Having a strong LinkedIn profile does not fully depend on your own input. Of course, how well you complete your profile is the base for leaving a good impression, but others´ input is of significant importance to take your profile to the next level. Endorsements of the skills you claim to have but especially recommendations can make your profile much more interesting to future employers, headhunters and talent managers.
Hence, try to get some recommendations on your profile by using these 5 tips:
Pick people carefully & give them a ring
Although it might be tempting to request as many recommendations as possible from everyone you can think of, you will want to think carefully about what people to pick. You want powerful recommendations from people who know your work well and that can speak highly of your skills that are most relevant for future employees. Also, instead of just using LinkedIn´s online feature to request a recommendation, it´s always better to give them a call beforehand to make it more personal, catch-up and explain the motive for asking them for a recommendation. That way, you are more likely to actually get a recommendation and one that you like.
Instead of letting the people you are asking for a recommendation run with it, be specific about what you would like to see in the recommendation. By doing so, you can guide them in highlighting those parts of your work together that are relevant for your profile. E.g. do you want them to comment on your project management skills during a specific project you were responsible for? Tell them that you would like their recommendation focused on that. Of course, you will have to be sensible here because you don´t want to make them feel that they are forced to write something but you can definitely make it specific by letting them know what you are looking for. If you indeed give them a call as mentioned above, you can use that opportunity to explain to them what you would need. This usually works better verbally than written down so yet another reason to give them a call!
Always change the message
When you invite them to write you a recommendation via LinkedIn, make sure to always change the standard message and make it more personal. This will obviously increase your chances of receiving a useful recommendation, only a few people will make an extra effort with writing a strong and personalized recommendation when they receive a standard message. Therefore, make sure to make it a habit to change that message into something more personal.
Phase it out
Although it might be tempting to ask for a ton of recommendations to make your profile look better right before you have an important interview or before you start applying for jobs, recommendations on LinkedIn are date stamped so you better phase them out to make it look more organic. Therefore, space out your requests for recommendations a bit to not make it look like you suddenly convinced half of your network to write a recommendation.
Instead of just requesting people to write you a recommendation, start writing recommendations yourself for the people you work with or have worked with. Writing a recommendation without being asked to do so can motivate people to reciprocate so it´s a good way to getting some extra recommendations yourself as well. However, be careful to not just write recommendations because you expect one in return. Although most people will do so, not everyone will reciprocate so you will have to manage your expectations to avoid getting disappointed.
These are our 5 tips for requesting recommendations on LinkedIn, what other tips do you have? We would love to read about them in the comments section!