Modesty A Smart Play For Linked-In

Linked-in may have taken a little while to catch on in Australia but according to LinkedIn managing director for South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Cliff Rosenbert,

“pretty much every professional in Australia is now up and running with a profile”.

Just what Linked-In can do for business is still evolving however for B2B professionals, it offers a boon of connectivity to potential customers provided you are not too clever for your own good.

I refer of course to the new Linked-In feature called ‘endorsements’ which has been growing in popularity over the past few months. I loved this nifty little profile enhancement right out of the box and immediately went about adding every possible skill to my profile as I could lay claim too. Yesterday, I updated my profile and deleted about half of my listed skills (even ones with endorsements) and here is why.

Endorsements are a great way for profile visitors to get a quick snapshot of a persons areas of expertise but I have come to realise less is more. Endorsing some of my connections recently, I noticed that many of the broader skills I had claimed as my own were also appearing as skills on members of my network. Listing broad base skills on your profile can undermine the potential benefits of endorsements by concealing your true areas of expertise.

The problem is the way linked-In allows people to endorse others. It is actually easier to endorse a person for several skills in a batch (offered up by Linked-In) than it is to deselect certain skills claimed by a person that are less relevant. What this means in that your broad based skills and your areas of true expertise get similar weighting in the endorsement vote. The result is that nothing really stands out on your profile and you can quickly start looking like you are a jack of all trades and a master of none.

By deleting out anything that you are not absolutely known for and expert in, the remaining skills in which you are most qualified will be the ones your connections see and endorse. This means that rather than a watered down profile with dozens of skills, your more modest skill set will make it easy for people to understand your true strengths and promote new conversations in that area.

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