I am a big believer in LinkedIn. I use it to find candidates for my executive recruiting clients and to help my career counseling clients network. Do I know my 39,000+ first degree connections personally? Of course not.
And that’s why I do not offer endorsements or recommendations. If I were to endorse someone, or recommend them, assuming that I do not personally know them, I would be lying. Endorsing or recommending someone means you are attesting to the quality of their work and their professionalism. Based on that, someone might decide to hire them. And if they are incompetent, you are partially responsible for the damage they will cause to their clients. That is why I do not endorse or recommend strangers.
But every day I receive sometimes multiple requests for endorsements and, to a lesser extent, recommendations. Usually the LinkedIn connection tells me that they have already endorsed me and would appreciate if I would endorse them. Or, they offer to write a recommendation for me if I will write one for them.
And that is why recommendations and endorsements are meaningless. And that’s a pity.
So what should you do if someone asks you to lie for them? Well, what I do is to tell them that they are liars, explain my reasoning, tell them that I am not a liar, refuse their offer, and I then remove them as a connection (What do I need liars for?) and block them so I don’t have to deal with them in the future.
Why do I tell them that they are liars – one of the worst things you can say about someone? Well, maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part but maybe, just maybe, one of the liars will realize the error of their ways and will change. Maybe…but…
I just received the following response from one of my “liars.” This may be a good example of why it’s not worth the bother. And I quote (the spelling errors are in the original):
Clearly the response i would expect from a non-millionaire, struggling, incompetent over credientialed man that feels that they know it all.
It impresses me how ignorant people like you are.
GOD will not reward your behavior and you will continue to live a life full of regrets and misfortune.
PS. You don’t’ know me. Why did you request me as a connection? Perhaps a simple “remove connection” would be the best solution here.
I rest my case!