who I had the misfortune of training some years back, his LinkedIn reads like some epic novel of achievement when in reality he was completely incapable of very basic tasks.

I'm not gonna bother for now, I've never had a problem getting a job through the usual channels and I don't intend to whore myself out to another social media wank fest unless it's absolutely necessary. (that is, every single agent on the planet starts using LinkedIn exclusively)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LinkedIn a waste of time

'..Time and time again I'm told by my colleagues that I should be on LinkedIn, because ALL the recruiters use it..'

For precisely *that* reason alone, I'm not on it.

Recruiters/ Recruitment agencies are a strange and annoying bunch to deal with as both a client and a prospective employer.

I had the pleasure of one character who'd gotten his hands on my CV somehow pester me about a programming/sysadmin contract, not knowing that I knew the guy who ran the section of the organisation who were looking to fill the vacancy. One quick email to my friend later, found out that this agency had no business trying to recruit people for the vacancy.

Another time, whilst trying to recruit someone, even though the ad explicitly stated no agencies, we received upwards of ten calls per day from them for the fortnight the ad was live, and I won't tell you how many CV's we had emailed through to us from them..

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ACx

Re: LinkedIn a waste of time

I think you just described a CV.

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Re: LinkedIn a waste of time

Bloody well said. Any company that bases hiring decisions on endorsements on linkedin deserves to tank. The people who bug me about getting on linkedin are the people who spend all their time 'networking' and sod all time working.

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Re: LinkedIn a waste of time

Not a waste of time if you use it correctly, I get the bulk of my business from LinkedIn, you just need to know how to use it.

Yeah, endorsements are little more than a +1, but RECOMMENDATIONS are where you see real value. if someone takes ten minutes to write a paragraph on your skills and why you are good, that means something.

BTW, I get no spam, but then again I only connect to people I know.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I get the bulk of my business from LinkedIn,

i doubt that you work. How old are you, 12?

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Big Brother

Re: LinkedIn a waste of time

"RECOMMENDATIONS are where you see real value. if someone takes ten minutes to write a paragraph on your skills and why you are good, that means something."

Yes, they mean something, but the not necessarily what's written. I've seen recommendations for people who I've had the misfortune to have worked with and the LinkedIn recommendations paint those people in a completely different light to the experience I had of them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LinkedIn a waste of time

Any company that bases hiring decisions on endorsements on linkedin deserves to tank.

It will be cheaper, faster, easier to game and probably exactly as accurate as "personality profiling" (and the rest of the voodoo, fraud, and snake oil) that recruitment agencies and HR-bods commit themselves to these days.

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Mushroom

+1

In my experience the endorsements are even more trivial than described.

If you click through an endorsement notification (or click the "Endorse Connections" link from your profile page) it pops up a selection of contacts with a single skill already selected for you. All you have to do is hit the yellow button to spam them all with some profile cruft. You don't even have to read (let alone think about) who you're endorsing or what you're endorsing them with.

It utter shite.

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Coat

I thought it was bad when they invented the A* rating at GCSE. Never understand that.

I still don't.

Must be why I get such a snippy attitude on ebay all the time. "Will purchase from this seller again" probably means I want to murder their dog and eat their children these days.

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DJV
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A*

I got A* in the exam for my Astronomy GCSE evening class - seemed appropriate - can't think of any other reason for it though!

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I thought it was bad when they invented the A* rating at GCSE.

I assume it means you're good at traversing graphs.

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Iit's good to talk.

Over many years of recruiting, I've only ever taken one sort of reference seriously. It's the one you get when you call a previous employer (preferably a direct manager). The most important question is 'Would you rehire this person?'

OTOH, linked in can be great for finding stuff out about people that they've tried to conceal from you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Iit's good to talk.

"Would you rehire this person?"

The kind of problems that answering that question would give should be enough to deter anyone from even engaging in such a conversation. There is *no* way you will get an unbiased, honest answer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Iit's good to talk.

The answer is actually useless because there is no context:

If the person is a total arsehole and perhaps got sacked for nicking from the till or sexual harassment, then the former manager would perhaps prefer this candidate to get a job with the competition and thus gives a glowing description of the candidates unique qualities! Maybe the former boss is an idiot, so he/she will try to sabotage anyone who leaves them so good people get a shitty review - e.t.c.

The best one can hope is to find out if they lied on the CV. Many people do!

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Come across similar in a photo sharing/review site. You'd post a photo and people could review it - trouble is, you'd get people posting a wonderful review of something you knew was iffy (having posted it in the hope of receiving constructive critism) and then expecting you to post an equally effusive review of their (usually) mediocre photo.

If you dared post a less than flattering review, then suddenly you'd get a host of negative comments about your images. Made a harsh (yet accurate) review of some Italian's photo and from then on every image I posted was slagged off from the same bunch - all with Italian sounding user names.

Problem with these sites are that people "endorse" someone else in the hope of receiving an endorsement in return, therefore making the whole thing completely worthless.

Oh, and it's not "BEST TWEET EVER", it's "BEST TWEET EVA!!111!!!"

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FAIL

Such things have a very succinct name:

Mutual Admiration Societies

I waste no time with them. If I think you've done a good job, I'll tell you. If I think your work is a load of crap, I'll tell you. I do not expect anything in return for such deeds.

As for LinkedIn, I added the whole site to my spam filter when they started sending notifications to Gentoo mail aliases like mips and mozilla — to which I'm subscribed.

