LinkedIn recommendations are written comments from people who have worked with you, that describe your work and highlight your strengths. They are similar to the references you might give when applying for a job. They can be found at the bottom of your LinkedIn profile, which makes it easy for others to see them without having to request them. It is important to note that recommendations are different from LinkedIn endorsements, which are a quick way for your connections to confirm the skills you have listed on your profile.
Asking for recommendations on LinkedIn can be intimidating, but it’s an important part of building and maintaining a strong online professional presence. Recommendations can help you stand out to potential employers and clients, and they serve as a testament to your skills and accomplishments.
Here’s how to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn:
- Choose your recommenders wisely: When it comes to LinkedIn recommendations, quality is more important than quantity. It’s better to have a few well-written recommendations from people who can speak to your specific skills and experiences, rather than a long list of generic recommendations. Consider reaching out to past supervisors, colleagues, and clients who can speak to your abilities and the value you brought to the team or project.
- Personalise your request: Don’t just send a generic request to everyone in your network. Take the time to personalise your request and explain why you are reaching out to this particular person for a recommendation. You might mention a specific project you worked on together or a skill you learned from them. This will make your request more meaningful and show that you value their opinion.
- Make it easy for your recommender: When asking for a recommendation, provide your recommender with all the information they need to write a strong and specific recommendation. This might include your job title, responsibilities, and the time period during which you worked together. You could also provide a few examples of specific accomplishments or skills you want them to highlight in the recommendation.
- Follow up, but don’t be pushy: After you send your request, give your recommender some time to respond. If you don’t hear back within a week or so, it’s okay to follow up with a friendly reminder. However, don’t be pushy or demanding. Remember that your recommender is doing you a favour, and it’s important to be gracious and respectful.
- Say thank you: Once you receive your recommendation, be sure to thank your recommender. A simple message expressing your appreciation will go a long way in maintaining a positive professional relationship.
In addition to following these tips, there are a few things to avoid when asking for recommendations on LinkedIn.
1. Don’t ask for a recommendation from someone you haven’t worked with or don’t have a strong relationship with. This will likely result in a weak or generic recommendation that won’t be very useful.
2. Don’t ask for recommendations from people you have had conflicts with or negative experiences with. This can backfire and damage your reputation.
Asking for recommendations on LinkedIn can be a little nerve-wracking, but it’s an important part of building and maintaining a strong online presence. By following these tips and avoiding common pitfalls, you can confidently ask for and receive valuable recommendations that will help you stand out to potential employers and clients.
To request a recommendation from your profile:
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Select View profile.
- Scroll down to the Recommendations section and click Ask to be recommended.
- Type the name of the connection you’d like to ask for a recommendation in the Who do you want to ask? field.
- Select the name from the dropdown that appears.
- Fill out the Relationship and Position at the time fields of the recommendations pop-up window, and click Next.
- You can include a personalized message with your request by changing the text in the message field.
- Click Send.
Why give a LinkedIn recommendation?
Apart from being courteous in acknowledging someone’s good work, it can also benefit you in several ways. Here are four ways in which giving a LinkedIn recommendation can help you:
1. Reciprocity: It’s important to note that you should not give a recommendation with the expectation that the person will return the favour, however, it can happen. It can feel great to receive a recommendation unsolicited, it can also influence a potential client to choose you over others based on that person’s positive thoughts on your work.
2. Reach: Your recommendation, together with your photo and headline, is visible in the recommendations section. This means that anyone looking at that section on someone’s profile will be able to see your photo and headline, and they may also take a look at your profile. Your next potential partnership could be just a click away.
3. Awareness: Providing a sincere, unsolicited recommendation can increase your brand recognition. It means the person you provided the recommendation for will keep you in mind. Even if you don’t receive a recommendation in return, they will remember the effort you took to write a genuine testimonial for them and may even recommend you to others in their network.
4. Trust: Imagine you have provided a sincere recommendation for someone who was a joy to work with. Thanks to your recommendation, they were subsequently hired for another project and performed exceptionally well. The person who hired them will trust your assessment and may end up reaching out to you in order to collaborate in the future, even if they have never met you in person.
LinkedIn is often referred to as a community. This community mindset is ideal when it comes to giving and receiving recommendations, and creating a LinkedIn profile that showcases your brand in a unique way.
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