LinkedIn Recommendations - Why You Need Them
In this video, William Arruda tackles a common LinkedIn question he often gets asked: “What Do I Do about Recommendations?”
This video focuses on three things:
What you need to do to get recommendations
- What you need to do to get recommendations.
- Who should you get recommendations from.
- How to maximize the recommendations you get to build your brand and connect with others.
Recommendations validate what you say about yourself. Most of what you say in your LinkedIn profile and in your entire digital identity is you telling people all about you. The great thing about recommendations is they validate what you say.
Here are five measures that are used when people evaluate others on the web:
1. Volume - How much content is there.
2. Relevance - How consistent is that content for who you are and who they need you to be.
3. Purity - Can they determine what content is about you vs. others?
4. Diversity - Is all that content text based or is it multimedia?
5. Validation - Is this person talking all about themselves or other people reinforcing what they say about themselves?
Recommendations fall under validation. And they're one of two ways you validate yourself using LinkedIn. The other is Endorsements.
2. Brand association
Recommendation is so powerful because not only is what people say really powerful, who says it, what company they work for and what job title they have is also really important.
The concept is about who you hang around with, some of their brand values rubs off and you experience brand association all the time.
Example: Trendy Hotel + Trendy Spa = Reinforces the Brand
Who should you get recommendations from?
You want to have at least 1 recommendation for each experience element that you have in your profile. And obviously your most recent experience is the most important.
3. List and Prioritize
Start with a list. List the appropriate people who will give you recommendations.
People who can give your recommendations:
Make a complete list from the people you want to get recommendations from then prioritize. Identify the most important ones. To ensure that you have recommendations for each element.
4. Email first
Reach out first via email saying "I'd love to ask you for a recommendation through LinkedIn. Would you be willing to provide one?"
5. Provide Keywords
Assist by providing keywords for the recommended copy.
2 reasons to provide recommended copy:
1. Make it easy for references - Provide a copy they can easily edit and if they don’t want it, they can start from scratch.
2. Suggest what they might say - You get to tell them what it is you want included in your recommendation. Even if they will do their own, you will put the keywords in -- all the things that you want people to know about you.
Put thoughts in their head and the recommendations that will come back will likely have it included.
After they've agreed to recommend you, send the request through LinkedIn. Sending this through LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to be able to attach it to a specific entry regarding your experiences.
How to attach recommendations in LinkedIn:
- To do this, click on Ask to be recommended
- Identify the elements you wish to ask for the recommendation
- Add the name of the person you're asking
- Indicate your relationship to him/her
- Indicate the role that you had at that time
- Create a message and indicate what you want them to say
Do this systematically by looking at your prioritized list. One person after another. Send email, then follow-up with request for a recommendation directly from LinkedIn. Once you do that, then you can post that recommendation to your LinkedIn profile.
How to maximize the recommendations you get to build your brand and connect with others
6. Ask to cross-post
Ask permission to cross-post. This is a great career marketing tool so don't limit it to just LinkedIn.
Recommendations can be used as testimonials for the following:
- cover letter
- other personal branding websites
Getting recommendations can be somewhat of an ask of others. Because to truly write a recommendation, people spend time.
7. Thank your references via email, thank you card, or ecard.
Remember to acknowledge the people that provide these recommendations. They're part of your network and you want to thank them and you want to nurture these relationships so you can move forward in your career.
William Arruda is an international branding consultant, author and public speaker focused on professional development and executive leadership. William is the Founder of Reach Personal Branding, the #1 provider of personal branding services to Fortune 500 companies and leading universities, guiding professionals to unearth what makes them exceptional and use their unique gifts and experience to drive value for their career and organization. He lectures and conducts workshops on personal branding at top-tier graduate schools of business, including Harvard, Duke, NYU, Berkeley, Wharton, University of Michigan, UCLA and Cornell. In addition, he lectures and consults to executives at the world's largest corporations including Johnson and Johnson, Price Waterhouse, Sheraton, Microsoft, Disney, Ogilvy and J.P. Morgan. He is the co-author of Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand, a guidebook with the tools managers need to differentiate themselves from their peers and thrive in today’s job market. William blogs at http://www.thepersonalbrandingblog.com/tag/william-arruda/.