To recommend or not to recommend?

LinkedIn offers many great functionalities and one of those is Recommendations. An important part of LinkedIn, recommendations should be treated with professionalism. I've often been asked about this function so I've put together some Handy FAQ's.

Related Article: 1 conference + LinkedIn = a phone call

Asking for a Recommendation

Always speak to the person first, face to face (or email) before asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn, it's polite and courteous, also, the person you ask may not be a frequent user of LinkedIn and might not realise you have requested a Recommendation.

Who should I ask for a Recommendation?

Ensure you ask someone who has worked closely with you, but before you ask your boss at your current job, think about perhaps asking your colleague, supplier, partner or customer. It's always interesting to have a variety of people to ensure you get a rounded description and overview of who you are.

What if I don't want to give someone a Recommendation?

The choice is your wether you want to give a Recommendation. Being asked to give a recommendation is exactly the same as being asked to be a reference on a job application. But, If you feel you can't decline, keep your recommendation very general or perhaps talk specifically about a project, always stick to the facts.

Although LinkedIn isn't a legally binding document, you are publicly putting your name to what is technically a reference. So be careful.

How do I write a recommendation?

There is no need to write war and peace, keep to the facts and skill set of the individual, praising their key skills and attributes. Perhaps mentioning a particular project they worked on.

How do I ask for a Recommendation?

Once you have confirmed with your contact they are happy to give you a recommendation, head to their profile on LinkedIn, click on the down arrow and simply select ask for a recommendation. Put in a personalised message and click send.

Can I give someone a Recommendation without asking them?

Yes, if you've worked with someone and want to publicly show your gratitude, writing and sending a Recommendation is fairly easy to do. But remember it's up to them whether they choose to display it on their profile.

"LinkedIn recommendations should be authentic and truthful" - Vicki Salemi, career expert, Monster.com

Do I have to accept a Recommendation?

No, if you receive a Recommendation and you are not comfortable with, then you can choose wether or not to publish this on your profile.

Can I edit a Recommendation a colleague has written?

Yes, before you publish, there is an option to edit and send back to the author.

How many Recommendations should I have?

I suggest one Recommendation per job, if you are freelancer or contractor ask for a Recommendation on interesting projects you have worked on. If you have been in your job for a long time (15, 20 years +), do the same as a contractor, and ask for Recommendations for projects you have completed, ensure to do this from a varied group of individuals.

Hopefully these FQA's help you manage the Recommendations option on LinkedIn, if you have any questions please leave a comment or send me a Tweet @ClaireMRoper.

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