Thoughts on… LinkedIn

So I get an email today saying ‘Tim has endorsed you for a skill: illustrator’. Has he? That’s jolly nice of him. But I have a few questions.

Firstly, who is Tim?

I recognised his full name – which I’m not going to write here for security reasons – but I can’t remember where I know him from and I haven’t spoken to him in… well, I can’t remember, that’s how long ago it was.

On LinkedIn, it doesn’t really matter if you know the person or not. I have over 100 connections. Most of them are people I’ve worked or studied with, which seems a bit pointless because if I ever do need to find another job, the only people looking at my profile will be the people I’ve just left. Surely if I was to put content on LinkedIn, the idea would be to attract people I don’t already no, right?

Still, like any social media, more connections means you’re more popular (apparently). So people add me as a connection to boost up their numbers, which I don’t really mind. I think I’ve only added a few people on LinkedIn, the rest have added me, so I thank them for that.

Secondly, why is he endorsing me as an illustrator?

Anyone who’s seen my so called ‘drawings’ knows that I’m a terrible illustrator. I got through A Level art by tracing photos. Basically, this is the equivalent of a stranger in the street telling someone I’m a good illustrator. He’s essentially lying is what he’s doing. He’s never seen my drawings (as far as I know) so how does he know if I’m a good illustrator or not?

I have quite a few endorsements on my LinkedIn profile, but some of them even I wouldn’t endorse myself for. 2 people have endorsed me for illustrator… why? 3 people have endorsed me for art direction, which I don’t think I’m particularly good at. 1 person has endorsed me for television! What exactly is that endorsing me for though? Being on television? watching television? Owning a television?

When I got the email about my endorsement, it prompted me to go onto my profile. At the top of the page, there was a section with some of my ‘connections’ and a list of their skills, asking me if I wanted to endorse them. Since some of them had endorsed me, I thought it only fair to repay the favour, so I endorsed a few people. I didn’t get any great thrill from doing it, but if a future employer sees their profile and thinks “Well Ben Coleman thinks this guy’s good at video editing, so he must be good!” then I’m glad I’ve helped.

After I endorsed them, I got another email saying ‘Laura has endorsed you for 14 skills’. Okay, so I guess this is how it works. You endorse me and in return I’ll endorse you. Seems fair. However, back to my original point: I never endorsed Tim and he’s endorsed me for something that I don’t think he should be endorsing me for. So where does that fit in the rules? If this were compliments instead of endorsements, he’s essentially said to me “That’s a nice hat you’re wearing.” when I’m not even wearing a hat. So do I compliment him back? Do I endorse someone I barely know for something they may or may not be good at? I don’t think I should.

Thirdly, how and why is this Tim looking at my LinkedIn profile?

For a while even I didn’t know I was on LinkedIn! It wasn’t until I first got an email telling me someone had endorsed me that I realised I even had a LinkedIn profile. I don’t remember setting it up, but I must have done it at some point, probably during college when I was looking for work. At one point I did add some details on there and connect with a few old school friends and colleagues, but I’ve never promoted my LinkedIn profile in any way. I’m guessing because I sent Tim an email once, LinkedIn has suggested some people from his contacts that he might know and he’s picked me at random.

As I’ve said, I don’t use LinkedIn. The only thing I’ve ever posted on there was an ‘update’ to say that I never use LinkedIn. I don’t plan on ever really using LinkedIn, but I’ll keep it there for anyone who wants to see it.

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