Slow Day at Work? Do This on LinkedIn

How to maximize your LinkedIn profile | Red Letter Resumes .jpg


You're staring at your screen. You're tapping your pencil against your desk. You're counting down the minutes until you can head out for lunch. Instead of checking Facebook or taking ironic selfies at your desk, do something worthwhile for your personal brand. It is likely you are not the only person twiddling their thumbs, which makes this the perfect time to hop over to LinkedIn and request recommendations.

Recommendations on your profile can be invaluable. Not only are they extremely helpful in the job search process, but also they are enormously essential to building your professional brand online. There's nothing like letting former clients, colleagues, or supervisors sing your praises to bolster your credibility. These statements carry a lot of weight and act as supporting proof to anything you say about yourself on the site.

Surprisingly, a lot of people don't leverage this part of their profile nearly enough. So many profiles we see have zero recommendations. A complete fail in our opinion! Waiting and hoping people will write glorious reviews of your work with no prompting from you is wishful thinking at best.


Start being proactive about your brand!

Make the first move and get the ball rolling on the recommendation process. With people having extra time on their hands and leaning into the giving spirit of the holidays, your odds of getting them to follow through and write something for you goes way up. Now’s the perfect time to ask!


Here’s what you do:


1.    Select carefully. Think about whom you worked with this year that would be a good advocate on your behalf. Look at clients, coworkers, supervisors, or those that have a good understanding of who you are as a professional and that you think could write intelligently on your behalf. Anyone can write, “I recommend John Doe”, you want someone who can speak to your work ethic, skills, or character in an artful or engaging way. We’d suggest asking no more than three people. Three is a great year-end goal and won’t draw any suspicion if you are planning on job searching in the next couple months.

Essential Tips for LinkedIn Recommendations

ESSENTIAL TIP: Don't ask someone whom you don't value as a professional contact to write a recommendation for you. This is not the time to play fast and loose with your brand. If you don't respect him/her as a professional, it's likely some other people in your network don't either. And if you don’t respect the person, why are they part of your network anyway? Reciprocation is an important part of being a good connection: If you wouldn't feel comfortable writing a recommendation about them, don't ask them to write about you. 


2.    Initiate the request through LinkedIn’s recommendation system. Write a quick note about why they’d be the perfect person to endorse you on LinkedIn, if there's anything in particular that you'd like them to comment on, and thank them in advance for their time. A little bit of personalization in these messages goes a long way in engaging the recipients and their willingness to write on your behalf. 

3.    Wait! Sorry, but your part is done. Some people will say yes, some will say no and some may not respond. Be gracious to all. If you’ve chosen the right people, you will have new recommendations on your profile in January. 


By being proactive rather than reactive, you're constantly building your brand and adding weight to your career story. Stop half-assing your LinkedIn profile and start racking up recommendations today. 


Could your LinkedIn profile use an upgrade? That's our specialty!

Photo credit: joelogon via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA