It is important to get recommendations on LinkedIn to build credibility. But how do you go about asking someone to write you one? Here are a few tips…
1. Choose People Thoughtfully
Before asking anyone for recommendations, you need to prioritize. Look at all your work experience and create a list of all the people who witnessed your work. You’d ideally want to identify people who are known in your industry or function and work for respected companies. You’ll want at least one recommendation for each job and at least some of these recommendations should be from people more senior than you.
I am always amazed when I get requests from complete strangers asking me to endorse them. I’d never endorse or recommend anyone I’ve not actually worked with – such an endorsement would be worthless.
Therefore I’d recommend you approach people who know your work and can speak intelligently about the skills you most want to highlight.
2. Ask For A Recommendation Via Email First
It is easier to ignore or simply not notice recommendation requests if it is sent via LinkedIn especially if you’re busy and get a lot of requests of all sorts. Since I got my LinkedIn PowerProfile award for being in the top 1% of most viewed profiles in the HR industry in the UK, I’ve received 1300 connection requests within a few days! It is easy to miss a message when you receive a lot of them on LinkedIn.
For this reason, send a brief email to your contact first, asking if it is ok to request a LinkedIn recommendation. Not only will it make it more likely that you’ll get a recommendation, you’ll also have the opportunity to influence what your reference says. You can even offer to supply a rough draft.
3. Be Specific
Recruiters look for quality recommendations – the ‘fluffy’ ones aren’t seen as credible!
At the same time, a lot of people struggle with writing quality recommendations, so make it easy for them to recommend you.
Instead of sending a generic requests asking for a recommendation – give them something specific to recommend you for. For example, ask them to talk about XYZ project you did together and the role you’ve played.
Tell them how he or she can best help. You can even mention specific personality or professional traits you want them to recommend you for. For example, “Would you mind mentioning my work ethic, stakeholder management skills and project management experience?”
Make sure you send a thank you note and also let them know if you may return the favor.
LinkedIn recommendations provide you with the perfect opportunity to share third party endorsements—or social proof—of your talents with people making hiring decisions. Go use them to your advantage.
If you want to learn how to use LinkedIn effectively not only as a job search tool, but as a reputation-builder and online business networking tool; how to find unadvertised jobs and how to get more interviews in a competitive job market, download my free 3-part video course Smart Strategies to Get More Interviews here..
About the author
Margaret Buj is an interview coach who has been helping professionals get hired, promoted and paid more for over eight years. She is also a qualified Personal Performance & Corporate and Executive Coach and can help you with developing confidence and the attitude that will make it easier for you to get any job you want. Schedule a complimentary consultation with Margaret here.
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