How To Ask And Receive Great LinkedIn Recommendations
If you ever wandered through the vast LinkedIn community, you’ve surely noticed one thing in common for those very successful professionals in your field of work- they are highly engaged in the platform activity, and they are often recommended. I would dare say that on LinkedIn, just as in real life, recommendations are a currency of trust. The more recommended someone is, the more likely people are to engage and do business with them.
Think about that for a second- how would you like to be associated with a highly-praised? Would you be more inclined to be their client? Would you hire them in favor of someone less recommended?
More often than not, optimizing your LinkedIn presence with such appraisals can be a difficult job- especially when it comes to asking for them. In an ideal world, you’d never request one. A very satisfied customer or your manager would joyfully hand over exceptional appraisals on their own. But since we’re still living in the real world, it usually comes down to you to ask for them.
To make things easier, we’ve created this very handy guide to help you get the most out of this process. And who knows- maybe you’ll be so kind to recommend us once you’ve reached the end of this article. 🙂
How LinkedIn recommendations can help you?
It’s hard to under-emphasize the power of referrals in today’s world. A glowing recommendation from a client, a manager or a colleague it is a social proof of your abilities. A positive introduction can ultimately be a powerful motivator, while others may see them as a source of credibility.
Whom should you ask for recommendations?
Since LinkedIn recommendations are a tremendous asset in your job search, careful thought should be put in choosing the right persons to ask for. Not only you want to increase your chances to be recommended, but you’ll also want a good appraisal.
Before starting to send those requests, make a list of people that you consider most likely to help you with one. But how do you choose those right people?
- A happy client. Make sure that whenever a client reaches you to express how happy they are with your service, you politely ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn. Don’t hesitate to ask specifically what is that you’d like them to comment upon- it will make their job easier and you can also target specific skills you wish to emphasize.
- A former supervisor/manager. Valid especially in cases where you parted on good terms. Don’t let things get cold too fast, though- it’s better to ask for a recommendation soon after your parted ways, rather than later.
- A current supervisor/manager. Treat this carefully as not to be perceived as prospecting the job market. This is suitable especially when you are prospecting for new accounts or clients.
- A colleague / team member. Make sure you don’t abuse this, though, as these recommendations are easier to get but less convincing. Try to ask for such credentials when working on and important project and base them on very specific aspects of your work.
How should you ask for recommendations so that you would achieve a maximum rate of response?
You might think that the asking part is the toughest one in this process- and sometimes it is. Be prepared to encounter people that strongly believe recommendations shouldn’t be given freely. So the way you’re doing it weighs in the most. Things that you should consider before starting to ask for a recommendation:
- Pick people thoughtfully. Choose and make a list with persons you consider highly opened to recommend you. Approach only people who know you and your work, and will most likely give you a high appraisal.
- Determine for each person on the list the best way to reach them. Some might respond better to a call or a face-to-face meeting than and email.
- Approach specifically. Skip that horrendous LinkedIn generic message and go for something more personal and targeted. Don’t be afraid to share what exactly you would like him or her to say about you.
- Be gracious and thankful. Don’t forget to use a gentle and courteous tone and always, always thank in advance. This is a good opportunity for you to offer to return the favor- reciprocity goes a long way.
How to make sure you get high quality recommendations?
Before you ask for a recommendation, think carefully what you’re trying to accomplish- looking for a new job? Prospecting clients? Want a drastic career shift?
Once you established your goals, identify the person you’d like to recommend you. To make sure you will get a high quality recommendation, consider the following:
- Ask someone you have worked with closely for at least 6 months.
- Is someone who has benefited from your work in some material, quantifiable way.
- Is a good writer.
- It’s a person who regards you in a positive way, with whom you had good working relations.
- Ask for 2-3 specific points to be touched in your recommendation and focus on your objective.
- Ask in a timely fashion- don’t wait too long before asking for a recommendation, or it might be too late.
When it’s the right time to ask for a recommendation?
Timing is just as important as how you ask. Be sure to seize the moment, otherwise your chances to get a positive response decrease exponentially. So consider this:
- If asking for a recommendation regarding a certain project, ask right after completion. A week or so would be a good timeframe.
- After leaving an employer, make sure you wait 2-3 weeks before approaching them with a request.
- If asking a client, be sure to ask immediately after project completion or delivery (and of course, only if the client is happy with your work).
- Don’t forget- recommendations have a date stamp, so be sure to leave some time between requests to create an organic feel to the process.
How many recommendations should you get for your LinkedIn profile?
There are recruiters that state 10 or more recommendations are the minimum acceptable, while others say they couldn’t care less. A good rule of thumb would be to start with 2-3 recommendations for each position you had and build up from there. Either way, quality is more important than quantity, so fewer, more convincing recommendations are much more valuable than tens of shallow ones.
How and why should you be the one giving LinkedIn recommendations?
You should be prepared not to ask unless you are willing to return the favor. But be careful- in specific cases, giving and receiving LinkedIn endorsements can do more worse than good. Here are a few tricks to master this ‘art’:
- Giving recommendations can trigger one for you in return- but be very careful when picking up the right person. Make sure your action is genuine and does not come off as a quid pro quo (ask-to-get-in-return).
- Giving recommendations builds your trust factor as a professional with relevance in the field.
- A well-written recommendation can speak volumes about your skills.