How LinkedIn Recommendations Can Help You Professionally
1 of 7 in Series: The Essentials of LinkedIn Recommendations
LinkedIn Recommendations can help you find out more about the people you’re considering doing business with. You can also use LinkedIn Recommendations to build your own reputation. Whatever the reasoning LinkedIn Recommendations is an excellent professional development tool. The LinkedIn Recommendation process starts in one of three ways:
*Unsolicited: When viewing the profile of any of your first-degree connections, a Recommend This Person link is clearly displayed at the top of the profile. By clicking that link, you can give an unsolicited Recommendation.
*Requested: You can request Recommendations from your first-degree connections. You might send such a request at the end of a successful project, for example, or maybe ask for a Recommendation from your boss before you plan to transition to a new job.
*Reciprocated: Whenever you accept a Recommendation from someone, LinkedIn presents you with the option of recommending that person in return.
Some people do this as a thank you for receiving the Recommendation, other people reciprocate only because they didn’t realize they could leave a Recommendation until someone left them one, and some people don’t feel comfortable reciprocating unless they truly believe the person deserves one. You decide in each circumstance whether to reciprocate.
After the Recommendation is written, it’s not posted immediately. It goes to the recipient for review, and he has the option to accept it, reject it, or request a revision. So even though the majority of Recommendations you see on LinkedIn are genuine, they’re also almost entirely positive because they have to be accepted by the recipient.
With LinkedIn, you can use Recommendations in several ways:
*On your profile page: LinkedIn shows all Recommendations you’ve received as well as links to the profiles of the people who recommended you. This provides that social validation you want by allowing people to see exactly who is endorsing you.
*In Advanced Search: One of the options for sorting the results of a LinkedIn search is Relationship + Recommendations. (You can even sort your results before they are generated by taking advantage of the Sort By options at the bottom of the Advanced Search page.)
This option sorts first by the number of degrees or levels a connection is away from you in ascending order (for example, your first-degree connections first), and then by the number of Recommendations someone has received in descending order (for example, those with the most Recommendations first).
*In the Companies section: From the Companies section, you can click the Service Providers link (near the top-right corner of the screen) to get the Service Providers main page to display a list of recent Recommendations within your network.
Within each category, you can choose to view either the most recent Recommendations or the most highly recommended service providers within the category. Every service provider listed must have at least one Recommendation to be included.
Because the number of Recommendations is used as both a sort option for searching and a display option in the service provider directory, having a large number of Recommendations has a very real impact on your profile’s search-ability. More is definitely better.