The digital era has modernized the practice of good old references. Instead of mailing in a list of references with phone numbers and e-mails on a piece of crunchy old paper, job seekers can now collect referrals at the touch of the button, through LinkedIn.
LinkedIn recommendations provide an opportunity for coworkers and clients to leave a detailed message, on your profile, of a prime experience you had working together. No longer does a recruiter have to search and converse with a list of references, now they can see everything, and find you before you have to find them.
So should you have LinkedIn recommendations? Are they a benefit to you?
How LinkedIn recommendations help:
Search rankings: You can become a higher result in people and industry searches when other users are leaving fresh content, i.e. recommendations, on your profile.
Credibility: If someone provides you with a thoughtful, well-written recommendation, other recruiters and companies see that you surround yourself and work with high quality people.
Action: Recommendations can tell the world what you can’t explain in a job history list. Recommendations can tell a story of your top accomplishments on the job, and how you got there.
Validation: Recommendations associate you with other credible people who are happy to attach their name to you. Not everyone is comfortable doing that in the working world.
Of course, not every recommendation will work for you. Make sure people put some thought and detail into their recommendations, as you should as well. The more specific, the better, for people that are trying to find out about your strengths.
Example of what does not work:
Jerry was a bright, punctual worker who contributed to the team.
This is too vague and honestly does more harm than good. These, while nice, should be removed from your profile.
Example of what does work:
Jerry helped us boost fourth quarter sales by 60% when he introduced his mobile text marketing plan to three of our largest clients.
Here, the recommender is giving specific results and how they were reached.
What makes a good LinkedIn recommendation?
Details: Have recommendations be specific to your job description, and skip the traditional accolades—punctual, hard-working, etc. What your endorsers don’t say may hurt your credibility.
Writing: The writing must be grammatically correct and well done. Someone who posts a sloppy piece of writing is a poor reflection on you.
Thoughtfulness: Including a story with detailed examples on how that person created change and success.
Human voice: Don’t be so formal. You can write well and tell a story in a casual tone. Formal recommendations can sound robotic, canned and give no insight.
Connect: Say something about how you met and/or are connected with the person.
Remember, LinkedIn recommendations are much more reliable and important than the old school of referrals, because someone is attaching a name and a face and a reputation to what they are saying. It shouldn’t be used for anonymous cheerleading.
And the best way to get great recommendations? Don’t even ask. Give out some great ones. People will gladly return the favor.
Call Clark Personnel Service for more tips on how to present yourself as the perfect job candidate!