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LinkedIn recommendations

You’re ready — you’ve set up your LinkedIn profile to shine, with work history, skills, cover photos, and everything else! But there may be a crucial piece you’re missing: Do you have LinkedIn recommendations on your profile? If not, then it’s time to ask for them.

Learn why recommendations are important to your LinkedIn personal branding strategy and how to reach out to people in your network to get recommendations.

Why Are LinkedIn Recommendations Important?

You’ve no doubt created your LinkedIn profile to spotlight all your accomplishments and abilities  — that’s awesome.

But at the end of the day, those are your words. Any recruiter or potential client is going to take what you say with a hefty pinch of salt. 

And that’s where Linkedin recommendations come in — a not-to-be-missed feature of the LinkedIn platform.

LinkedIn recommendations come directly from people you’ve worked with. There’s no way to game the system or write fake recommendations. People who view your profile can have absolute trust that these are genuine recommendations.

And that’s what makes them so powerful and a great tool in LinkedIn personal branding.

The more positive recommendations you have, the more impressed potential clients and recruiters will be. It’s a great addition to your LinkedIn profile that carries a lot of weight and will help you stand out.

But there’s no shortcut here. It’s up to you to reach out to people who have worked with you tor know you professionally to ask for a recommendation.

So how do you ask for LinkedIn recommendations? Let’s talk about the process and ways that you can increase your chances of success.

How to Ask People in Your Network for Great LinkedIn Recommendations

1. Plan It Out

You’ve had a long career and grown a lot along the way. No doubt, you’ve worked with many people during that time who can speak to your good qualities, expertise, and growth.

And it’s those people who can write the best LinkedIn recommendations.

Review your work history and write down the names of people who worked with you or served in senior-level positions during that time.

In addition to people you’ve worked with, you may also reach out to…

  • Past and present clients
  • Thought leaders who have expressed interest in your work
  • Mentors
  • Teachers

Remember, too, that you can only receive recommendations from those in your network. If someone isn’t listed as a connection, then you should first send them a LinkedIn connection request.

Once you’ve got a list, it’s time to start reaching out.

2. Ask for It

For this step, don’t approach people directly on LinkedIn. You want folks to see that you’re taking the extra effort to reach out to them. Plus, so many people send messages and requests through LinkedIn messenger that it can be easy for your message to get lost.

The best way to do this is through a personalized message from your email asking for permission to send a request on LinkedIn. This makes it more likely that they will see and respond to your request.

Sending a personal email also gives you the opportunity to steer their recommendation to a degree. You can mention the concepts you’re seeking r in a recommendation. You may even offer to provide a rough draft they can use as a jumping-off point.

3. Send a Request

Once you receive a positive response from your email, then it’s time to reach out and request a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Here’s how to do it…

  • First, navigate to the LinkedIn recommendations section on your profile and click on “Ask for Recommendation.”
  • Then, choose the role for which you want the recommendation and the person in your network whom you would like to ask. While you can choose up to three people for this, it’s best to do one at a time in order to personalize each request.
  • Identify the relationship and role.
  • Then, write your message. If you mentioned in your email that you would send a draft, then include a draft of your recommendation and invite them to personalize it. Unless, of course, they said they’d like to write a recommendation from scratch.

Once they’ve written and submitted their recommendation, LinkedIn will notify you. You can then review the recommendation and decide whether or not to accept it. Once accepted, it will appear on your profile.

But your work isn’t done quite yet …

4. Show Your Appreciation

Someone has gone through the time and effort of writing you a recommendation — and for some it may have been a big ask.  Everyone is busy and this is adding another albeit small chore to the person’s work. That’s why it’s  important to show your gratitude.

And this goes beyond a simple thank you email. Take the extra step and send a traditional card of thanks. You may even go a little further and send a small gift. These kinds of gestures can go a long way towards maintaining goodwill with your network, so don’t skip this step.

Concluding Thoughts on LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn recommendations have potential to drive your career — so it’s important to take your time and do it right.

I hope these suggestions help you to craft your own outreach strategy and start adding powerful and persuasive recommendations to your LinkedIn profile. It might just help you land that next big role.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx, author, coach and marketing and branding authority is the founder of Thriving at 50 Plus, a coaching program that helps baby boomers find more purpose and meaning in life. Wendy over the last 30 years has helped many business owners and executives become well-known, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™. Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets.

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