Not having recommendations on LinkedIn is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a job seeker.
A recommendation from a credible source could be the difference between you getting hired or being moved to the rejection pile.
Recruiters and hiring managers LOVE social proof. It helps ease the nerves of hiring a stranger. But you want to make sure and have genuine recommendations and not the generic ones everyone else has.
A few years ago, I had a co-worker who had a ton of great LinkedIn recommendations. Let’s call him Chad. He’s hands down one of the most incompetent people I’ve ever worked with, so I always wondered how he managed to have such great recommendations on LinkedIn.
See, Chad would mess up at least once a week. And I’m not talking about the small mistakes that we all make; I’m talking about lots of money lost, clients pissed off- HUGE mistakes.
But, there were a few instances where Chad actually did a great job. People were so surprised that they would make it a point to tell him.
One day I was on a client call with Chad, and he offered a great solution to the problem we were having. After the call, I let him know he had done a great job.
Guess what happened next?
I got a recommendation request on LinkedIn from Chad.
It went something like this:
I’d really love it if you could share the experience you had with me on the ABC Inc call we had today.
That’s the day I learned why Chad had so many positive LinkedIn recommendations. He wasn’t afraid to ask for them. He JUMPED at the opportunity right then and there.
That’s when I decided I’d never hesitate to ask for recommendations.
When someone visiting your LinkedIn profile sees the social proof and sees that you have recommendations, they’ll be more inclined to invite you to an interview.
The timing of when you ask is important. You can’t wait until the next time you’re on the hunt for a job to reach out to someone who praised your work and hope that they remember and are willing to write a recommendation for you. You have to ask for it when it’s fresh on their mind. That’s how you get recommendations that sound genuine and not the canned recommendations everyone else has on LinkedIn.
I have a few main scenarios when I request recommendations. I call them recommendation trigger points. Here’s my list:
On the spot, like Chad’s, are the most common ones for me. But, in addition to Chad’s perfect timing, if we take a look at his script, this is why it works:
Another one of my recommendation trigger points is the period leading up to performance review season.
1-to 2 months before I’m up for a performance review, I reach out to current co-workers and ask them for recommendations on LinkedIn. In addition to gaining a LinkedIn recommendation, I’m able to help them prep to give me a good peer review. Which, in turn, helps me get a raise. 🤑
My last recommendation trigger point is right after you’ve given notice at a job.
Your last week at a job is a great time to ask co-workers to recommend you on LinkedIn. They already know you’re leaving, and some might be reminiscing about all of the good times they’ve had with you. So this is the perfect time to get them to put that on paper and help you with future job searches.
So yeah, don’t suck at your job like Chad, but learn from Chad.
Timing is everything! Any time someone goes out of their way to praise your work, be sure to ask for a written recommendation on LinkedIn.
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