How to Get More Recommendations on LinkedIn
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A Great LinkedIn Profile Has at Least a Dozen Recommendations
Without a doubt, one of the best social platforms on which to share your professional history with potential employers, is LinkedIn. Whatever your line of work or business, if you're looking to draw attention to yourself and the services you offer, there's no better way to go about it than having at least a dozen recommendations on your profile. The first thing employers and recruiters look for when they pull up your profile, is recommendations. A profile with very few or no recommendations is a no-go zone. Recommendations are the cornerstone of your profile. If you have a story to tell on LinkedIn, you better make sure there's someone out there who can back that story up because it doesn't matter how visible you are, if you have no credibility, you'll also find you have very few people willing to connect with you.
LinkedIn Your Doorway to the World
Every 2 seconds a new user signs up to LinkedIn, and each one of those new users is a potential competitor for any work or business you might be looking for. The surefire way to beat off the competition and impress any potential suitors then, is to begin seeking recommendations. Not sure how to go about it? Here are 9 great ways to get recommendations on LinkedIn.
1) Give and take
In the world of social media, nothing garners a response more effectively than giving something for free. Marketers adopt this to sell products, you can use this same strategy to gain more recommendations. Before you ask anything of anyone, identify several connections to whom you can give unsolicited recommendations, people you've worked with in the past for example, and write them a sincere recommendation. They might not reciprocate right away but if not, just give them a gentle reminder and inquire as to whether they have seen your recommendation or not. In most cases, They'll respond in kind.
2) Ask and ask again
Of course, you should also ask for recommendations. Sometimes people are busy and don't have time to go searching for people to recommend. That's where you formulate a list and begin approaching people you have a professional history with. If they don't answer in any way, shape or form, don't sweat it. Simply ask again. They may not have gotten around to it or are simply too busy to recall all the details needed for the recommendation. If possible, also call them and send them an email explaining why you'd like the recommendation.
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3) Write the recommendation for them
Sometimes it's necessary to offer to write the recommendation yourself. If you know the person, great, they'll appreciate that you took their time limits into consideration; and gladly give the recommendation the go ahead. Even if you aren't that close to the person you're asking, as long as the details you've chosen to focus on are accurate, they'll more than likely accept your kind offer.
4) Most credible sources first
It goes without saying that not all sources carry much weight in the way of credibility. For example, a healthy list of recommendations from former colleagues won't have anywhere near the same impact as a recommendation from a CEO. In addition, strive for a mixed bunch of recommendations for a healthy dose of diversity e.g. colleagues, partners, customers, managers. Do try to avoid random requests for reciprocal recommendations and those of family and friends as they make little to no difference and random recommendations can actually harm your credibility.
5) Be specific
When requesting a recommendation, don't make the mistake of expecting the person to know exactly what you want the recommendation to highlight in your repertoire. Otherwise, you'll be given a vague overview that doesn't highlight any of the areas you need to properly advertise your skills to prospective employers. Ask them to highlight your greatest achievements, those areas where you excelled the most and to mention the impact you had because of certain skills and traits you possess. If your recommendations can tie in to the accolades on your resume, you'll be strengthening your own personal brand that little bit more with each recommendation.
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6) Give them a reason
You'll increase your chances of getting a positive response if you also outline the reasons why you need the recommendation when you make contact. By telling them why you need it, you are reinforcing the belief that by doing so, they are making a difference to you and your brand though some people might still say no anyway.
7) Make the request early
The best time to ask for a recommendation is while you are still employed or shortly after you've left their employment. This is because you'll still be fresh in their mind and they're more likely to accept your request at this point. Once again, if you don't receive an answer, follow up with an email and a phone call just to check that they've received your request.
8) Focus on your personal brand
Depending upon what it is you actually do, it's best if recommendations relate to your personal brand and serve to reinforce it. For example, if you see yourself as a creative thinker, full of new ideas and solutions, a recommendation citing the same skills would be ideal. Potential employers will connect the dots as they study your profile and it'll make a bigger impression on them.
9) Request rewrites
If you aren't happy with how a recommendation is worded or the aspects of the work covered in it, it's perfectly okay for you to request a rewrite or a tweak here and there. It literally only takes 2 minutes and most people would be glad to do it for you. Remember, it's all about give and take.
Now that you know the best practices for getting more recommendations, get started as soon as possible. There's no time like the present when it comes to promoting your personal brand. Bear in mind however, that it typically takes a few weeks to get ten recommendations so be patient but diligent and your efforts will eventually be rewarded with the recommendations your future employers will need to identify you as their next candidate for the job.
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Do you know of any other ways to get more LinkedIn recommendations?
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