In the past few years, social networking service LinkedIn has become a must-have for professionals. While a great profile probably won’t win you a new job entirely on its own, it can certainly give you a leg up, and with almost 350 million users worldwide, a presence on the site has become the normal practice.
One of the most powerful features of the site is the ability to give and receive personal recommendations. On a site like LinkedIn, where so much of the information is very general and self-selected, a third-party recommendation offers a direct look at how you are viewed by your colleagues.
- If a manager or colleague has written a letter of reference for you in the past, find out if they have a LinkedIn profile. If they do, ask if they’d be willing to upload that same letter to the site as a recommendation.
- One of the best ways to obtain recommendations is to simply write some of your own for people with whom you have worked closely and have a good relationship (they don’t have to be co-workers, a client or fellow member of a professional group can be very effective), and hope that they reciprocate. If they thank you for your recommendation but haven’t written one for you yet, tell them that you meant what you said, and casually ask if they’d be willing to return the favor.
- If you absolutely must ask for a recommendation, LinkedIn offers a tool to solicit up to three at a time from your existing connections on the site. There is a default message entered in the request box, but don’t be reluctant to personalize yours. A little honest flattery goes a long way; let your colleague know just why you value their endorsement.
- “(Name), while we worked together at (company), I came to respect your ability to find a person’s strengths and put them in positions where they could best be used. I was wondering if you could use that skill to give me an honest recommendation.”
LinkedIn recommendations are a great way to give your recruiting marketing or potential employer, more human picture of who you are, and they also show that you’re able to win respect from people you’ve worked with. This kind of insight on your qualities can give you an edge when being considered for a position.
If you are looking for additional career resources or advice, please contact the recruiting experts at Select Group, Inc. As specialty recruiting specialists we partner with professionals to help you find a great position and advance your career. Contact us today to learn more!