How to Get LinkedIn Recommendations

Back in 2008, Seth Godin asked the question on his blog, “Why bother having a resume?” Imagine a world in which your reputation precedes you, where you never have to need a resume. Instead, people seek you out.

It’s a great idea. But, reputations are like Rome. They weren’t built in a day. They’re like wells. You have to dig them before you’re thirsty.

Your reputation isn’t what you say about yourself. Rather, it’s what other say about you. When it comes to your career, your online resume is your LinkedIn profile. Make sure it something that adds to your reputation.

Beef Up Your LinkedIn Resume

Seth describes a resume as a one-pager fact sheet that goes into a pile. The fact is, not all resumes are created equal. The bad ones are simply fact sheets. The good ones tell a story.

On LinkedIn, you have about 2000 characters to tell your story. Utilize it. Imagine your resume on steroids. Talk about the challenges you faced, the impact you had quantitatively, and the things you learned.

Ask for Recommendations from Your Top Three Raving Fans

Once you’ve got your most recent job experiences updated, then you go about getting some kick-ass recommendations

To get yourself started, reach out to three folks who already rave about you. These three would be the ones that would write you a spectacular letter of recommendation if you asked them. Ask them if they’d be so kind to share those words on your LinkedIn profile.

Get Recommendations on Your Profile by First Giving Them to Others

Whether you’ve been in the workforce for decades or just a few years, setup a discipline where once a week you take the time out to write a couple recommendations for your colleagues that you have really worked with.

Step 1: write down what you know about them

Answer the following questions to get your recommendation started:

  • How did you come to know your colleague? How long have you two worked together?
  • What did they work on with you and in what capacity? If there are several projects, consider mentioning them.
  • What skills, knowledge, and experience did they bring to the table that really shined through? You may also want to list a few of their unique personal characteristics.

Step 2: Finalize and submit your recommendation

Consolidate your answers to the above questions into a paragraph. Close out the paragraph with an endorsement. You may write something like, “It would be an honor to work with him/her again.”

Log into your LinkedIn profile and share what you wrote up on the individual’s job role in which you worked with them on. Once they’ve approved it, it’ll show on their profile.

Step 3: Request recommendations

Be sure that you share more recommendations than you ask for. You always want to contribute more than you get. It’s a good principle to live by, especially when managing your reputation.

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