Monday, 13 May 2013

Top Ten Tips - How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation

1) Be very choosy in selecting what you say. The people I recommend are people that I respect in the industry.

2) Don't simply promote the person you're recommending. Give the business-oriented results of what that person brings to the table.

"They're the best Ruby programmer you know." Nice. Exactly how many Ruby programmers do you know? And while you're at it, why are you recommending Ruby programmers at all?

Remember your recommendation holds up a mirror to YOU! Not only the person you're recommending.

3) Put another way, your recommendation has to showcase the business or professional value of the subject. You are endorsing a professional.

4) Be succinct, but not brief. "I would recommend Al Gore as a keynote speaker any time". Well, if it was Al Gore, then d'uh. However, if it's Dan Legault, Joel Gordon or Howie Gold, why would you make that recommendation?  Obviously because they're witty, insightful, or "wrote the book" on the subject.

Put another way - S-p-e-l-l i-t o-u-t

5) Remember that recruiters and HR hiring managers are reading the recommendations section. So do your friend a favor and say something that moves them into the line to get a job.

6) Don't use buzzwords. In 5 years I may not want to be known as "a thought leader who speaks with an authentic voice in social space". Although today, I do. And am. Hence this blogpost.

7) Don't focus on a specific application- highlight the knowledge base of skills the person has. Remember - companies hire mindsets. They can train skills.

8) Remember the social channel. It's LinkedIn. Yes, we have all had epic experiences of road warrior behavior at DevCon's around the world. LinkedIn is not the place to memorialize them.

9) Use The Rule of Threes! There are three parts to the rule of threes. Use all three of them. Wonder what the rule of threes involve? Refer to the late Dr MLK. (Hint - I have a Dream!)

10) Remember that not everyone believes your LinkedIn recommendation is genuine. Obviously with a quid-pro-quo system, you recommend me, I recommend you. And guess what?! We both think the other person is great. In my case, I shun reciprocal recommendations.

And there you are. You just gave your friend a recommendation that got them a great new job. They owe you a drink.

As do you, I!

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