LinkedIn has more than 610 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Most business professionals have a profile on LinkedIn. The reason? Because 60% of recruiters are more engaged with LinkedIn than other recruiting sites. So, if you’re looking for a new opportunity or you just want to keep your options open, LinkedIn is the place to be.
One of the ways to enhance your LinkedIn profile is with recommendations — one of two different types of recognition you can provide on LinkedIn.
- Endorsements are a way for LinkedIn connections to recognize people for their skills and expertise.
- Recommendations are a way for a colleague or business partner to recognize or commend a connection.
The way to get good recommendations is learning how to give them. You’re not required to write a recommendation for someone who leaves one on your profile, but it can help you get recommendations and stay in touch with colleagues. Here’s how to do it:
- Decide what you want to acknowledge. The first question to ask yourself is, “Should I give an endorsement or write a recommendation?” This will help you figure out where you to focus your efforts. Remember, recommendations and endorsements are not the same thing.
- If this recommendation is for a current or former employee, make sure you know your company’s policy. Organizations have policies about providing recommendations. Review your company handbook or speak with human resources about what you can say and do. Your company may be fine with endorsements, but not with recommendations.
- Check out LinkedIn’s Help page about recommendations. Before you post something on the internet, read LinkedIn’s rules. Specifically check out the sections about editing or deleting a recommendation. You might not write a recommendation thinking you’ll later want to change it, but it’s good information to know.
- Use your own writing style. There are zillions of LinkedIn recommendation templates on the internet. They can provide some creative inspiration, but the key to writing a good recommendation is to sound like you wrote it. The recommendation will come across as being more authentic.
- Describe your relationship. Context matters. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. One of the first things readers want to know is how you worked with the person you are recommending. It sets the stage for the next part of your recommendation.
- Focus on one thing. There’s a 3,000-character limit on the length of a recommendation. That should be more than enough characters to get your point across, but keep in mind you want people to actually read it. Staying focused on one key trait or skill will encourage you to be succinct. And it will help the person you’re writing the recommendation for.
- Share a result. If you’re struggling to identify “just one thing” to include in your recommendation, consider this: Whatever that “one thing” is, you should be able to back it up with a result. For example, if you’re writing a recommendation for a manager who did a fantastic job building teamwork, you can add the person “was recognized with the company’s first teamwork award” or “had the lowest turnover in the company.”
LinkedIn remains the top professional network in today’s business world. Recruiters are looking at profiles all the time. One way to have someone’s profile stand out is with recommendations. Whether you decide to write a recommendation on your own, or a colleague asks you to, it’s a big responsibility and you want to do a good job.
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