How to Give — and Receive — LinkedIn Recommendations

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linkedin recommendations

With all the changes to LinkedIn, one thing that never goes out of style is having people say nice things about you on your LinkedIn profile — even if LinkedIn puts different emphasis on the role of Recommendations in the profile. For recruiters and hiring managers who take the time to read them, great Recommendations can be the difference in getting the job offer. So don’t miss out on any opportunity to “get yours.”

LinkedIn Recommendations are a natural evolution of references and letters of recommendation. However, they often are more credible than these traditional documents, because it is harder to fake a Recommendation on LinkedIn than it is to forge a letter. Since many companies are restricting reference checks to verification of title and dates of employment, a LinkedIn Recommendation from a supervisor — and/or coworkers — does carry some weight.

LinkedIn has been described as a “reputation engine.” That’s an apt description, because your reputation does precede you online — not just in your work history, but also in your LinkedIn Recommendations. At JobSearchSuperhero.com we recommend that our clients also utilize the web scraping software known as BrandYourself. This software is priced reasonably, you can pay about $35 quarterly, although this figure could have slightly changed, to more easily scan for any negative posts online.

Remember that someone looking at your Recommendations wants to know two things:

  • What are you like?
  • Are you good at what you do?

LinkedIn used to require a minimum for three Recommendations for your profile to be considered “complete,” but that is no longer part of the profile strength measurement system. However, according to LinkedIn, “Users with Recommendations in their profiles are three times more likely to receive relevant offers and inquiries through searches on LinkedIn.”

In addition, you can enhance your own reputation by providing Recommendations, because people viewing your profile can see (and read) the Recommendations you make. People can see the Recommendations you’ve received (click on “Received”) as well as the Recommendations you’ve given (click on “Given”).

Recommendations can also provide Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results — meaning, they will help you get found — both on LinkedIn as well as on search engines. Use industry-specific terminology in your Recommendations. Keywords included in LinkedIn Recommendations also receive emphasis in search engine results — especially searches within LinkedIn. When conducting a keyword search, all the keywords in a profile are indexed, and profiles with a high match of relevant keywords come up higher in the results listings. Although LinkedIn’s specific algorithms are secret, some experts suggest that keywords in Recommendations receive double the rankings of keywords provided in the profile itself.

How many Recommendations you should have on your profile depends on how many contacts you have. A good guideline is 1-2 Recommendations for every 50 connections. Ideally, these will be a variety of individuals — not just supervisors, but co-workers, people you supervise, and clients/customers. Choose quality over quantity.

Recommendations should be built up over time. Because Recommendations have a date attached to them, don’t try to solicit all of your Recommendations at once. Don’t write and send your Recommendations all at once either. Recommendations are date-stamped, so the reader will be able to see when they were added to your page. It’s best if they are added gradually, over time.

Follow us here or on our main JobSearchSuperhero blog, and we’ll start with what to write in a Recommendation you give, and then show you how to actually make a Recommendation on LinkedIn. Finally, you’ll learn how to request your own Recommendations on LinkedIn. In the next post we will show you the actual formula for writing a good LinkedIn Recommendation, but here is a preview below.

Formula for Writing a LinkedIn Recommendation

Before you write anything, take a look at your contact’s LinkedIn profile. Align your Recommendation with the individual’s LinkedIn profile. Tie in what you write with their LinkedIn Headline, Summary, and/or experience — reinforce the qualities they want to emphasize in the Recommendation you write. Look at the existing Recommendations they’ve received too.

Some things to consider include:

  • What are they good at?
  • What did they do better than anyone else?
  • What impact did they have on me? (How did they make my life better/easier?)
  • What made them stand out?
  • Is there a specific result they delivered in this position?
  • What surprised you about the individual?

Choose the qualities you want to emphasize in the person you are recommending. You may choose to use what author and speaker Lisa B. Marshall calls “The Rule of Threes.” Simply stated, concepts or ideas presented in groups of three are more interesting, more enjoyable, and more memorable. (See how that works?)

In general, you will want to showcase transferable skills, because these will be the most relevant for your contacts when they are using LinkedIn for a job search or business development.

The top 10 skills employers are looking for in employees are:

  • Communication Skills (verbal and written)
  • Integrity and Honesty
  • Teamwork Skills (works well with others)
  • Interpersonal Skills (relates well to others)
  • Motivation/Initiative
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Analytical Skills
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Computer Skills
  • Organizational Skills

Stay tuned to our blog and our social profiles as we will be adding more #JobSearchSuperhero #CareerTips and resources frequently.

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LinkedIn Endorsements Re-Ordering To Help You Land Your Dream Job

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Many times people ask about LinkedIn Endorsements and what value they hold if any at all.  Well, they are not like a recommendation in that a colleague actually recommends you for direct work that they have witnessed.

The basic purpose that the endorsements section serves is for listing your current and past skills from your entire career, and to use searchable keywords for a recruiter or hiring manager to find.  Here is tip not many know about on how to structure your skills when you are creating the profile so that your connections will actually endorse you for the skills you need endorsements for to land that new job role you’re after.

This is especially true if you are seeking a career change to an entirely different industry than most of your experience has been in. Say you were in transportation and now have some experience in Social Media or Mobile App Development and you’d like to pursue that dream job.  The key here is to move your skills from previous job roles to the bottom and leave the ones you want endorsements for towards the top.  Humans tend to be lazy and we usually go for the easiest option.  LinkedIn must know that because they make it easy for you to give your connections endorsements on their skills.  To help promote endorsements LinkedIn automatically populates the endorsement section of a connection with their top skills and shows them to you in a pop-up when you are on the site.  It’s easy right?  We see the built-in endorsements, we click and our connection is endorsed.  So remember to re-order your skills and place the skills that most match your NEW target job at the very top of your skills section.  This will go a long way in getting the right skills keywords to be found in an online search for talent by a recruiter or hiring manager so you get the call for the interview.

Best of luck in your job search!

Mill Montejo

 

LI Endorsements

Don’t forget to set your setting to not report your activity while you are editing your profile.