LinkedIn lets your network connections post recommendations about you. LinkedIn recommendations are like product testimonials that you may have seen on business sites. They show support for you as a professional, they strengthen your personal branding, they also help to build your credibility which is exceptionally important in a network-driven employment world.
Perhaps you have tried clicking on that ‘Ask to be recommended’ button on LinkedIn (in your profile edit view) only to receive no response from the person who you knew sang your praises. They may have given you great feedback just the other week! Why would your request for a recommendation land on deaf ears?
The key to getting a recommendation is to make it easy for the other person to do so. So easy that it literally requires no effort from them at all. Here’s our 3-step guide to getting a LinkedIn recommendation:
STEP 1: Identify your fans and key strengths. Go through some of your old emails or performance reviews, identify the common theme of positive feedback you’ve received about you – they are your key strengths. Make sure they align with what you want to be known for. Shortlist a handful of potential ‘fans’ who have sung the loudest praises about you.
STEP 2: Draft a few quotes and summaries of the feedback on your key strengths. If the feedback was too abstract e.g. ‘Great job! Thanks’, don’t be afraid to flesh it out a bit with details of what you did to warrant that feedback e.g. ‘James did a great job at facilitating the annual budgeting process to make sure all the teams were aligned and delivered their outputs on time’. Aim to have a few different feedback summaries that talk to your key strengths.
STEP 3: Put together a personalised message to your ‘fans’ along the lines of this:
Hope you’ve been well.
Just a quick note to ask you for a favour. I’m updating my LinkedIn profile and am hoping to include some recommendations from my previous employers. I was wondering if you’d mind me getting one from you.
I know these can be a hassle to write, so I have taken the liberty of drafting something up for you below based on some of your kind comments. I want you to be 100% comfortable with the quote, so please feel free to add or delete any part of it as you see fit. Also, if you’d prefer not to leave a recommendation, that’s totally fine too.
Possible recommendation for James:
‘James was one of the most dedicated contractors I have ever worked with! He understood the business needs and went above and beyond the call of duty to deliver value for the business. He did a great job at facilitating the annual budgeting process to make sure all the teams were aligned and delivered their outputs on time. This was not part of his job description at the time. I would recommend James in any future endeavour that he wishes to undertake.’ Laura Example, Finance Director, XYZ company
Thanks for considering this, Laura. Speak soon.
We used this approach with a client, and the results were impressive. As long as your quote is based on your fans’ genuine sentiments about you and that they are comfortable with your wording, most people are happy to help upon receiving the personalised message. Why wouldn’t they when you’ve made it so easy for them to help!