Published by: http://www.MyCareerBrand.net
Powerful LinkedIn recommendations will add value through optimising and strengthening your profile credibility, personal brand, and potentially getting you across the line for your first interview or meeting. They can also help to drive inbound traffic and sales opportunities.
The type of role you have will determine the extent and type of recommendations you seek out.
For example, if you are in sales you should gain recommendations from your customers, suppliers, managers and any team members you lead. Other stake holders in the business who have gained from your sales delivery may also be of value. You need to think about the various aspects of your role and the people you work with on a day to day basis and how your targeted audience will relate to them.
If recommendations are important to you then clearly you should invest effort both up front and during the process.
3 Key steps towards building an optimised recommendation
1. Prepare before asking
- Objective: Know what you’re wanting to achieve by adding recommendations.
- Who: Who are the people who will addd most value to your Linkedin profile? Think about your audience and who they’d want to see as a reference, the relevance of their role within your area of expertise (past, present and future), and their credibility.
- Why: Recommendations have a purpose, and you will have your own specific needs in terms of supporting your career advancement, your business, and adding value to your profile. Always come back to the ‘why’ throughout the process.
- What: You need to know what you want to be known for. Keywords and being on message with your brand does matter and will help to optimise your LinkedIn profile.
2. Call the recommender first
- Don’t just send an e-mail: A request should never be a surprise to the recommender. If the recommender and their recommendation are important enough to you, then do the recommender the courtesy of phoning and discussing the request first. If the person is difficult to pin down, then you could send an e-mail first requesting some time in their diary. Never send the LinkedIn standard request content.
- Let them know your current situation: You may simply want to keep your profile up to date, fully optimised and equipped to drive inbound traffic, or you may have a more urgent requirement such as a forced career transition. This may impact the timeline you agree for them writing the recommendation.
- Agree with them where you and they think you added most value. Be specific.
- Work together on the verbs to describe the value you added. Be outcomes focused.
- Paraphrase your discussion and summarise at the conclusion of your call.
- Set next steps (examples):
- “I’ll send you a formal request on LinkedIn”
- “I’ll send you a summary of what we discussed today so you can build your recommendation – I hope that helps you”
- “Do you require any other information before you write my recommendation?”
3. Follow up
- Thank the recommender either by calling them or sending an e-mail.
- QA: If the recommendation has a number of grammatical errors or there is a glaring omission don’t hesitate to request the recommender amend and re-submit with the changes (LinkedIn provide the mechanism to do this).
- Use the recommendation throughout your profile and CV (use a hyperlink too). Yes, the recommendation is pinned to a specific job in your Experience area on LinkedIn, but you can copy excerpts from your recommendations to add weight to your Linkedin Summary area. You can also move a recommendation up or down in order of importance to what you’re wanting to promote about yourself. Keep in mind the degree of recency though!
- Don’t forget to use your recommender to refer you on to their contacts/connections too. As will be the case for your other connections – LinkedIn is all about networking and adding value. So use it that way.
Not everyone is prepared to write a LinkedIn recommendation
You may be surprised to know that not everyone is prepared to write a LinkedIn recommendation. In my experience with my clients – it’s often the senior managers who tend to stay clear. Don’t be offended, their reasons are often sound and are not a poor reflection on their view of you and your performance. If this is the case – simply ask them if they would be prepared to be a verbal referee.
So before you seek out your next recommendation have a think about what you’re wanting to achieve and the value it will deliver.
All the best!
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Craig works with his clients to build a tailored Personal Brand, LinkedIn Profile and Curriculum Vitae (CV). He also works with corporates and individuals who require assistance during Outplacement/Career Transition and to engineer inbound traffic for their sales teams. His focus is squarely on developing his clients’ marketing collateral and interview skills to position and achieve the best possible outcome.
Craig’s clients span from New Zealand, Australia, UAE and across to the UK, and his career advice articles are read by many thousands of career mined individuals across more than 135 countries.
He is recognised for his ability to develop his clients’ communication skills to enable them to sell their value proposition to employers and recruitment consultants better than their competition, increasing their confidence, and ultimately winning more employment and sales opportunities.
Craig draws on over 20 years of leadership experience within various sectors including Recruitment, Professional Services, Financial Services, and Technology, supported by a strong background in Sales and Marketing.