As an active LinkedIn user part of my morning routine is a review of the previous days non-critical email notifications, including the prolific LinkedIn endorsements.  Like manna springing forth from my network, I am greeted by endorsements for skills (and perhaps even expertise) that LinkedIn's Omniscient Algorithm has determined I possess- by the very virtue of my title and industry.  This skill set is offered to my network, and presented as an opportunity to show what I am great at, or what a connection thinks I might be great at.  A recent email exclaimed  "Your connection Mr. X (not his real name, I must protect the innocent) has endorsed you for a new skill or expertise. Add them to your profile and show what you're great at."  The skill set I was endorsed for?  Employee Relations.  My expertise with employee relations? Zilch. Nada. Bupkis.

My connection Mr. X is a Sales Manager within my industry focus who I connected with a few years ago and I had spoken to recently as well as in the past. The conversations were friendly, brief, and to the point- my purpose was related to references and referrals, peppered with a little schmoozing because who knows what the future holds. Mr. X would associate me with Recruiting for Sales Professionals, if anything, as that function has been the sole scope of our interaction. What mysterious force operating behind the veil has presented Mr. X, and perhaps countless others, the opportunity to endorse me for a skill set that is formally aligned with a specific function of Human Resource Professionals that I am undoubtedly unqualified for? Could it be the Omniscient Algorithm?  Probably, and worthy of a separate discussion.  The real question I have, which is relative to all active LinkedIn users: Why did Mr. X choose to endorse me for this skill set?

I think the answer lies somewhere at the corner of altruism and irritation. The option to endorse our contacts box pops up frequently, and we have a choice - ignore it, or click something. Depending on the moment I imagine most of our inner dialog follows a similar pattern in determining our actions;  "This again, I'll just click and it will go away" or  "Sure I am happy to click it, that person is probably good at that, after all I am being asked to endorse the skill". The simple truth is we have options on how we manage endorsements. We can actively endorse someone by navigating to their profile and thoughtfully selecting the skill based on our interactions, if any. On the flip side we can also choose to show what skills are selected and displayed on our profiles, as well as add custom skills. How many LinkedIn members actually do this? I think relatively few.

I am challenging everyone (or all 3 of you!) who happen to read this post to look on my profile and give me an Endorsement for an "Easter Egg" Skill I have added which is relative to this post. If you want you can add this skill to your profile as well, as a little algorithm told me you have mastered it.

*"Easter Egg" Per the media definition, for those of you scratching your head.

What I do on My off time: