You’ve drafted a killer summary, detailed your dazzling accomplishments, and keyword optimized the heck out of your LinkedIn profile, but there’s still something missing. You know adding a few glowing recommendations to your profile would boost your credibility and increase your chances of getting approached by a recruiter, but going about obtaining those recommendations can feel a little daunting.
Follow this easy breezy step-by-step guide, and your profile will be bursting with astounding accounts of your diverse array of skills and achievements in no time.
1) Decide Who to Ask
Determining whom you should reach out to is just as important as figuring out how to make the ask. Sure, your former boss would be a great choice, but don’t count out colleagues, direct reports, or anyone who has seen you in action. Did you go out of your way to help the manager of another department with a tricky project? Were you an awesome boss? Did you develop a great relationship with the vice president of marketing or the front desk receptionist? Any of these people would be ideal.
The idea here is to come up with a list of colleagues – past and present – who you believe can and will vouch for your work ethic, expertise, and accomplishments. Your list may be chock full of C-level leaders, or it might include professionals from every level. Don’t be afraid to get creative.
2) Work Out What to Say
“I wanted to see if you’d write me a recommendation on LinkedIn” isn’t going to cut it. You’ll want to craft a personalized message that reminds the person who you are and how you know each other, demonstrates the impact that they had on you, makes a specific ask and offers something in return.
Here’s what it’ll look like:
I hope you’re doing well. How do you like the new gig at XYZ Company?
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we wrapped up that ABC project. Thanks again for all your help with the content – you were a lifesaver!
Since we were last in touch, I’ve decided to pursue a career in the digital marketing space, so I’m working on tailoring the messaging of my LinkedIn profile to reflect my campaign management experience. Given that we’ve worked together on such a relevant project, I was hoping you’d be willing to write a brief recommendation for my profile? Specifically, I’d love for you to detail your experience with me as a teammate, and my relevant digital marketing expertise as you understand it.
I’d also be more than happy to write a recommendation for you as well. Feel free to send me a list of what you’d like me to highlight, and I’ll get right on it!
Thanks in advance, Brian! I really appreciate your time.
Taking the time to write a warm, personal message will increase your chances of getting a response and (hopefully!) an awesome recommendation. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back from everyone. People are busy, some rarely check LinkedIn, and others may just be a little too shy to write something so public.
If you encounter someone who wants to help, but doesn’t feel confident in their writing skills, offer to draft the recommendation for them – with the caveat that they can make edits however they see fit.
One last trick to keep in mind? You can include a link to these step by step instructions for writing and posting a recommendation to make the entire process even easier.
3) Show Your Gratitude
Now that you’ve beefed up your LinkedIn profile with stellar reviews, why don’t you return the favor? Ask everyone who took the time to write you a recommendation if they’d like you to write one for them in return. Be sure to confirm whether there are any specific projects, skills, or traits they’d like you to highlight. Then get to work!
If you’ve already written a recommendation for someone or they’d prefer not to receive one, send them a thoughtful thank you note instead.
Adding a glowing recommendation to your LinkedIn profile will enhance your credibility, reaffirm all the great things you say you can do, and help you to stand out from the crowd. So what are you waiting for? Go get those recommendations!
Jaclyn Westlake is a career advice columnist, creator of the Job Hopper's Job Search Strategy Guide and founder of The Job Hop. With more than ten years of experience in the recruiting and human resources space, she is passionate about empowering job seekers to achieve their career goals. She's also particularly fond of coffee, every dog in the world, and the city of San Francisco.
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