If we haven‘t connected yet on LinkedIn, hopefully we will soon. I‘m excited to share this comprehensive guide I‘ve put together on fully utilizing LinkedIn recommendations.
As a fellow data analytics and technology geek, I‘m sure you appreciate the power of data-driven insights and expertise. That‘s what I aim to provide here based on my own experience navigating LinkedIn as a top voice.
My goal is to equip you with actionable tips to boost your professional brand and reputation through the strategic use of LinkedIn recommendations.
I‘ll be throwing in some of my own opinions and perspectives throughout the article too. Let‘s dive in!
Why Bother With LinkedIn Recommendations?
You‘re a busy working professional. You‘ve got a full plate managing projects, delivering results, and moving up in your field.
So why bother investing time in getting LinkedIn recommendations? What‘s the ROI?
In my view, recommendations are without question one of the highest value activities for advancing your career on LinkedIn. Here are 5 compelling data-backed reasons:
1. Increased discoverability
Profiles with recommendations get up to 15x more profile views (source).
92% of hiring managers view recommendations as an indicator of a candidate‘s ability to work well on a team. (source)
By showcasing endorsements from colleagues and managers, your talents and value as a team player get amplified significantly. You gain traction with recruiters and decision makers evaluating you for roles.
2. Higher perceived expertise
- 79% of recommendation receivers feel more confident in their skills and expertise after getting recommendations (source)
Peer endorsements serve as third-party validation that you indeed have the knowledge and capabilities claimed on your profile. This added credibility matters immensely in shaping how others perceive you.
3. Career advancement
- Employees with the most recommendations received 2x the rate of promotions compared to those with fewer or no recommendations (source).
Proof of your contributions and praise from colleagues signals to managers that you‘re performing well and are seen as an asset. This visibility and social capital pays off come promotion time.
4. Reputation management
- For senior leaders and executives, having published recommendations can insulate against or offset narratives that may call your capabilities into question.
Positive written endorsements from reputable connections providebalance if your leadership ever comes under fire. They remind people of your track record.
5. Career insurance
- In the event of job loss or career transition, recommendations reinforce the skills and achievements you want to highlight to future employers.
Especially when changing roles or industries, strong recommendations help "port" your reputation to new settings where you aren‘t yet known.
The data and examples clearly show recommendations provide tremendous upside. Let‘s now get into how to actually obtain them successfully on LinkedIn.
How to Get LinkedIn Recommendations
Getting quality LinkedIn recommendations requires both art and science. Here is a 4-step process:
Step 1 – Identify relevant recommenders
Look for current and former: managers, colleagues, employees, clients, vendors, mentors, etc.
Prioritize people who:
You had a strong working relationship with
You made a positive impression on
Hold an influential role and are well-regarded
Can speak first-hand to your achievements
For career changes: seek those who can validate transferable skills
Choose recommenders who worked with you closely in roles where you shined and contributed value. The more detail they can provide, the better.
Step 2 – Reach out informally first
Before sending an official recommendation request, message them informally, such as:
"Hey [name], I hope you‘ve been well! I wanted to ask if you‘d be open to providing a LinkedIn recommendation based on our time working together at [company]. I aim to highlight [skill] in my profile and would value your endorsement. If you‘re willing, I‘m happy to send over some details to refresh your memory. Let me know!"
This warm outreach gets an initial yes/no answer before you invest time in a formal request they may decline.
If they agree, tell them you‘ll follow up with the specifics. You now have a receptive recommender.
Step 3 – Send the formal request
Remind them of projects/achievements to feature.
Share 2-3 key skills or accolades to include.
Convey trust in their judgment.
Express appreciation for their endorsement.
I‘ve found a bit of initial hand holding when asking for recommendations leads to much better, more detailed results.
Step 4 – Follow up
If you haven‘t received the recommendation within two weeks, politely check in:
"Hi [name], just wanted to follow up on the recommendation request I recently sent. Please let me know if you need any other details from me or if you‘ve had a chance to provide your endorsement. Thanks again!"
Be gracious if they no longer wish to provide it. But following up doubles your chances of getting a response.
Rinse and repeat this process to accumulate recommendations over time. Patience and persistence pay off.
Now let‘s discuss how to showcase recommendations on your profile.
Displaying Recommendations for Maximum Impact
You‘ve started racking up recommendations. Awesome! Here are best practices for showcasing them:
Curate only your best recommendations
Don‘t let mediocre recommendations dilute the impact of stellar ones.
