Wednesday 17 June 2009

LinkedIn Recommendations: Giving to Receive

For those careering through the internet’s social spaces in the pursuit of a new role, consider LinkedIn recommendations to be the online equivalent of 'word of mouth'.

While the best way to GET a recommendation is still to GIVE one first, asking for a LinkedIn recommendation is an easy way to give a friend, colleague, client, customer, partner, supplier or industry contact to provide their feedback (after you’ve reviewed it of course - you do retain 100% control over the content throughout i.e. if it’s displayed OR NOT) in the public forum.

If someone does provide an endorsement, there is the option to ask for another should there be a glaring omission or factual inaccuracy in there somewhere. I do have a few typos in my list of endorsements however, they act as a reminder of the great time I had with him/her over recent years so most of which have stayed.

It’s important that you know who you ask to recommend you, and vice versa.

Testimonials about your skills and effectiveness should be authentic AND grounded in some form of reality. The can be light in detail if, your work together was in some way confidential or perhaps, they are still bound to that employer however, by enlarge, most people will help you out with such a request.

Do remember - when you recommend someone or something, you're sticking your neck out.

A recommendation from someone who's already built a reputation for social value or technical expertise for example, can be extremely valuable in itself. However, a recommendation for a product or service in which it turns out you have a vested interest, without having disclosed that fact, will devalue your ‘social net worth’ in no time at all.

It’s also important to ask your ‘LinkedIn referees’ if you can use their contact information, or at least their name and website URL, if you choose to use their testimonial elsewhere. A testimonial with a clear credit can have a lot more impact than a recommendation that isn’t attributed to anyone identifiable.

In short, do everything you can do to get lots of recommendations on your LinkedIn account (without begging, borrowing or stealing of course). I suggest it will help you differentiate your online profile, persona or reputation as a part of your job search going forward.

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