How to get good recommendations on LinkedIn

Unless you’ve been living under the rock in the last few years, if you are a working professional, you most likely have your profile on Linked In. LinkedIn is the world’s biggest social networking website for professionals which currently has in excess of 100 million members in more than 200 countries and territories.

People use LinkedIn to make connections with potential hires, discuss and find out more about the present state of their profession, sector and industry, impart knowledge and information to others and seek out opportunities for freelance/portfolio work and employment.

Although many of us are on LinkedIn, few of us truly know how to make the most of it, especially for job search. There’s so much more to seeking work on LinkedIn than browsing the job listings.

My colleague Nisa Chitakasem of Position Ignition has written “125 Linked In Job Search Tips” which will help you to tap into LinkedIn as the vital job search resource it is.

In this post, I will share some tips on how to get good recommendations on Linked In.

The Recommendations feature allows people who’ve worked together in an organisation or on a project to endorse one another. Each recommendation only has to be 2 or 3 lines: sometimes ‘Ms. Jobseeker is a very competent accountant and very easy to work with. She went out of her way to assist me’ is enough to help a potential employer or client build up their picture of you.

1. Ask for recommendations by going to your profile page, clicking on the ‘Get Recommended’ link and filling in the form it takes you to. Again, don’t be shy-if the feature’s there, you might as well use it!

 2. Only request recommendations from people who know you well and who you’ve worked with recently. Vague recommendations from people who barely remember where they know you from are not going to make any lasting impressions on employers browsing your profile.

3. Think about what you would like recommendations for and what skills or areas of strengths and interest you would like them to highlight. Think about how your recommendations should fit in with your whole profile.

4. Think about who you want recommendations from in particular. People who are recognised as experts in their fields or who have good reputations within their firms are good people to get recommendations from and to be associated closely with. It shows that you are respected by top professionals and serious people.

5. Similarly to the number of connections you have, getting recommendations isn’t about the number you have but the quality of them. It’s about what they say, by whom and how good they are as a supporting piece about you as a professional.

6. Think of recommendations as an online equivalent of references. When you send in your CV/resume you often get asked for references. This is people who an employer may ring up to ask about you or ask to write about your performance as an employee. Online LinkedIn recommendations are a way for a future employer to get a feel for what you are like and how others who know you and who have worked with you, view you.

7. Whenever you get a good recommendation, announce it in a status update so your other connections know to go and read it.

8. Give as well as get. By giving others recommendations, especially unprompted, you get into their good books and they might return the favour. You’ll also become more memorable to them, which could help you later down the line if they think of something that could help you find a job.

9. One way to get recommendations whilst you’re fresh in someone’s mind is to ask them for one as soon as you’ve finished working with them. That way, they’ll write one whilst they still remember your good work and you’ll build up a collection of detailed and accurate recommendations to aid you in future job searches. 

10. When asking for a recommendation it can be helpful to tell the person you are requesting it from, the reason why you would like it and what you are trying to do. Spending a bit of time explaining what types of role you are looking to get into and what you are trying to achieve, may help them to be more focused in their recommendation making it relevant to your particular needs and goals.

11. Remember to thank your connections for any recommendations that they give you. You may need them again in the future to update their recommendation or to be out there in the market helping you find your next role so show your gratitude in them taking the time and thought to write a recommendation for you.

You can get a complimentary copy of 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips ebook here.

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