Did you know two new members join LinkedIn every second? As a result, more people are using it for intelligence, recruitment, and networking. But how does an individual best leverage this vibrant network?
I suggest to people that they gather a few great recommendations to display on their LinkedIn profile. Great recommendations can be the difference between getting a position or project offer over someone else. But as you go about giving or getting recommendations, there are a few things you should consider. Here are some guidelines about what to do and what not to do.
1. Ask For Specific Recommendations
Don’t wait for someone to send you a recommendation. You could be waiting a long time. Instead, feel free to ask someone, but make the request personal and polite. By default, LinkedIn will autofill the recommendation request box with some text. Take that out. Then, ask the person to recommend you for something specific that you worked on together, like a big project. Otherwise you could end up with a “she’s a great lady” type of recommendation, when what you want is something that sounds distinct.
You should also ask that they include what happened as a result of working together. Did sales increase or debts go down? Specific information that shows how your expertise was put to use reflects very well on you.
2. Don’t Ask Everyone
Don’t send out a blanket request to all of your connections because you may not have worked with all of those people close enough. I saw a recommendation recently where someone recommended a person as a good landlord. The person wasn’t looking for a job in that space and the comment stood out like a sore thumb. “He’s a nice guy and kept the place clean” is not really what you are looking to add to your business profile.
3. Don’t Ignore a Request
If you receive a recommendation request from someone that you really don’t know too well, don’t ignore it. I suggest you go back to that person and say something along the lines of, “Thanks for the recommendation request, but at this time I don’t feel that I can endorse your work, as we really don’t know each other well enough. Feel free to contact me at a later date if that changes”. That way, you are not leaving it hanging, and you have turned them down gently because you really are unable to recommend them at this time. It’s important you don’t write something just for the sake of being polite.
Tips 4-6 and complete Mashable article
Linda Coles, founder of Blue Banana, is a speaker, trainer and author of Learn Marketing With Social Media in 7 Days.