Thursday, January 10, 2013

LinkedIn Skills and Expertise

I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn these days, looking for employment. LinkedIn has added some new features in the past 6 months or so that I have watched with interest. One of those is the skills and expertise area. This is where a person can list things they consider they have skills or expertise in and others can then endorse those - verifying that you do in fact have that skill or expertise.

However, I have a few problems with it...

1) They provide a "mass" endorse ability - meaning that you can too easily endorse someone on a skill. I think a lot of people are endorsing people based on trust that the person has that skill/expertise.

2) What I consider an endorseable skill or expertise may greatly differ from others. For instance, I am a Salesforce.com expert. I have certifications, have taken courses, and have been using it in an advanced way for several years - including having run my own Salesforce.com consulting firm where I worked with large and small companies to help them implement and customize the software for their needs, etc. So, I list Salesforce.com as one of my skills/expertise. However, I see a ton of sales people also listing that. But I know for a fact that they simply know how to use it basically for tracking their sales and are certainly not experts in it. But their endorsements will carry as much weight as mine from a raw list/endorsement standpoint - largely because there is no qualification of what skill level/type that is.

So, my point here is that I largely feel that the skills/expertise area is way too subjective, not qualified enough, and is not reliable as something meaningful. Unfortunately, you can't ignore it, so you play the game. I just think that this feature is kind of bloating the service. Maybe I'm wrong...

So, that's my thoughts on that.
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