This is Part 1.6 of “How to use LinkedIn to get jobs?” series.
Imagine someone asking, “Hey bro, can you remove a stubborn glitch from my website?” And before you reply, a friend exclaims you’re a genius in the field. LinkedIn recommendations are the same thing; in the virtual world. Those are social proof: you’re what you claim.
Those recommendations are analogous to “References available on request.” The difference is that recommendations are live. They are visible to anyone, be it a hiring manager or your future employer, who visits your profile.
And a convincing recommendation might land you the job.
But do all LinkedIn recommendations hold the same weight? Let’s find out.
Why are LinkedIn recommendations necessary?
Recommendations from past managers or supervisors add instant credibility to your LinkedIn profile. They are the proof of the skills, the work experiences and the achievements you’ve listed.
Glowing recommendations from colleagues about your management skills or work ethics also create a good impact on your profile visitors. But these recommendations aren’t valuable only when securing a job. They can also help you in getting internship opportunities, part-time projects or other collaborations.
And, of course, you can add the recommendations to your resume too.
When to ask for a recommendation?
Well, you can ask for LinkedIn recommendations anytime. You don’t need a mahurat.
But the best time would be to get one when you’re at the top of your game. Nailed the internship, grabbed a lucrative client for your company or cut down the operating costs; ask for that recommendation.
Your golden moment to get the recommendation might even be during one of the monthly feedback cycles or weekly project reviews. Take advantage of any opportunity you get!
Who to ask for a recommendation?
Just like you don’t need an auspicious time, you need not approach a celebrity for a riveting recommendation. You can ask anyone to recommend you on LinkedIn… BUT you shouldn’t.
The best (and the most detailed) recommendations, usually, are given by the ones who you’ve worked with. These people can be your mentor, team members in a project or the manager you reported to.
You can also ask company clients with whom you dealt directly. Yeah, you can ask Bill Gates to write you a recommendation if you designed him an appealing (not appalling) mobile operating system.
Get a variety of recommendations from a variety of people. And that would be when your LinkedIn recommendations will provide an all-round view of your capabilities.
Also, check how to get better profile visibility with relevant skills in your LinkedIn profile.
How to ask for a recommendation?
Of course, you would like your university dean to write you a shining recommendation. After all, he mentioned you and your project during the annual fest.
Or you might expect the VP to singsong some glorious praises. He talked about your achievement for 2 long minutes last night at the party. Right?
But what if they leave you a short and vague recommendation? It would serve no purpose at all.
So, you need to make it easy for them to leave you a recommendation; the kind which you want them to.
Here’s something to help –
1) Be direct –
Remember, you’re asking for a recommendation, not property papers. So, instead of beating around the bush with a page-long email (or message), get to your point. Be courteous, be professional; but keep your message short. 3-5 sentences should be fine.
2) Provide them context –
If you want a recommendation which screams your skills out, mention the things you would like to be recommended for. For example, you pulled off a marketing campaign. But you might want to be recommended as a strategist, instead of a charismatic project leader. See what I did there? Yes, mention the key industry terms, so the recommendation you receive turns out to be on point, and industry-relevant as well.
3) Write the recommendation –
Many times, the person you approached might not want to type ten sentences even if he/she appreciates your work. So, give them a head start; suggest what you would like them to write. You can also offer to create the recommendation on their behalf; which they can approve and post.
Sample LinkedIn recommendation templates
I’m no expert, but these might be helpful when requesting for a recommendation –
“Hi/Hey/Hello Sir/Ma’am/, I loved working with you on the product design of XYZ. And I was glad to see it worked out well. So, I was hoping if you could leave a recommendation on my profile regarding my product design and user research skills.”
“Hi/Hey/Hello Sir/Ma’am/, I loved to be a part of the XYZ auditing team under your guidance. It has been exciting to do those number-crunching under tight deadlines. And if you could write me a recommendation, it would help me establish myself as an Accounts Assistant in the industry.”
“Hi/Hey/Hello Sir/Ma’am/, I loved the opportunity to intern under your mentorship. I got to code live websites and learnt design’s best practices. It was an immersive experience. And I was wondering if you could write a recommendation for my LinkedIn profile.”
A few final words…
LinkedIn recommendations are the social proof of your professional skills. And you must not ignore their power.
The recommendations show what others think about you. And those words will nudge the hiring managers and prospects choose you for the vacancy, if any.
So, don’t be shy. Make a list of people who you think will provide a valuable recommendation regarding your skills. And send them a personalised message.
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