You have plenty of connections on LinkedIn, and many of them are also searching for potential professional openings. They’re not just your competition, but a network of vast opportunities amongst a sea of job boards and company career pages. In the past, online networking was very stale and ineffective. With today’s technology, you can make networking friendly, social, and helpful. With more and more people saving their references for the later stages of job hunting, it’s hard to find personalized accounts of experience outside of the candidate’s own mouth. Now, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to write short recommendations of your connections. A modern take on the outdated reference sheet, LinkedIn recommendations are personal and effective. You should be writing meaningful recommendations for your closest connections; doing so might provide better opportunities for you in the long run.
Why should you recommend your network? A recommendation is more than a hopeful poke or casual message. LinkedIn recommendations take social media networking to the next level by allowing your connections to write a meaningful review of you, your experience, and the value you bring to an organization. By recommending a connection, you’re helping them and yourself. You’re showing that you value their talents with a display of trust featured on their profile. When you write a LinkedIn recommendation, the website prompts your connection to write one to return the favor. This feature enhances the social media experience of LinkedIn, allowing users to reciprocate and build from one another.
Your 1st degree connections are the only ones who can write recommendations; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections can view them on your profile. When you write a recommendation, be sure to share specifics. Don’t just leave generalized statements about your past coworkers or clients; make sure to highlight what’s best about them in a unique, personalized way. Keep your recommendation focused on their professional achievements. Stay away from lengthy stories and focus on numbers. Remember to keep it as professional as possible.
In turn, giving LinkedIn recommendations can help you. By leaving a flattering recommendation, your connection will probably write one for you as well. If you’re looking for a job, a hiring manager could see your recommendation on an old colleague’s page — showing that you have the same experience, you might become a potential candidate. Also, leaving a personalized and meaningful recommendation might mean your connection reaching out to you with potential work opportunities once they make a move themselves.