LinkedIn Tip #2: Obtain Recommendations

Typical interview questions: “Why are you no longer with XYZ Company?”  “How well did you perform at your past employer(s)?”  “What are your strengths?”  Although your resume will include results and accomplishments, you should back those up with recommendations, and LinkedIn is a perfect storage site.  LinkedIn allows individuals to write recommendations about you, commenting on your assets and/or your excellent job performance, and to include them in your profile for anyone to read.  In addition, you can copy/paste them onto a MS Word document, then print and carry to your interviews; see the sample below.

Nearly all companies now forbid written recommendations by supervisors, but LinkedIn recommendations are often allowed.  Equally good are supervisors from previous assignments or companies, clients, vendors, co-workers, even friends – anyone who can attest to your work.

Preferably, you want at least four, the number suggested by LinkedIn, but you can have as many as you like.  I recommend no more than ten however; too many just dilute the impact.

  1. Decide from whom you would like a recommendation – former supervisors, co-workers, major clients, or others familiar with your work.
  2. From the Menu bar at the top, click “Profile,” NOT “Edit Profile." To the right of your picture, look for the blue box "View profile as.." To the right of that box is another box and next to that is an arrow.. Hover over the arrow, then click “Ask to be recommended."
  3. Steps 1 - 3 on this page are self-explanatory, but question 4 needs discussing.  You will have much better success if you compose a suggested recommendation that your recipient can simply copy/paste.  Here is a sample I recently received:
Dear Steve, Would you be kind enough to give me a recommendation? I am looking for a referral that would say something like this:
Bob is the consummate professional in whatever goals he sets in his business pursuits. With his excellent work ethics, he has the ability to monitor and improve the current work situation through his process-improvement skills, while keeping a focus on the long term goal of his job. He is highly organized, a team-builder, an excellent motivator and public speaker and as a result, Bob has the ability to create an exceptional work environment for both his internal and external customers.  
  1. Click “Send.”  It’s really that simple!
  2. When you receive the recommendation, you must choose to accept or reject before it will be posted on your site.  Generally, you will accept unless the recommendation contains misspelled words or bad grammar.