According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, as many as 63% of employers view a person’s social media accounts to determine a candidate’s eligibility for a job. A good 19% of them would hire a person based on finding references on their social media presence that speak well of the candidate. This is extremely important information for you to keep in mind as you are connecting with more and more people on LinkedIn. You now have a Public Profile URL that makes you easier to find so you want to ensure that what people see when they arrive at your page reflects your skills and strengths in a way that will grab attention.
When considering who to ask for a recommendation, you want to try to people from a range of your experiences who can talk about:
- your greatest strength
- your ability to work on a team
- how you manage your greatest weaknesses
- your leadership capabilities
- something you have taught them professionally
As you can see, you can’t just ask the woman in the cubicle next to you. You need to have people who can write with good grammar, good spelling and can convey the message you need them to convey (not that your cube mate can’t spell, but you know what I mean). Their message is going to appear on your profile so you need to ensure that it is just how you want it to appear (keeping in mind that you can’t edit what they write).
When you determine who you want to ask, you need to think about how you want to ask them. As in a connection request, you want to steer away from using the stock response. Try the following:
"Dear Alex, I am writing to ask if you would write a recommendation for me about my time at ____ Corporation. I’m currently looking for a job in ___ (or to showcase my __ business) and I would be honored if you would write about (list specific example or skill). Of course, I would be happy to write a recommendation for you about (list specific example or skill) or another topic that might help you as you build your LinkedIn profile. Thank you so much for considering this. I look forward to hearing from you. Please let me know if you have any questions. Regards, Liz King"
The reason I suggest you use the above guideline is because it:
- addresses WHY you would like the recommendation
- points the recommender in the right direction. (You don’t want everyone saying the same thing about you)
- lets the recommender know that you respect their work and would be happy to return the favor.
I suggest you try to get at least one recommendation for each of the work experiences that you have outlined in your profile. This will help to showcase that a wide range of people believe in your work and it also shows your adaptability to any work environment. It’s okay to have a few recommendations from each work place, but I would be careful about having your entire office write one for you. You want to be selective and only ask the people you trust the most in your organization. Of course, the best recommenders are often clients who can talk about how you saved their event or transformed a business process so keep that in mind as you make your selections.