First of all, let’s not confuse recommendations with endorsements. Endorsements can originate from anyone you’re connected to, whether they have first-hand knowledge or not!
Recommendations, on the other hand, are written by LinkedIn users who do have first-hand knowledge of you from a variety of possible scenarios:
- You managed him/her
- You reported to him/her
- You were senior to him/her, but didn’t manage them
- They were senior to you, but didn’t manage you directly
- You worked with him/her in the same group
- You worked with him/her in different groups
- You worked with him/her, but at different companies
- They were a client of yours
- You were a client of theirs
- You were their teacher, mentor or fellow student.
You can obtain a recommendation one of two ways – ask for one or write a recommendation for someone you know, and LinkedIn sends them the proposed recommendation for them to post and asks them if they would like to reciprocate.
Of the 44 recommendations I have, some were unsolicited and some I recommended. If someone gives you a recommendation and you accept it, always reciprocate by providing them one. Obviously, you know each other well enough or you wouldn’t have received their recommendation.
LinkedIn recommendations help to give you, and your profile, integrity, credibility and, of course, demonstrates how you affected their lives positively. If you are promoting yourself, your company, or are possibly changing jobs, recommendations are invaluable! Beyond the content of what you post, or your well-written summary – which are all subjective – recommendations demonstrate how people actually feel about you, your company and the impact you’ve had on them. Recommendations round out your profile and bring it to life! I challenge everyone to get at least 25 recommendations!
S. Thomas Wharton is Managing Partner & Board Member of OI Global Partners and President of LIFOCUS, a human resources consulting firm in Rhode Island, providing Career Development/Coaching, Outplacement, Executive Coaching, Assessments and Leadership Development. Tom can be reached at 401.884.7959 • firstname.lastname@example.org. • www.lifocus.com • @careercoachTW