Great recommendations can be the difference between landing your dream job or getting offered a project over someone else. Luckily, LinkedIn has made it easier than ever to ask for recommendations. But as you go about giving or getting recommendations, there are a few things you should consider. Below are some guidelines about what to do and what not to do.
Ask and you shall receive: You should never wait for someone to send you a recommendation because you could be waiting a long time. Instead, summon up a little courage and ask for a one. It is best to ask people with credibility first because they carry a lot more weight. Also, always make sure to make the request personal and polite and NEVER ask more than one person per message.
Less is more: You want quality recommendations to display on their LinkedIn profile. Too many recommendations can make you look like a show off. Instead, it’s best to have a range of recommendations from a boss, a colleague and a subordinate, to give readers a sense of how you work at all levels.
Specificity is best: The best LinkedIn recommendations are ones that give specific results or tell a story of transformation. You want specific information that shows how your expertise was put to use reflects very well on you. Example: “In the last year, John exceeded every monthly sales goal by an average of 35%.” To get these types of recommendations, ask colleagues you have worked closely with on recent projects.
Help the writer out: It
is your job to help direct your recommenders along the right path; otherwise you could end up with a “he is a great guy” type of recommendation, when what you want is something that sounds distinct. Providing information that helps your colleague or former supervisor know what you want him or her to say goes a long way. It ensures he or she writes out a recommendation that has information that is actually beneficial to you. It’s even fine to offer to draft the recommendation yourself, or to send a draft along in an email and let them know they can adjust it as they want. If the writer sends a draft and you see room for improvement, do write back and politely suggest changes.
Say thank you: After receiving a recommendation, as a thank you, you are given the option to return the favor. But don’t do it unless you really are comfortable recommending this person. No matter what, out of common courtesy, always send a note saying thank you.
Have you ever asked for a recommendation on LikedIn? Let us know what you said and how it went in the comment box below!
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