How to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation
LinkedIn Recommendations are a key element of a powerful LinkedIn profile.
It’s common knowledge that the first impression you give to people could very well be formed from viewing your website or online social media profiles.
Having 2 or 3 recommendations for each role you have held over the last 5 – 10 years is one of the best ways to build credibility within your industry, and attract more opportunities.
When someone gives you a LinkedIn Recommendation, it is like getting a vote that is publicly displayed forever. Social Proof is one of the ways to win over new clients. Getting a LinkedIn Recommendation is much more powerful receiving the same message through email or by phone.
The problem that alot of people have thought, is getting them.
The very thought of emailing or ringing up a client and asking for a recommendation gives us a feeling of awkwardness that most of us would rather not have to face.
Here is our 4 step process for requesting a LinkedIn recommendation:
The Four-Step Process For Requesting Recommendations
Now that you’re inspired to enhance your profile with recommendations, it’s time to strategize so that you can make the most of them. Because recommendations are so visible, you can’t afford to take a scattershot approach. Here’s my process for asking for recommendations and adding them to your profile:
1. Develop Your Hit List
You want a list of 5 to 10 people that you can ask to recommend you. When thinking about who to ask, think about who can vouch that you did great work, and perhaps exceeded expectations.
Ideally, they will have held a more senior level position than what you did, and they can give an example of how you added value and helped to generate a positive result.
2. Make Contact By Email or Phone
The next step is to get in contact with your list of people and let them know you are building your online presence, and would really appreciate a recommendation on LinkedIn.
If you haven’t spoken the these people for a while, it might be a good idea to touch base a few weeks before you ask for the LinkedIn recommendation.
To help them provide a good quality recommendation, it may help to let them know what you had in mind, you can even create a draft recommendation for them to tweak, so it makes it super easy for them to complete the task within a short timeframe.
Here’s an example of what this email might look like:
It was great catching up with you on the phone last week. As I mentioned, I am building up my LinkedIn profile, and would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to create a recommendation for me.
When I worked for you, I was able to build up the major accounts to generate a 27% increase over the first 3 quarters of 2016. As Sales Manager, I also created the strategy to penetrate 2 new markets, which further increased sales revenue by 34% overall. Finally, I mentored 3 of the entry level sales representatives to develop stronger relationship management and persuasive selling techniques, which helped them to achieve their sales targets on a consistent basis.
If you could please create a recommendation within LinkedIn mentioning my ability to meet sales targets, sales management and leadership style, I would really appreciate it.
As you know, I am considering new opportunities in the new year, and am keen to go to the next level in my career as a Senior Sales Executive within the Technology sector, so I believe your LinkedIn recommendation will help build credibility because I have a proven track record for success in these areas.
I know you are really busy, so I’d be happy to send you a draft recommendation you can edit (or of course, just ignore).
Thanks in advance for your support.
When writing the draft recommendation, be mindful to use the language that your contact would use. Speak in their words, and ensure you are stating facts within your draft, so the contact will feel comfortable to put his name to it.
3. Send The Request for a LinkedIn Recommendation
Once your contact has accepted your request, you can then go into your LinkedIn profile and send a formal request.
Here are the 7 steps on how to send a request for a LinkedIn recommendation:
- Sign in to your LinkedIn personal profile.
- Click the down arrow to the right of the button near your profile picture.
- Click Ask to be recommended from the dropdown menu.
- Identify the person you want to recommend you (from your connections). You can add up to three people, but it’s best to only include one person, customizing each request.
- Identify your relationship to them and what their role was at the time.
- Write your message. In the message you send, include your draft for them to edit. Even if they ultimately decide to start from scratch, reading your draft will likely influence their content.
- Click Send.
You can request a recommendation from up to three connections at once. There’s no limit to the total number of recommendations you can request or receive.
4. Thank Them and Return the Favour
Most senior level managers and C-suite executives don’t have much time in their day to do these types of recommendations, so when someone creates a recommendation for you, send a big thank you to show your gratitude. Sometimes it will feel right to send a thank you card through the mail, or other times you can think outside the box on ways you can help them in return.
Now you know how easy it is to take the steps to initiate and request a LinkedIn recommendation.
Aim to get 5 – 10 recommendations from well respected people within your company, or key customers and clients for whom you have delivered outstanding work to. It’s one of the most powerful elements of your LinkedIn profile, and it will help you attract new opportunities when you’re not even looking for them!