LinkedIn Profile Optimization For Dummies
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LinkedIn Recommendations is a great tool, but they are only helpful if they provide knowledgeable, accurate information. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to make your recommendation stand out from the rest of the crowd:

  • Be specific. Don’t just say the person you’re recommending is great: Talk about her specific strengths and skills. If you need help, ask the person you’re recommending if there’s any helpful elements they think you could highlight in your recommendation.

  • Talk about results. Adjectives and descriptions are fluff. Clichés are also pretty useless. Tell what the person actually did and the effect it had on you and your business. It’s one thing to say, “She has a great eye,” and another to say, “The logo she designed for us has been instrumental in building our brand and received numerous positive comments from customers.” Detailed results make a great impression.

  • Tell how you know the person. LinkedIn offers only the very basic categories of colleague, service provider, business partner, and student. If she’s your cousin, say so. If you’ve never met her in person, say so. Save it for the end, though. Open with the positive results this person provided, or the positive qualities the person exhibited in your interaction; then qualify the type of interaction.

  • Reinforce the requestor’s major skills or goals. Look at her profile. How is she trying to position herself now? What can you say in your recommendation that will support that? That will be far more appreciated by the recipient.

  • Don’t gush. By all means, if you think someone is fantastic, exceptional, extraordinary, or the best at what she does, say so. Just don’t go on and on about it, and watch the overly clichéd adjectives.

  • Be concise. Although LinkedIn has a 3,000-character limit on the length of recommendations, you shouldn’t reach that limit. That should be more than enough to get your point across. Make it as long as it needs to be to say what you have to say, and no longer.

Don’t be afraid to contact the requestor and ask for feedback on what you should highlight in your recommendation of that person. He knows his own brand better than anyone, so go right to the source!

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