A professional social network, LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly popular platform to look for jobs, with over 15 million LinkedIn available. There are 40 million people globally using the platform for that purpose, so it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of recruiters and hiring managers you can attract to your LinkedIn profile.
While a strong profile is necessary to support your job search on the platform, it gives you better leverage even when you apply directly to the company or via other portals like MyCareersFuture. You could add a link to your profile on your resume or cover letter when submitting your application, for instance.
Important for visibility to your potential employers, your profile is essentially an online resume, one that you’re encouraged to update whenever you have moved on to a new role. There are several essentials to tick off for a complete profile, but one often overlooked aspect of the platform is its recommendations feature.
What are LinkedIn recommendations?
Think about the recommendations you’ve received from your past employers. They are written to recognise the work you have done and the skills you can deliver. However, what sets them apart from the traditional referral letters is that they can be provided by anyone you are professionally connected with on LinkedIn, from your colleague to a client you recently partnered with.
Why are recommendations important on LinkedIn?
1. Endorsement of your skills
Like testimonials and other referral letters, your LinkedIn recommendations provide credibility of your professional experience. Whether you apply for a role via LinkedIn Jobs or elsewhere, recruiters who find your profile on the platform are looking out for clues to convince them that you should be shortlisted for an interview. LinkedIn recommendations are also beneficial to hiring managers who are headhunting talent – you might land yourself in your dream role sooner than you thought!
2. Identification of potential referees
Each LinkedIn recommendation is always accompanied by the name of the member that has submitted it to you. A simple click on their names will bring one to the respective profiles. Recruiters can get in touch with them to learn more about you.
This means you should request recommendations from those who have a better understanding of your work ethics and can provide an excellent referral to these recruiters. A caveat — if your recommendations are outdated, the recruiter may choose not to reach out to them, so taking active steps to gather recommendations throughout your career is vital.
What does a good LinkedIn recommendation look like?
A good LinkedIn recommendation can go a long way in helping you find a job. As a rule of thumb, the write-up should be short and concise. It should cover the relationship between the two of you, specific professional qualities relevant to your line of work, and at least one example of how you displayed those qualities.
How to ask for a recommendation on Linkedin?
LinkedIn’s intuitive features enable you to easily reach out to those you want to seek a recommendation from. Follow these steps:
- Head to the recommendation section of your profile
- Click on ‘Ask for a recommendation’
- Choose the LinkedIn member you want to send the request to, state your relationship and your position at the time you worked with him/her
- Add a short message to make the request, and send.
Once you’ve received your recommendation, politely thank the person and offer to write one in return, should they be keen.
Alternatively, you may also reach them via email or raise your request in a face-to-face conversation.
While it is good to follow up, doing so once is enough — your persistent requests may put them off and you do not want to burn any bridges with these individuals. Don’t fret too if you are unable to gather recommendations on your profile. Just like your formal testimonial, your LinkedIn recommendations do not replace any qualifications or work experience required for the role. Spend more time updating your LinkedIn profile, making connections with people and networking for a potential opportunity.