Recommendations are an often-underused and important part of your LinkedIn profile. Recently, I have been noting that when I work with a client to optimize their LinkedIn profile, they are sorely lacking in Recommendations. I wondered about this. Is it because people are embarrassed to ask for a recommendation? Do they not know how to ask for one in the LinkedIn system? Do they just not think about it when working on their LinkedIn presence? Recruiters look at recommendations all the time. Potential referral partners and clients will surely want to scroll down and read your recommendations. Additionally, recommendations on LinkedIn are different from the Skills & Endorsements section. However, please do fill those out as well and use all 50 if you can.
Here are some tips for expanding your recommendations on LinkedIn:
- You must be connected to someone on LinkedIn in order to request a recommendation from them.
- LinkedIn recommendations are written on the LinkedIn platform. You cannot copy and paste them from another source.
- Giving a recommendation is a great way to receive one. People like to reciprocate; however, be genuine. Don’t just write something to expect something back.
- Rewrite the “standard” LinkedIn recommendation request. Make it more personal. This is also true when sending a Connection Request–“Add Note” should be used as often as possible.
- Thank people who have been kind enough to write you a recommendation.
- LinkedIn will advise you if someone has written a recommendation, so be sure to read through it. Ask for an edit if you feel it needs one, especially when it comes to misspelling or typos.
How to request a recommendation:
- Go to the profile of the person from whom you want to request a recommendation and click “More…” (this is also how you would write a recommendation for that person)
- Follow the steps and remember to add a personal note
- Think about what you want the recommendation to be used for; a new job, closing a sales deal, a speaking engagement, etc.
- Be sure to pick people who can speak to the benefits you have provided them, not just that you are a “dedicated, hardworking person” or any other generic praise
- Be specific in your request so they have an idea of what you want them to focus on in the recommendation (e.g. “Sally truly understands social media marketing and how to make it work for a small business. We have seen an increase in people following us and engaging with our social media. This has resulted in increased inquiries and sales for our product.”)
- Think about relationships with people; teachers, co-workers, referral partners, and clients. Even if someone has not been a client of yours, they can speak to your knowledge of your subject matter, integrity, customer commitment, etc.
One key thing to remember; make sure your LinkedIn profile presents the most professional image of you before you ask for recommendations. You do not want people to go to your profile and be unimpressed. They will never get down to your recommendations, and you will create a negative impression with an unsatisfactory LinkedIn profile. It is your digital resume, so be sure it represents you in the most effective, current, and engaging light.