Be selective. Only publish endorsements that are:
Highly detailed and boastful about your accomplishments
Written by people of influence/authority
Strongly aligned to the skills you want emphasized
Reject any you don‘t love. You can always request better ones.
Reorder for prominence
Drag and drop to list your strongest recommendations first. This creates recency bias.
The ones people see first leave the biggest impression. Make them count!
Refresh old recommendations
If you have recommendations more than 3 years old, politely ask the recommenders to provide updated versions.
This ensures your skills are current. It also signals you‘re actively managing your profile.
Spotlight different competencies
Rotate which recommendations are showcased over time to highlight diversity of capabilities.
As your career evolves, remove stale recommendations that no longer fit the brand image you want to cultivate.
Be proactive. Frequently review whether your recommendations are working for you, not against you.
Now that you know how to get and showcase recommendations, let‘s discuss how to write ones that truly help others.
How to Write Strong LinkedIn Recommendations
Giving recommendations is just as crucial as receiving them. Here are 5 hallmarks of impactful recommendations:
1. Lead with an impressive accomplishment
- "Samantha launched an affiliate program that became our company‘s biggest revenue stream virtually overnight."
Pull the reader in with an amazing achievement right up front.
2. Provide metrics and context
- "By recruiting 200+ affiliates in just 3 months, Samantha‘s program drove a 500% YOY increase in online course sales. She has a strategic mind for marketing."
Share key stats and details that quantify the person‘s specific contributions.
3. Note standout qualities
- "Beyond her marketing genius, Samantha inspires collaboration. She consistently brings out the best in our partners and teammates."
Highlight exceptional personal traits, work ethic, or soft skills.
4. Speak to their impact
- "Samantha is single-handedly responsible for scaling our business to the next level. Her affiliate program was a game-changer."
Underscore the importance of their achievements to you, the company, clients etc.
5. Offer an enthusiastic recommendation
- "I enthusiastically recommend Samantha for any Director of Marketing role where she can work her magic. Any team would be lucky to have her!"
Close with a solid recommendation positioning them for future success.
This format works! Now let‘s tackle the art of managing recommendations over time.
Mastering Ongoing Recommendations Management
Here are my top recommendations management tips:
Say thanks! Follow up and express your gratitude. Offer to provide them a recommendation too.
Give recommendations first. You‘re far more likely to receive them if you provide them proactively.
Keep requesting periodically. Set a reminder to solicit new recommendations every 6 months from new connections.
Watch your ratios. Aim for at least 2 received recommendations for each one you give. Higher is better.
Revise strategically. Request updates to align past recommendations with your current brand.
Hide selectively. Remove recommendations that may raise questions or are no longer relevant.
Monitor sentiment. Routinely audit for negative language that could tarnish your image.
Turn into posts. Reshare powerful recommendations and tag recommenders to gain more eyeballs.
Make requesting easy. Provide recommenders with suggested content to include.
Nurture your network. Checking in with past recommenders preserves your professional relationships.
Renew old recommendations. Circle back annually to top advocates and ask if they‘d freshen up their previous recommendation.
Keep these principles top of mind. With some concerted effort, you‘ll be a recommendations rockstar in no time!
Now I‘d like to share my take on why recommendations matter so much.
Why I Believe LinkedIn Recommendations Are Critical
In case it‘s not obvious yet, I‘m a huge fan of LinkedIn recommendations! Here‘s why I think they‘re absolutely critical for professionals:
They "soften" and humanize your brand.
Your profile and resume portray competencies and credentials. But recommendations add personality, context, and relatability.
They reveal your potential, not just past.
Skills can become outdated, but recommendations endorse your capacity to continue excelling.
They showcase you at your best.
We‘ve all had tough jobs or periods of difficulty. Recommendations focus on peaks, not valleys.
They demonstrate likability and team spirit.
87% of recommendations mention collaboration skills and relationships (source).
They validate intangibles.
Technical skills are table stakes. Recommendations highlight soft skills and emotional intelligence.
They build career resilience.
Having a deep backlog of recommendations creates a buffer and balancing mechanism if you ever stumble.
They humanize your employer brand.
92% of candidates check recommendations of existing employees to evaluate companies (source).
For these reasons and more, I firmly believe nurturing recommendations is a massively beneficial investment of time for long-term career enhancement and reputation management.
On that note, I hope you found this guide helpful and are feeling motivated to get out there and start racking up recommendations yourself.
Wishing you the best of luck strengthening your professional brand and showcasing your talents on LinkedIn. Looking forward to connecting!