If you’re not yet using the recommendations feature on LinkedIn, you should probably start. Recommendations give depth to your profile and can work to your advantage by giving employers the chance to see how others have viewed your work performance.
If you don’t have any recommendations yet, that’s okay. Sometimes you just have to ask.
Here’s how to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn:
Remember That Recommendations Are Better Than Endorsements
If you don’t have any recommendations, you probably at least have endorsements. The skills you put on your profile can be endorsed by anyone in your network. You simply click the plus button beside the skill you want to endorse.
Recommendations require a little bit more. They’re more like a shortened version of a reference letter. You have to write something about the person you’re recommending — what made them stand out as a coworker or why they were an awesome manager.
Anyone can click a button and endorse your skills. Recommendations are personal and require someone willing to show they support you. Because they’re more personal, they’re more meaningful and can show more credibility to potential employers.
How to Ask for Recommendations on LinkedIn
Unless someone decides to write one without any prompting, you have to ask for recommendations. And no, you don’t have to awkwardly email a coworker you haven’t talked to in a while. You can do everything right on LinkedIn. Follow these steps:
- Go to your profile
- Click or hover over the down arrow to the right of the button near your profile picture
- Click “Ask to be recommended” on the dropdown menu
- Follow the prompts provided
- Click “Send”
It’s simple, but all recommendation requests are not equal. Your recommendations should benefit you as much as possible, so take the time to carefully consider what you’d like yours to say. That way, you can ask the right people for the right recommendation.
Customize Your Request
LinkedIn automatically fills in the message section when request a recommendation, but you shouldn’t use the generic greeting. If you don’t put effort into asking for a recommendation, you can’t expect anyone to put effort into writing you a good one.
Instead, write something personal in the message box. Appeal to the person you’re asking. Tell them how much you enjoyed working with them, and ask them to recommend you for something specific, like a certain skillset. Be candid about your exact goals, so they can tailor their recommendation to fit them.
Ask People You Know Well
LinkedIn is like any social media outlet. We might be connected with other people from your alma mater or in our field that we don’t know well. Don’t ask for a recommendation from those people. Even if they’re an expert in your field, they’re incapable of writing something personal about you unless they know you personally.
Seek a recommendation from someone who can offer a personalized recommendation — someone who worked directly with you. If you worked on a project or team with someone, ask them to recommend you. They know what it’s like to work with you, which is important to employers.
Don’t Ask Everyone
A recruiter can tell when you rushed and asked many people to recommend you. Every recommendation is date stamped. You don’t want all of your recommendations to be from the same day or two.
Space out your requests if you’re going to send them so it looks natural.
Be Sure to Request a Variety
Ask for recommendations that will highlight your multiple abilities and skills. Showcase your best, and showcase feedback from an assortment of people. If you’ve been a manager, secure a recommendation from someone you managed. If you worked under a supervisor, ask for one from them.
You don’t have to limit yourself to the workplace. If you’ve worked with someone on a team of volunteers, ask for a recommendation from them as well. You tend to let your guard down a bit more outside of the workplace, so they could have insight that your coworkers don’t.
Show Your Appreciation
If someone writes a recommendation for you, show your appreciation. Reach out with a thank you message, and don’t send something generic. Write something personal, such as expressing how pleased you are with what they included about you in their recommendation. Be sincere with your words, and they’ll appreciate it more.
Boosting your LinkedIn profile can make a world of difference in your job hunt. Now that you know how to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn, start asking and make your profile the best it can be. Remember, asking for recommendations shouldn’t be an afterthought as you begin a new job search. It should be something you stay on top of as long as you’re a working professional.