LinkedIn Recommendations–Who Needs Them?

Assuming you’re on LinkedIn (if not, why not?), what have you done about recommendations? That is, do you have several of them from former managers, colleagues, customers, etc., and are they posted in your LinkedIn profile? If not, you’re missing a bet.

Recommendations are critical to having a LinkedIn profile that’s 100% complete, and that is critical to being found on LinkedIn by employers and others you want to be found by. Recommendations (also known as testimonials) provide third-party validation of the experience and value you are communicating in your profile. When you have good ones, it’s no longer a case of just you tooting your own horn.

It’s important to note that there’s a right way and a wrong way to request recommendations. Be respectful of the time and effort you are asking people to expend on your behalf—don’t assume they don’t have anything better to do. If possible, be a little specific about what you’d appreciate receiving from them. For example, if your work on a particular project for them is something you want to highlight, let them know that. And, most importantly, remember to thank them when they provide the recommendation.

By the way, it’s likely that not everyone will respond to your request. Some people are just too busy, make it a habit of not providing recommendations, or for some other obscure reason don’t respond. Don’t take it personally. Move on to the next one. Also, keep your recommendations fresh–if the most recent one was from four years ago, people might wonder why you don’t have any newer ones.

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