3 Tips for Getting Into the Recommendations Game
OK, now that you know some of the distinct advantages recommendations can bring; let's turn back to my colleague Arnie Fertig for tips on how to get the most out of getting and receiving recommendations.
1. Give recommendations to get recommendations
By far giving someone a recommendation is the best way to get a recommendation in return. How? Pick people out of your contacts that you know well and have a good idea of their work. For example, if you have worked with that person on a project be specific in describing exactly what the person did, including the outcome of the project. Example: "In the last six months, Carla exceeded every monthly sales target by an average of 40%." Now the beauty of giving a recommendation of someone you've worked with on a project is that LinkedIn will prompt them to recommend you and given that you were specific, they will be specific on your recommendation.
2. Help the writer out
If there is a peer or someone you know well and would like to have them recommend you on LinkedIn. I strongly suggest that you call and ask if they would recommend you; then offer to draft the recommendation yourself, for them to approve. Remember people are busy and they are more than willing to help you out if you can help them.
3. Get a range of recommendations.
It's best to have recommendations from a boss, a colleague and a subordinate, to give readers a sense of how you work at all levels. If you are an independent contractor, get recommendations from at least three clients.
Elements of a Great Recommendation
Finally Arnie advises that not all recommendations are equal. Writing simply, "Sally will be great at whatever she sets her mind to. She is a wonderful person and you should hire her" may prove more harmful than helpful. Instead, be specific. Tell how you know the person, how long you have known him or her, what he or she has done that impressed you; and what value the person has brought to his or her team, department or employer. At our upcoming LinkedIn Simplified Seminar in Pittsburgh on September 18, we will dive headlong into recommendations providing you with a template for writing recommendations that your connections will value and will enhance your brand. Click on the link below to register.