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Such things have a very succinct name:

Yeah, but it's Circle Jerk not a Mutual Admiration Society.

My wife was convinced to setup a Linked In account by a recruiter who assured her that a prospective employer didn't consider candidates without one. I can well believe they would have this policy, since in the last round of job interviews I did there was an employer who would not believe me when I said I didn't have a Facebook account (they wanted me to "friend" someone from their HR department for f*cks sake).

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Okay, it has a very succinct but politically correct name, and an even more succinct name that isn't politically correct.

And how I am thankful that my employer doesn't care about my lack of any social media accounts. :-) I'm not sure I'd want to work for a company that did insist on friending people.

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photo.net by any chance :-) If you think thats bad don't go on fm forums, the same thing only more so. Stay away from any forum where users list all their equipment and put the L's in red.

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FAIL

Recruiters

I constantly get updates from LinkedIn that recruiter X or Y were endorsed by person Z or whoever else for "High frequency trading" or "RedHat" or "Cisco" or "Active Directory" or whatever (technical) else.

Can anybody tell me why do the recruiters put such skills in their profiles anyway?

(I am a techie so I do not put "Recruiting" in mine).

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Re: Recruiters

Can anybody tell me why do the recruiters put such skills in their profiles anyway?

So that their profiles will appear in the search results for those skills, obviously. It's a form of advertising. You might think that no rational person would respond to a patently deceptive and manipulative advertisement like that, but fortunately for recruiters, people are not rational.[1]

[1] Even though they all eventually terminate.

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"thumbs up"

Sadly it's true.

Though most of my linkedin recommendations are valid as mostly I only accept connections from people I have actually worked with or in similar fields of expertise.

But many on LinkedIn seem to be "connection whores", or like Stamp collectors.

Why do only average eBay sellers think they should get 5 stars? IMO only exceptional should get 5, so mostly I give 4 on each category.

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Re: "thumbs up"

Seems to be this rampant 'Merkinisation of the world... Can't just have a nice time, has to be "the greatest", "the best", "utterly fantastic".

What sets El Reg apart from the LinkedIn / FaceBook tosh is the downvotes. And my alter-ego. I'm massively uncomfortable about my "Real Name" on LinkedIn, hence my CV says sod all about what I really do.

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Re: "thumbs up"

Seems to be this rampant 'Merkinisation of the world... Can't just have a nice time, has to be "the greatest", "the best", "utterly fantastic".

You missed out the most important of all. OSSUM!!!11!!

But here's a thumbs up for you anyway. Now give me a one too.

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Re: "thumbs up"

eBay has this weird rating system for sellers. If you are getting below about a 4.5 star rating, you are dodgy seller and should pay higher fees. That's why sellers ask for 5 star ratings, so they can keep from paying even more of the usurious levels of fees that eBay demands

A 3 level system works the easiest. One means the seller is deficient, two rates the seller as just average and three denotes a seller that is working hard for your business.

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Flame

Really?

"...To a large extent, social networks (especially Facebook) are about creating and reinforcing friendships rather than getting into deep philosophical discussions,..."

But to a much larger extent, social networks (especially Facebook) are about selling you to the targeted advertising industry, and making the founders (especially Zuckerberg) exceedingly rich people.

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Anonymous Coward

Slowly shutting down sites like LinkedIn

There is a simple experiment you should try - kill off every filter in LinkedIn and watch what a barrage of data you get thrown at you from everyone. You cannot switch off what gets transmitted, only how much you receive of it. Once you realise that every single twitch gets reported to everyone you should think about reducing your exposure because you are no longer in control over your professional information - LinkedIn is.

As a matter of fact, I'm presently working on projects which involve privacy, and I have removed every association with clients from LinkedIn. If you find someone linked to me in LinkedIn, it's a 100% guarantee that I do NOT do business with that person.

Furthermore:

- recruiters who exclusively/preferably use LinkedIn - we don't use them. Deliberately.

- recommendations: you have no idea of the diligence behind it, so it has little usable value.

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indeed

A few weeks ago, a sometime co-worker endorsed my skills with a certain CMS. I know how to spell its name, and that's about it. But it was good of him to think of me.

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+1 me too

sorry - couldn't help myself

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WTF?

Seriously ?

I'm astonished that anyone would give a toss what LinkedIn does. It's instantly apparent from the invitations it generates what sort of people make it up.

You are Dilbert's PHB and ICMFP.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously ?

And they don't stop spamming you either! The amount of spam (ahem, invitation emails, reminders about those emails and reminders about the reminders) is just silly.

For this reason, their mail server is now blocked on our company exchange server.

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Devil

What's next?

I've been on linked in for quite a while now and I don't connect with anyone that I have not personally worked with on a project. I had to do this because otherwise I felt really uncomfortable when someone asked me to recommend them and I had to decline because I didn't know anything about the person. Needless to say, I'm not the most popular person around because of this...

I can't help but think what happens on linked-in when everyone is linked to everyone, what's the point then?

I also don't like the idea of just searching for a checklist of skills (but linked-in isn't the only one guilty of this).

"Connection whores"... I like it, that's funny.

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Unhappy

It's even worse than that...

I've been endorsed for skills I don't even claim to have by (presumably) well-meaning colleagues (i.e. who know what I actually do)

At least there's an option not to accept these endorsements.

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