The Value of “Skills and Expertise” on LinkedIn: What Does It Really Say About Me?

The fabulous Becky Mollenkamp posed a question this morning on Twitter

“Wow, I must be really good.  People I don’t know are endorsing me on LinkedIn. (Seriously, why would you endorse someone you don’t know?)”

I was wondering the same thing.  Not that I don’t mind being endorsed by people I know, but I have to ask myself about the skills and expertise that I profess to be great at. 

What am I an “expert” in? 

Let’s go down the list of the skills and expertise I’ve been “endorsed” for: 

Social media:  I know how to use social media, mainly for recreational use and to help plug a few people, things, and causes.  I know nothing about measuring the “return on investment” and “value” social media provides to a business, and the metrics of who follows what on social media.  I toss stuff on Twitter to see if it sticks.

Event planning:  I should clarify this.  I don’t consider myself as an event planner.  I don’t plan events.  I help “coordinate” events so that the logistics are in sync, people are where they should be and doing what they are assigned to do, as well as putting out small fires.  I’m not really a coordinator.  I keep things in order.

Fundraising:  the one area where I need the biggest improvement in.  I don’t know how to raise money (translation = get on my hands and knees and beg you to give money to a cause).  I suck in asking for money.  

Program management:  see event planning.  I keep things in order.

Editing:  I’ve never edited a book, magazine, or anything on a grand scale.  But give me a manual and ask me to proofread it or tweak it, yeah, I can do that.

Microsoft Office:  everyone knows how to use Microsoft Office.  It shouldn’t be considered a requirement on job descriptions, because we all use it as a function at work every day..

Social networking:  I network with people…socially.  I admit, I’m still having a difficult time learning how to use LinkedIn as a virtual business networking tool.  As far as networking in person, I’m still intimidated by people in high places (or are in better jobs/have better job titles).  What do I really offer as a service to them if we decide to network? 

I know there has to be a better way to use LinkedIn effectively, without using it as a way to collect virtual business cards from people to add to my online Rolodex.  I feel like a sleazy used car salesman doing that. 

Don’t misconstrue that I’m selling myself short on my skills.  I have to be honest in what I have done with my skills and how I have used them.  With that in mind, what does my “skills” tell others who see my LinkedIn profile?  Is it of value enough to be hired by employers?  Is it “business”-focused?  Does it offer “return of investment” for an employer? 

What does your “skills and expertise” really say to you when you read it?

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One thought on “The Value of “Skills and Expertise” on LinkedIn: What Does It Really Say About Me?

  1. Great discussion Romelle and Becky, and all based on a crazy premise that I also find interesting – endorsing peeps you don’t know.

    I had a former college prof ask me recently about whether endorsements just promote the idea of collecting recommendations from people who don’t really know your skill set. I told her that anyone who endorses those whose skills they have not personally seen in action is a moron.

    Now, thanks to Becky Mollenkamp’s conversation starter, I learn that there are apparently folks who are doing just this, and I’m curious about whether this is happening on a larger scale.

    I admit that I do encourage colleagues and students in my social media class to use LinkedIn because it does offer functionality such as endorsing those with whom you have worked, but not at the cost of sharing hollow endorsements.

    So, to be clear, I’ll take any endorsement for “Brushing Teeth” or “Microsoft Word” (good point Romelle) that you care to offer, but if we haven’t worked together, keep your baseless endorsements to yourself. Nuf said.

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