Turns out pretty far.
To prospective employers: I’m kidding! (though I am pretty good at parallel parking).
Endorsements and Recommendations
The first is a recommendation, a custom note on your LinkedIn profile that's written by a colleague or employer extolling your professional virtues. It's a valuable asset in establishing your credentials and work habits.
When you access the profile of a first-level contact on LinkedIn, you may be prompted to endorse him for a set of skills. If you take the bait, you will then be asked to endorse more of your first-level contacts. Those you endorse will receive an email saying that you have endorsed them for a particular skill.
LinkedIn added endorsements in September 2012 and since then, more than 3 billion have been added to profiles, according to LinkedIn spokesperson Crystal Braswell. “Three billion endorsements to date speaks volumes about how members feel about the feature,” says Braswell.
Some LinkedIn members say endorsements give people viewing your profile a baseline for competence and the veracity of your resumé. “Having people attest to the fact that you are more or less who you say you are would seem to function at least as a ‘first line of defense’ in weeding out the people who post skills they merely wish or imagine they had,” wrote TV producer Dave Sica on a LinkedIn message board discussing the pros and cons of endorsements.
Why Endorsements Don't Always Ring True
But since endorsements take so little effort and don't require the endorser to have any familiarity with your actual skills, some critics think they're less valuable than recommendations, maybe even useless. Undoubtedly, some in LinkedIn's 277 million-member network can’t help themselves when offered the chance to make one-click endorsements; they get mesmerized, clicking and clicking the boxes that show up, endorsing everyone they know for skills they are pretty sure they have.
Now, I'd be the first to say how nice it is to get an email saying that someone you looked up to at work thought you were good at your job. But while most endorsements are legit (if not always based on deep knowledge), some are pranks.
A feature that lets members customize their skills is open to abuse allowing them, or their contacts, to add false skills — like koala training — to profiles and to choose some decidedly unprofessional-sounding talents.
If you are so inclined, you can tweak the endorsements of your first-level contacts by making up skills for them, such as sleep deprivation or other off-beat talents. A BuzzFeed post calls this "endorsement bombing." Members receive an email when they have been pranked in this way letting them know a contact has endorsed them for an unusual skill. They may ignore the message or add it to their profile.
Even without making up skills, you can choose from some pretty odd, unprofessional-sounding skills that are pre-populated in the service. Mashable has pointed out a number of these weird skills, including "Fruity Loops," "Tractor," "Awesomeness" and "Footprint," among others.
Braswell says she can’t account for all of the quirky skills in the social network's database, but says those that seem odd out-of-context may actually be job-related. Fruity Loops, for instance, is a software program, she says.
According to Braswell, a skill that you do not have may be suggested for an endorsement based on LinkedIn’s algorithm. It adds probable skills based on your LinkedIn profile, your profession and skills of others in your industry, among other things. In Schubin’s case, the voice-over endorsement may have come from his work in television, but who knows.
Schubin has done everything in his power to minimize endorsements on his profile. He’s made them invisible, added the maximum 50 skills so no one can add any more and sent notes to contacts asking them not to endorse him.
“LinkedIn randomly prompts your connections to ask them to endorse you for some random skill based on keywords LinkedIn mines from your profile,” Brian Boschen wrote. “It makes it appear that you are soliciting the endorsement. Like several of the LinkedIn features, it is completely unprofessional and tacky. Make it stop!”
Changes on the Way