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How to LinkedIn Better . . . Lesson 7. Getting Recommendations


Why is it so hard to ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn? Why do so many of us struggle to ask a colleague, manager, team member, or client to write something positive about us?

It’s so much easier for us to write something positive about someone else.

As someone with more than 50 recommendations on LinkedIn I can tell you with complete confidence – ASKING GETS EASIER!

The reason I have 50+ recommendations is because I ask. For every 10 people I ask I get 3-4 responses – that’s a 30% - 40% hit rate.

I’m sure I could find somewhere how many people I’ve asked over the years and then work out the exact numbers but that’s not really important.

The point is, unless you ask, you have zero chance of getting a recommendation from someone.

WHY ARE THEY SO IMPORTANT?

Recommendations are an insight into what you are like to work with – your character, your approach, the things which make you special and unique.

They are references which never go away – when your reviewers talk about your energy, your humour, your sense of team and excellent taste in coffee and music (thanks Colin) as well as your ability to deliver they are selling you for you, in a way you probably can’t sell yourself.

. . . and you know what? Potential employers and recruiters read them!

It also helps YOU to understand what it is about you that makes you a great person to work for/with/alongside . . . it’s not often someone shows you how you can pitch yourself. Gift! 🎁

. . .

How do you request a recommendation on LinkedIn?

OPTION 1 – YOU ALREADY HAVE RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Go to your LinkedIn profile

2. If you already have recommendations scroll down to that section and select the ‘ask for a recommendation’ section

3. Select the name of the person you would like to ask e.g. ‘Gareth’ and pick from your list of contacts

4. Select the relationship you had with them there – were they a client, a colleague, a manager?

5. Select your position – this links directly to your LI history (see lesson 6 in this series for details on that)

6. Select ‘next’

7. Write a message – LinkedIn has a standard one but personalising it takes very little time.

8. Hit send.

That’s it, you’re done.

OPTION 2 – YOU HAVE NO RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Navigate to the profile of the 1st-degree connection you'd like to request a recommendation from

2. Click the ‘more’ icon in the top section of the profile

3. Select ‘request a recommendation’

Steps 4 – 7 are the same as before.

4. Fill out the ‘relationship’ and ‘position at the time’ fields of the recommendations pop-up window as before

5. Select ‘next’.

6. You can include a personalised message with your request by changing the text in the message field.

7. Hit Send.

. . .

Like snowboarding or driving a car, it’s not scary after you’ve done it a few times and you know what you’re doing. Eventually it will just become part of your practice.

I’ve never had someone write back and say ‘no, I don’t want to give you a recommendation.’

I’ve also never chased anyone for a recommendation . . . if they want to write it, they will. If they don’t that is perfectly OK.

Recommendations are a gift 🎁 from people who think enough of you to take time out of their busy lives to write something positive about you. Be grateful, be thankful, and be prepared to return the favour.

Now get out there and ask for some recommendations!

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