You’ve probably seen it on LinkedIn — “6 people have recommended Bill,” or “16 people have recommended Sue.” Having atÂ recommendations on LinkedIn will help people recognize your strengths.
There are a few best practices when it comes to asking for recommendations on LinkedIn:
- It is not not necessarily better to have a lot of endorsements. You don’t need 58 recommendations. In fact, some people say that they are suspicious when people have what they consider excessive numbers of endorsements. I was once conducting a workshop, and a participant found a colleague who had a lot of recommendations — I can’t remember exactly how many, but a lot! She said, “Wow, that’s impressive.” Upon further investigation, each recommendation was reciprocal — that is, she had endorsed everyone who endorsed her. All of the sudden, it seemed less impressive. Which leads us to…
- Be sure not all of your recommendations are “you endorse me and I’ll endorse you.”
It’s easy to ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn. (Maybe a little too easy!) All you need to do is click through to “Privacy and Settings” and under the “Profile” tab, click “Manage Your Recommendations.” Â Click “Ask for Recommendations” on the top toolbar. Then, you can choose the job you want a recommendation for and select people to ask for the endorsement.
Here are some tips to get the best recommendations possible:
- NEVER ask more than one person per message. Each recommendation request should be personalized and specific to the endorser.
- Recognize the most people have no idea what to say and can use some guidance. It is your job to help steer your recommenders along the right path. For example:
“I am updating my LinkedIn profile, and I’d be honored if you would write a recommendation for me. While I am not currently looking for a job, the skills most important in my field include:Â customer service/communication abilities, being self-directed and deadline-driven, as well as paying attention to details and having an inquisitive nature. I hope you will be able to comment on any of those in your note. I have an updated LinkedIn profile if you’d like to review it.”
If you need help updating your LinkedIn profile, contact me!
Providing information that helps your colleague or former supervisor know what you want him or her to say goes a long way to ensuring a) he or she actually writes out a reply and b) the recommendation has information that is actually useful to you.
It’s up to you to steer your career and job search related information. Follow these links for additional information about asking for recommendations:
Be sure to vet your references.
10 tips to land the best work references
Keep in touch with job references.
Prepare your references for job search success.
photo by .michael.newman.