Is LinkedIn the New Yelp of Recommendations?


I love getting LinkedIn recommendations from people I’ve worked with. Peers, managers, even persons I’ve formed great working relationships with online, given the nature of my job: It’s all good.

I’m stating it that way because I don’t want to convey that I don’t like getting recommendations (that would be silly!). But I’ve just received one that said:

“Very impressive resume and skill set, any employer would be lucky to have you!”

I’m not sure what to do about this, because:

1) I’ve never worked with this person.
2) The person attached it to a job from 2009.
3) The statement doesn’t really mean anything.

I’m not saying the statement isn’t nice and flattering. I assume this person took the time to vet my profile. I’m not sure why the person settled on an older job, but that’s not the biggest issue here.

Would an employer think highly of me for posting a stranger’s assessment that basically says, “What’s written here looks nice”?

It would add to my overall number of recommendations, sure, but on the flip side, would I want the kind of employer who values style over substance?

Yet on sites such as Yelp, you’ll see reviews from strangers that range from style–“This is great!”–to substance–“From start to finish, X business delivers quality customer support by doing Y and Z.” And we accept those reviews and factor them into our internal pros-and-cons system. In fact, the more reviews about a place, the more we’re likely to find favor with it (unless they’re negative, of course)*.

LinkedIn¬†recommendations should reflect your work, not the way you wrote about your work. Anyone can see how you wrote about your work. Now,¬†I crafted my profile so that it reflects my achievements, skills, and goals, and hopefully invites further conversation. I’m concerned that if I post this style of recommendation, it would reflect badly on my credibility.

What do you think? Is this kind of recommendation no big deal?

*This may be just my personal view.

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