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Mission: Promote purposeful passionate people to help them reach professional and personal potential while enjoying life to the fullest. DISCLAIMER: This is a PERSONAL blog. Views expressed are my own. Names listed have given permission.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A tip right from LinkedIn and the Endorsements conundrum

How often do you get to attend a talk by an actual employee of LinkedIn? I was lucky enough to do so this week and he left me with a profound thought, a very practical tip and momentum for a concern I’ve had for weeks.

PerryMonacoHis name is Perry Monaco and although he had a long career in recruiting, he wasn’t the pinstriped-suit business type I expected from LinkedIn. His twitter handle is @ElvisRun as he loves Elvis and runs marathons. Perry’s speaking session started quirky and unTED-like. It made me uncomfortable. Then I realized that he was telling a story, his story, and what he was here to do for us. His connection with the group came slower than traditional talks, but it was a stronger connection because he took the time to tell us who he was, storyprofessionally but with personality. It was brilliant. His most powerful tip that he left me with, goes beyond what I often call LinkedIN, a digital handshake. Perry tells us it should tell “your career story”. Where you’ve been, what you do now, and where you are going. Moving beyond resume, to  relationship – after all isn’t that why people look you up on LinkedIn?

Working for LinkedIn gives Perry insight into the search algorithm that no one else, even I a LinkedIn evangelist/obsessionist can ever hope to know. His practical tip? Get your designations like your degree or DogBizcertification ( CFRE for fundraisers ) out and off your title line. It actually pushes you down in the search algorithm. I asked at the session where it could go instead, education and your summary section was the answer. That’s a HUGE tip as it has classic real-estate on business cards and I’ve counselled people before to put it there, heck you earned the designation why not celebrate it! Always something to learn.

I leave you with a thought and question. Perry shared that he’s never had as many questions as he’s had around LinkedIn’s newest feature, Endorsements. Either have I. Of course it’s because they are a “push” and the have LinkedIn sending you emails when you get one. It’s confused and concerned many users. At first, I was concerned as it felt much like Facebook “Likes” and everyone knows how much I dislike Facebook. Then ego set in, at the time of this post I have over 525 endorsements - I am humbled and grateful for every single one of them. But as my buddy Al says, vanity is the devil’s favourite sin. In a great conversation with a peer of mine this week he told me that he too is flattered but several people endorsing him aren’t qualified to do so. I have more endorseendorsements than every one of my business mentors combined, am I more skilled than them? That’s not just laughable but concerning it might look that way to the untrained eye. Criticizing LinkedIn brings me pain, it’s brought me personal success, powerful business relationships but this is a worry that has to be voiced. Here is the BEST read on my personal concerns around this feature, it’s a must read for any LinkedIn power-user. And in the other corner a thought on why they rock.

In 2013, social business is how work will work, not just for small business but all business. This week I had a solid business referral come through twitter. And so I’ll continue to explore it, I hope you’ll join me. I leave you with a great video to remind any sceptic why business professionals need better digital social-skills – enjoy.





  1. Thanks for this summary, Paul. You didn't mention where you saw Perry :)

    Congratulations on your huge number of endorsements!

    Rather than focus on the absolute number of endorsements, look at them as a percentage of how many connections you have. Now you won't get a number above 100% (if you count each endorser only once). You'll probably still beat your mentors :)

    PS For designations, I think you mean that they don't belong on the Name line after the last name. They can go on the Title line.

  2. Great post, Paul. I think endorsements are a good way to show if someone has support for their skills, but just because someone doesn't have them certainly doesn't mean they aren't skilled, just that they aren't social on that network. That's someone socially skilled people know and hopefully others will easily pick up on. I like endorsements, they are fun, easy, but of course have their cons just like anything.