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This article was published on October 19, 2016

LinkedIn Endorsements are now marginally less pointless

LinkedIn Endorsements are now marginally less pointless

LinkedIn Endorsements are crap. They’re meaningless. They count for nothing. This, I suppose, is a consequence of its design.

When you look at someone’s profile, LinkedIn suggests skills to endorse your friend for. Out of a sense of altruism, you do it, regardless of how irrelevant these skills are. It’s human nature to want to help out a friend.

Furthermore, there’s nothing stopping you from endorsing people with complete nonsense, as I’m doing with my colleague Bryan Clark here. It’s funny because I’m twelve.


It seems LinkedIn is aware that one of its core features is little more than a joke. It’s reworking it with machine-learning powered relevance and targeting features, in order to make it actually useful.

LinkedIn says that going forward, suggested endorsements are going to be relevant to the person viewing the profile. In theory, this will reduce the chance of someone who, say, doesn’t work in IT endorsing someone for Java or C++.

Endorsements will now include feature targeting. So, suppose you actually did want someone to endorse your development skills, it’ll go to someone who is likely to be qualified to vouch for you.

The changes will be rolled out on LinkedIn’s mobile site, with the web version coming soon. The aim is clearly to restore trust in Endorsements.

But this has long been unfit for purpose, and has never been a good barometer of someone’s ability. It’s unlikely that this perception can be reversed.