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LinkedIn Recommendations - Legit or Fraudulent?

Do you view the LinkedIn recommendation feature as legit or fraudulent?  Clue Wagon hates the feature.  What say you?

As you might expect from a service that can hijack your outlook and push out a thousand invites to join Linkedinyour network, LinkedIn has an automated recommendation tool.  That means if you are like me, you've received at least 20 automated invites to recommend people that you had marginal knowledge, at best, regarding the quality of their work.  Those requests always hit me a little cold, as did the fact that the LinkedIn technology makes it super simple for anyone to view every recommendation you make.

Clearly not the old days of the talent game, when requesting a recommendation meant you had to have the guts to actually contact someone personally to write a recommendation for you.

Instead, with LinkedIn, you can point and click.  It's like Internet Marketing, with the exception that your "close rate" will likely be smaller than the guys pumping out 100,000 emails touting Viagra for $5.

As for me, I'll be soliciting LinkedIn invites the old fashioned way - by requesting them personally from people I believe truly know the quality of my work.  I know I'm on the right track when some of the potential recommenders shoot me a note back and say, "Hey, it appears we actually have to be connected on LinkedIn for me to recommend you".  

Hopefully that means I've earned the recommendation, and the technology is an afterthought. 

Comments

CompensationXL

Kris,

I completely agree and view all recommendations on Linked-In with some bit of skepticism. I check two things....
1. The recommended does not have a flurry of recommendations around the same time which indicates to me a mass request was sent out soliciting recommendations.
2. The recommendation was returned in kind indicating (not always however) an agreement between the two.

Kristi Daeda

Kris:

Great points here. The recommendation feature is a tough line to walk. In the offline world, you can recommend someone without inextricably, publicly linking your professional reputations. Not so on LinkedIn, which makes things more complex.

Brad Schafer

Kris,

Funny, I am working diligently to keep a Recommendation to Contacts ratio at > 20% (more than 2 recommendations for each 10 people in my network).

In my case 80% or more are clients.

I'd value a LinkedIN recommendation from a client with 100 or so network contacts much higher than any other social network (FB, Twitter, Ning, MySpace) due to the work in creating a robust profile, garnering the connections and getting the people to take the time to make a solid recommendation.

Agreements between the two are also not often feasible, other than perhaps saying "This was a good client, they paid on time and were happy with out work".. which seems to me a bit self-serving.

Perhaps in a peer-peer review that is not the case.

In short, I look at someone with 500+ connections and NO recommendations with a high level of scrutiny.

thoughts?

Caroline DuBois

I can tell you that with anything in life, if it looks, smells, and sounds too good, then I have a hard time believing it. Any LinkedIn site with rave reviews and endorsements is a little too much for me, but that's just my personality.

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