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Linkedin Recommendations Are Junk (moniker.net)
14 points by lenidot on Aug 5, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 19 comments

I think that's a bit of a hyperbole. If I'm asked by someone for a recommendation, but I'm not comfortable recommending him/her, chances are I will simply ignore the request. If I do write a recommendation, it will most likely be on things the positive things I've seen about the person.

Assuming people in general approach recommendations in the same way, LinkedIn recommendations are good at identifying strengths of a person, but not weaknesses. In that aspect, they're not total junk.

Obviously, I wouldn't base hiring decisions on LinkedIn recommendations, just like I won't base such decisions on letter references, but they can be a small factor that influences the overall decision (after an on-site interview for example).

I think the author is making a bad analogy and ignoring the general function of recommendations. Of course they're all positive and lacking nuance. It's one to one vouching that both parties agree to, not review or analysis.

That said, I'd say they are certainly junk, just not necessarily for the reasons stated.

As I see it, LinkedIn makes junk of itself by being way too cluttered with the products of non-stop demands to engage in all sorts of empty actions. LinkedIn is an ugly rolodex, not a network.

Stock recommendations are not really analogous to resume/linkedin recommendations. People expect stock analysts to provide unbiased, objective assessments of stocks. There is an expectation of positive bias when a person shows a recommendation on his/her linkedin profile.

There are two sources of "signal" in this case: The content of the recommendation as well as the very existence of a recommendation. Not recommending people only addresses the first.

Even junkier: endorsements.

Agreed, I am constantly endorsed for things I have no skill or experience at, or by people who hardly know me.

But it's good for trolling. Endorse your friends for ColdFusion, PASCAL and ... :D

don't forget to endorse me for powerpoint, outlook, and startups

It's called a recommendation. Generally speaking, when people recommend something,it's a positive. References might include a negative, so long as you ask a question that allows for a negative answer. When doing references, I usually ask for a potential 'area for improvement' so I am fairly certain to get at least one potential concern.

Being that the person requesting controls whether the recommendation is published, we shouldn't expect to see much negative. A well-written recommendation (even on LinkedIn), written by someone with some level of industry credibility, can actually be a fairly powerful tool to get noticed.

I don't think Recommendations are junk because when you write one for someone, you are vouching that you believe they can do a good job and had a positive experience working with them. As for why you don't see negative recommendations, I would never write a negative one, I just wouldn't write them one at all.

It's almost like Linkedin is complete and absolute garbage in general. Almost like it was a venereal disease that no one asked for nor wanted, more than an actual website.

You can say the same thing about references. When I see a stellar recommendation, that's when it makes a difference.

Given that users can hide recommendations, I'd never expect to see a negative one.

So what.

At first, I liked LinkedIn because it provided some transparency into peoples' career trajectories. One could compare what one was doing at a certain age to well-known people and see if one was on a right track, or should be trading up jobs soon. It had value. There was data there. "Hey, at age X I should have title Y." Granted, it was focused around something that's total and utter bullshit (job titles and professional status) but it made it easier to decode the bullshit.

Now, though, everyone's polluting the channels with nonsense. Why would I care that Bob has 37 endorsements for "APIs"? That doesn't mean anything.

Besides, social proof is for malakas. If anyone turned me down because I didn't have enough endorsements on a website, I'd laugh that person off the fucking bricks.

What are the correct titles for various ages in your opinion?

I'm trying to figure out how to advance past senior developer myself.

I'm not sure. I think that if you want to be a pure technologist, titles don't mean as much, because anything beyond Sr. Engineer isn't standardized across companies, and if you're good at what you do, that say more than any title history.

If you want to take the management path, you should have some kind of management title by 32 and Director by 36.

Not only that, the skills stuff is junk too - I have people endorsing me for skills that they have no clue of whether or not I posess them, nor how well I exercise them.

What? I'm always happy when people see that my mom endorsed me for knowing HTML5. /s

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