By J. Thompson
Online Career Tips Staff
We all know social media has many benefits and some pitfalls. For professionals, social media helps you manage your network of colleagues and stay in touch as your career expands. Case in point—LinkedIn. I originally used it to stay connected with peers dispersed across the country, but it has taken on new purposes to include industry-related content, targeted employment searches (for hiring managers and candidates), advertising, and more. Essentially, it’s now a way to let people get a peek into your professional life, promote your business, share industry information, and manage your prospects. Win-win.
Recently though, I’ve been receiving random, unsolicited endorsements for my skills—a relatively new LinkedIn feature. It’s kind of exciting, but some endorsements are coming from people I never worked with in my entire life. Hey thanks, I think. Suddenly my LinkedIn profile, which I once felt ownership over, isn’t feeling quite as personal anymore.
To accept or not accept? That is the question.
Normally, I wouldn’t pay too much attention and would oblige this kind act of “reaching out.” How about you? Are you willing to accept a non-informed and nearly anonymous endorsement only to have that person’s photo appear directly next to your expertise? As a professional, it’s a good idea to double-check that endorsement before you accept at the risk of having someone on the FBI’s Most Wanted List endorse you for “Cross-Functional Team Leadership.” The point is that LinkedIn isn’t meant to be a popularity contest. Sure, maybe there’s some merit to the theory of “Dunbar’s number,” even LinkedIn throws its hands in the air and stops counting at “500+” connections, but unless it’s Kevin Bacon endorsing you, I wouldn’t be so quick to click “accept” to just anyone.