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Gifting to Your Network: LinkedIn Recommendations

Thursday, December 05, 2013
Gifting to Your Network: LinkedIn Recommendations

Wondering what to get your favorite colleague for a holiday gift? How about an amazing LinkedIn Recommendation!

Hard to request and rather intimidating to write, a polished LinkedIn recommendation on your LinkedIn Profile can be a lot more valuable than bath oil beads to a rock star member of your network. Here are some tips on writing something your friend will appreciate for years to come:

Don’t bury the lead--Just as with a great job description, if you don’t start with something compelling, a reader might stop with the headline. What is your friend’s best quality in her professional life? Put it right up front.

Ask for the target--If your friend has asked you for a Recommendation, find out what his next goal is and focus your recommendation on the qualities he brings from his past experience that would make that goal attainable. This is especially important if he is changing careers or industries.

Offer a preview--When I write Recommendations, I always send them to the recipient in an email before posting. Your friend might want you to mention a particular accomplishment. And another set of eyes proofreading for any errors is always a good idea.

Show your connection--Someone looking at your colleague’s Profile can figure out where you worked together, but don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Include the context of your relationship.
Keep it brief--Hiring Managers don’t have a lot of time. Pithy is best.

If you know that a colleague is planning a job search, looking for a promotion or making a change and you have confidence in his or her abilities, offer to write a Recommendation. Your friend will appreciate your proactive desire to help and not have to sweat about asking you first.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

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