How to ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn the right way?
Are recommendations an outdated practice? If it comes to paper recommendations – then maybe. However, when we talk about LinkedIn, the answer is “No, they are still extremely relevant”. Year after year, more employers are looking for new hires on this social network. Today, LinkedIn recommendations have almost replaced their traditional paper analogs. That is why they are worth discussing them in this article.
A recommendation on LinkedIn: what is this?
In spite of the fact that now few jobseekers submit paper recommendations when applying for a new job, LinkedIn recommendations become more popular day after day. Partially that is because of their advantages mentioned below.
- Anyone can see your LinkedIn recommendations. When paper recommendations were the main trend of the industry, jobseekers had to send them together with their resumes to particular employers every time when they applied for a new job. In LinkedIn, your recommendations are placed on your profile, so every user can read them. It is a great advantage, because now the candidate does not need to send his/her recommendations to every employer. Instead of that, recruiters and employers can view his or her LinkedIn profile.
- In LinkedIn, any user can write you a recommendation. It means that you don’t have to ask your previous supervisor for it. Your colleagues or former business partners and contractors are also able to write recommendations on your profile.
- LinkedIn recommendations don’t require printing them. Sometimes even that matters.
As you can see, LinkedIn recommendations meet all needs of modern society with its social networks and other means of communication. That is probably the main reason for their popularity and a great motivation for asking your contacts to write you at least one recommendation.
Who can give me a recommendation?
As already mentioned above, in LinkedIn any user can leave a recommendation on your page. However, the value of these recommendations can be different. Let’s look at the main types of recommendations you can get on LinkedIn, describing their advantages and disadvantages.
- Recommendations from your former supervisors. These recommendations are the most valuable. Recruiters appreciate them because nobody can estimate professional competences of a certain employee like his direct supervisor can. It is a good practice to ask your former managers for recommendations. The only thing you have to remember is that you should ask only your direct supervisors for them and should not address the managers and executives of the company you used to work in.
- Recommendations from your colleagues and former colleagues. These recommendations are also valuable. However, recruiters know how people write them. Usually, two employees ask each other for positive recommendations. It means that these recommendations don’t highlight their professional weaknesses. Hence, the value of such recommendations is not as high as the value of recommendations from the previous bullet point.
- Recommendations from random people. These recommendations are usually found on LinkedIn profiles of recent graduates. They don’t have colleagues or supervisors, so they often ask their friends to write recommendations for them. The value of such recommendations is extremely low. Recruiters usually don’t read them. Hence, it is better to replace them with more valuable recommendations as soon as possible.
As you can see, you have to consider many important aspects when asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn. First of all, you should choose a person whose opinion on you is worth reading it. Remember that recruiters prefer to read recommendations from your previous employers. After that just write a message to this person and ask him/her for a recommendation. Don’t follow up this person if you did not get an answer. Especially, if he or she is your former or current supervisor. If someone does not want to write you a recommendation, don’t be annoying.