Friday, October 4, 2013

LinkedIn is weird, the October 3rd edition

Last night I spent a little bit of time on my LinkedIn profile. While on LinkedIn, I saw the box at the top of the screen that allowed me to endorse people for various suggested skills. I would be presented with a name, and a suggested endorsement. These endorsement suggestions fall into three categories.

The first category is "Yes, the person has this skill." There were a few of those obvious ones.

The second category is "LinkedIn, you're #durnk." In these cases, I knew for a fact that the person did not have this skill.

The third category is "I don't know." I'll give you an illustration. At my company I work with a number of engineers. I worked more closely with some of them during my product management days, but do so less now that I'm in proposals. Even when I was in product management, I wouldn't necessarily know the tools that every one of the engineers was using - and these days, I have even less exposure to this part of their work. So when I'm asked whether engineer X should be endorsed for Agile methodologies, I pause. "Well," I say to myself, "person X presumably keeps up with the industry, and probably has had some exposure to Agile, but I don't really know."

In my case, I end up NOT endorsing people in the third category. But because endorsements only require a single click, I'm sure that some LinkedIn users have no hesitation endorsing people in the third category - and even in the second category ("I know that person Y doesn't know this, but LinkedIn suggested it and it looks good").

So if you're a LinkedIn user and wonder why you're getting bizarre endorsements, now you know why.

But endorsement snafus were nothing compared to the results from the change made to my job history. No, I haven't left MorphoTrak, but I figured that since I've been doing this blogging thing for nearly ten years now, I might as well list it on my LinkedIn profile. It's obviously a marketable skill, complementary to the writing that I do for my day job, so I might as well get credit for it. So I added this:

LinkedIn requires you to list an employer name, so I wrote "self-employed." Technically I DO receive compensation for my blogging, but let's just say that it's not enough to pay the mortgage.

I then took care to list the blogging position BELOW my current position, so that there would be no confusion.

LinkedIn, however, blasted a message to my contacts, telling them to congratulate me on my new job.

When I next checked LinkedIn, I had received two messages from former co-workers, one congratulating me on my freelancing career, and the other wondering how MorphoTrak let me get away. I had to explain to both of them that I was still with MorphoTrak.

Oh well. At least LinkedIn doesn't send me bizarre job suggestions like Monster has been doing. (I'm not updating my Monster resume with this information; who knows how many odd blogging job suggestions I would get?)

blog comments powered by Disqus