How to Ask for A Recommendation On LinkedIn
UPDATE: I am launching my 7 Day LinkedIn Crash Course, which includes How To Ask For Recommendations on LinkedIn. Best of all its Free!
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Any professional can put those elusive few words on the bottom of their resume: "References Available Upon Request.”
Will your next employer actually go out and get recommendations from your biggest (and hopefully most credible) cheerleaders? My guess is only if you are in the final stages of the interview process.
So how can you leverage your good work and good will from your connections to land an interview at your next employer?
These act as positive, professional affirmations of a quality employee to any future employer who does their due diligence.
Do you have any LinkedIn Recommendations? Would you like more?
Here are a few tips to effectively request, and more importantly, receive more LinkedIn Recommendations:
1) It Is Better To Give Than To Receive
The quickest and best way to get a Recommendation is to give one out first.
Find a few connections on LinkedIn and reach out to them with a glowing and positive recommendation.
Focus on how this person exceeded at their job, how they benefited you, and how they will benefit their next employer.
Be honest! Try not to embellish too much, as these fibs can come back to haunt your connection in future interviews.
You can attach a special private message that is sent to the recipient along with your recommendation. I highly recommend sending a short message saying “hello,” stating why you left a recommendation and if they would return the favor.
Here is my example of a short message:
"Dear Sally, I have made it a priority to write more LinkedIn recommendations. I think they are very valuable for anyone's reputation and I hope I have added value to your LinkedIn page. Please let me know if I missed anything you would like me to include in your recommendation and I would be happy to add it. Additionally, if you feel inclined, I would love a recommendation for my work with you as Account Admin at Smith and Co. Cheers! Kolby"
2) Write It For Them
Before LinkedIn, the practice of receiving Letters of Recommendation was a lot different
You would write your letter from the perspective of your boss/professor/peer, that person would review it, make changes and sign it.
I highly recommend taking this same route and applying it to your LinkedIn Recommendations.
Reminder, be careful and be honest! You don't want to hand over a recommendation that has too much fluff or is not in line with the views of the recommender.
Again, here is my example of a message that includes a recommendation request and the recommendation itself:
“Dear Dave, Hope all is well! I was wondering if you could write a short recommendation for me to put on my LinkedIn profile. Great recommendations include direct examples of benefits and results I brought to (company name). Since I want to make it as easy as possible for you, below is a potential draft of your recommendation. Please feel free to edit or write your own as you see fit. 'Working with Kolby was a very positive and productive experience. His attention to detail and job focus allowed our team to deploy our largest rollout to date. We have utilized Kolby’s communication and implementation practices and have seen team productivity increase over the last year. Without Kolby, we may still be in the middle of deployment and drowning in our own email inboxes.' Thanks in advance! Kolby”
3) Not Every Connection Is Created Equal
Do not ask for a recommendation from every single person in your network.
Sending a generic, mass message to all of your contacts requesting a recommendation will do more harm than good. These kind of impersonal, wide-net requests will most likely end up in the Trash, and may even get you blocked by that person on LinkedIn.
Only ask those connections who have first hand knowledge of your professional experience to recommend you. They are more likely to write a more powerful than some stranger guessing about what you were good at on the job.
4) Don't Forget To Follow Up
Just like any favor, make sure you follow up and thank whoever was nice enough to give you a recommendation. Whether it’s a LinkedIn Message, email or phone call, going that extra mile to acknowledge your recommender shows your true gratitude.
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