You log into LinkedIn and up pops a new endorsement! It’s for Rutebaga Wrangling! From one of your LinkedIn connections…you glance at the picture…trying to recall that face…but there is NO FACE. Congratulations: You just got endorsed by the Invisible Man!
Perhaps you’re an Invisible Man or Woman yourself. Endorsements are so easy to give, just click exactly where LinkedIn prompts you. Oh, right…Joe Pro must perform Rutebagas Wrangling…LinkedIn says so…just click…I think he mentioned once how difficult it is to distinguish large rutebagas from small turnips. Just click…Voila! Random act of kindness!
But is it really an act of kindness? How much weight does an Invisible Man endorsement carry with a potential employer or client? In my experience, not much.
The original idea behind any type of endorsement was to help boost another person’s standing with a third party who knows you, but does not know them. True, someone famous could be hiding behind that blank face icon in LinkedIn (or the Twitter Egg), but in general, the famous are out there already. If the famous are going to endorse you, they do not hide their face; their face is part of their trademark.
Your face is your trademark too. Unless you’re in witness protection – in which case you might be well advised to stay off social media and change your name to be safe – you want to be recognized. If you’re looking for work and have registered on LinkedIn – with 277 million users and growing – you need to be recognized. If you endorse another person, it should be to help them be recognized. You are lending him, in small part, the strength of your brand. True, an endorsement can add new search terms to a person’s profile, but she can do that for herself through her LinkedIn headline and work history.
Let’s look at it another way. How many of you go to the grocery store and reach for your favourite breakfast cereal or cola only after reading out the name on the package? How many of you reach as soon as you see the trademark colours or logo?
It’s seeing a face that makes a difference, for the people you endorse or recommend, and for the people who may endorse or recommend you. Your face is part of your trademark, and far more recognizable than the hottest of taglines.
Want to find work? Want to help others find work? Upload a good selfie today and put a face to your brand.
If your LinkedIn profile is less than it could be, we can help! We offer LinkedIn tuneups, workshops and personal coaching. Contact us for more details.