What are LinkedIn Recommendations?

LinkedIn_recommendations_image_1What are LinkedIn Recommendations?

In one of my previous posts, I wrote about LinkedIn request etiquette. I love LinkedIn and strongly advise anyone not already on the networking site to join. If you view someone’s profile, and scroll down to their experience, you might notice recommendations from other LinkedIn members. Think of these as references, or positive (ideally!) commendations validating your work in that role.

Recommendations can be given directly from someone’s profile. Simple click the arrow next to the Endorse button and select Recommend. Endorse relates to the skills a person has, which isn’t the same as a recommendation. You can also ask to be recommended from the same arrow on your own profile

Does anyone even read them?

Of course they do! At least, I know I do for sure! Having been in a position of interviewing and hiring people in the past, it’s one of the first things I would always look for. 1, are they on LinkedIn, and 2, do they have any recommendations. I am not only interested to see how many they have, but also what quality they are. Not all recommendations are created equal. LinkedIn provides a generic example, which I have had previously from a connection. There was also a connection that provided the same recommendation word for word for myself and a current work colleague. If you are going to provide a recommendation, be sure to be genuine and write something unique to them, otherwise don’t waste their time and yours in providing something they can’t use.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Do LinkedIn Recommendations help you get noticed by recruiters? Yes! Do LinkedIn Recommendations help you network and give you credibility to potential new employers? Yes! But those aren’t the only reason for doing so. If you are looking for a new job, sending out requests for recommendations fast and furiously isn’t ideal. It could tip off your current employer that you are indeed out on the market for the next best thing. Instead, focus on requesting recommendations throughout your career. Just finished a project for a client? Send them a brief, professional request to see if they would be happy recommending you based on the completed work. Perhaps you have moved in to a different team within the same organization. Consider requesting recommendations from key members of your old department. It’s all in the way you ask, and if you leave the door open for someone to decline if they aren’t comfortable, you still have a great connection when needed! NOTE: although some have the best of intentions for providing your recommendation, not everyone will. People forget and are busy… so be sure to thank anyone that does take the time and effort to do so.

The season of giving and receiving

In return, be sure to give recommendations also. It shouldn’t all be about ME, ME, ME! I have given recommendations for people who were my manager, to clients, vendors and partners. If someone has made a lasting impression, and gone above and beyond in providing a service, I send them a recommendation. It’s great to put in to ‘print’ how much I value them as a person. Think long and hard about who you do this for though. They shouldn’t be given out to everyone, and only do it if it feels genuine to do so. So, this holiday season, consider the gift of giving! Are there 3 people you could consider giving a recommendation to today?

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