The title of my post is “What Happened to LinkedIn Recommendations?” The answer: Nothing. They are still there and available. I posed the question because many of you may have forgotten the influence they have and the impact they can make.
In the spirit of the holiday season, how have you been generous recently? Maybe you helped feed your community over the Thanksgiving holiday, or maybe you adopted a family who does not have the resources to provide presents for their children.
For the past three years I have been involved in The Frazee Dream Center, a free preschool, after school and summer program for under resourced children in the downtown Greenville, South Carolina area. My involvement began through the Greenville Rotaract Club, a young professional’s club of Rotary, in the form of cleaning their facility, tutoring children, and my personal favorite: “adopting” kids for their annual holiday party. We secretly purchase gifts for the children that we “adopt,” wrap the gifts, and then attend a party where Santa arrives, and each child gets to pick up their bag of goodies. They must then wait patiently while their peers meet Santa and collect their gifts. Then, as if to wave a magic wand, the entire group of children begins opening their presents at one time. Imagine the excitement that ensues as upwards of seventy-five children rip through the presents that Santa has brought them. It is quite a sight and incredibly gratifying.
Do you know what else can give you a similar satisfaction of generosity that does not require much effort on your part? Writing someone a Recommendation on LinkedIn. Consider the lasting impact it can make and how great it can make someone feel.
You are likely aware that you can request a Recommendation from someone on LinkedIn, but when was the last time you wrote one for someone who didn’t ask for it? If the answer is “it’s been a while” or “never,” then I challenge you to continue reading and give the gift of a LinkedIn Recommendation to someone when they least expect it.
How Do You Write a Good Recommendation?
To access the hub of LinkedIn Recommendations, go in to edit mode on your profile and scroll to the bottom of the page. Hint: You will know you are in edit mode when you see the blue pencils throughout each profile section. Click “Manage.”
Now, click “Given” to see how many Recommendations you have written. If the number is significantly less than what you have received or, dare I say, a goose egg zero, it is time to get writing!
Here are a few points to consider when writing a LinkedIn Recommendation:
- Determine whom you should recommend: Consider vendors, clients, interns, colleagues, candidates (if you are a recruiter), and bosses. Explain how you know them, when you worked together, and in what capacity you worked together.
- Recommendations vs. Endorsements: A Recommendation is a written testimony of a Connection’s work that gives you the opportunity to add context to your relationship and why you think they are awesome. The Recommendation appears at the bottom of their profile after they accept it. Endorsements are automatically added to the profile and are based on individual skills.
- You do not want your Recommendation to look gratuitous: Simply because you give a Recommendation, does not mean the recipient has to write one back for you; so, tell him or her. For example: “PS- I am writing this Recommendation for you with no expectation or pressure of you writing one for me. Please accept this as a display of my appreciation for you!” Remember LinkedIn timestamps Recommendations, so if you write one and your recipient writes one back for you a day later, it will look gratuitous!
- Contact the recipient to let them know they have a pending LinkedIn Recommendation: Reach out to the recipient with a, “Hey Lynne, I just wrote you a Recommendation on LinkedIn. I have really enjoyed working with you and want the world to know how great you are! If there is anything you would like me to change before you post it, please let me know; happy to make any adjustments. Otherwise, please accept it so it will show up in your LinkedIn profile.”
- Multiple ways to recommend: Below is one simple way to recommend a Connection, but there are a few other ways to get there.
Before you clean up the office and pack up for the holidays – Write 1 Recommendation.
‘Tis the season of giving after all, isn’t it?
Hint: LinkedIn Recommendations did get a new look. If you do not have it yet, you will soon!