The recommendation section on the LinkedIn profile is one of the best marketing tools available for professionals looking to build trust, credibility and interest.
Why should you ask for a recommendation?
A LinkedIn recommendation – especially a quality one from a past manager from a recognized industry expert – provides a reader/recruiter with immediate feedback regarding the skills and achievements you have outlined in your profile. Recommendations are important because they are the only part of your profile that you do not write yourself. Getting recommendations also helps you increase your LinkedIn presence because your recommendation will also show up on the profile of the person who recommended you.
How do I get recommendations?
Many people feel uncomfortable asking for recommendations. One way to get past this is to first write a recommendation for someone else. This is a much easier approach and LinkedIn provides an easy way for the other person to return the favor and write a recommendation for you.
Do not look at asking for a recommendation as being bothersome to the other person. Approach someone in a genuine way – much like you would do in a networking situation – and ask them for help and give them a reason why (job search, completing my profile, starting a business, etc.) You will find that people are open and very willing to help. You just need to ask.
What are the mechanics of asking for a recommendation?
The most efficient way to ask for a recommendation is from the Request Recommendations selection that you can find under the Profile tab on your LinkedIn home page.
There will then be three selection tabs from which to choose. Choose the Request Recommendations tab.
LinkedIn will take you through a three-step process:
- Choose what you want to be recommended for – you can select from the various positions and companies that you have worked for (as shown in your LinkedIn profile)
- Decide who you’ll ask – there will be a text box where you can type in who you want to ask (remember that they need to be a first-degree LinkedIn connection). While you can select up to 200 people, it is strongly recommended that you keep your recommendation requests to a select few who know you best. Quality beats quantity.
- Create your message – LinkedIn provides an automated message that you can use to reach out to your connections. We recommend that you always develop a personalized note.
Sometimes it helps if you create a template for someone to use in writing a recommendation for you. This will help them get the recommendation done quickly and with not a lot of effort. Here is a sample template (source: LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day by Viveka von Rosen):
Contact Template: Requesting a Recommendation
Subject: Can you endorse me for the (fill in blank) that I did at (fill in blank)
I hope things are going well at your company. (Add another more personal note about how they are doing, family, friends, etc.)
I was hoping that you would take a few minutes to write a recommendation of me for LinkedIn. Please feel free to write whatever you like. If it helps, I have added a few talking points below:
- (Offer a few points about your knowledge of your industry)
- (Share a bit about your experience in your industry)
- (Give a point or two on your ability to generate business)
- (Discuss briefly about your customer/product expertise)
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call. Thanks so much for your time.
Requesting recommendations on LinkedIn is fairly easy to do and can greatly enhance your LinkedIn profile by providing interested recruiters with strong referrals regarding the value that you can bring to an organization.
What has worked for you in asking for LinkedIn recommendations? What would you add to this list?
Patrick Lynch is Managing Partner of OI Partners Atlanta and President of The Frontier Group. He has served in senior marketing and sales positions with leading consumer product companies such as Georgia Pacific, Kao Brands, Kraft/General Foods and The HON Company. He also serves on the board of directors of Special Pops, a non-profit organization that offers an adaptive tennis program specifically designed to share the lifetime sport of tennis with children and adults with intellectual disabilities. He lives in Roswell, GA.
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