LinkedIn Brief #2: How many LinkedIn Recommendations Should You Have?

LinkedIn Brief2 How many LinkedIn Recommendations Should You Have?More is better, right? Not necessarily. To get on the right track with LinkedIn Recommendations, don’t try to manage the content (what someone writes on your behalf), but do try to manage the process (try to steer the person to a situation about which they can write authentically).

To do this effectively, keep three things in mind:

  • Authenticity trumps all. If you have written your LinkedIn Profile well, you have striven to bring out key points that support your overall message. Recommendations ideally serve to, in the “customer’s” own words, corroborate what you have written.
  • Think of your reader (the people you’re trying to attract). If you have a ton of people writing that you are generally great, that can actually diminish your Profile. Specificity is the meat. So try to pick people who are considerate and who know you from different angles. Your reader will often tire if you have ten “jobs” and each one has ten Recommendations, especially if they don’t add value.
  • Don’t worry about wordsmithing or micromanaging how people say things, but do ask them to correct things that aren’t clear or that you couldn’t defend.  It is more authentic to let people speak in their own language.  Do, however, ask them to comment on a certain aspect of your expertise or performance in a certain situation.

Although there is no set number, if you remember these three things, you’ll get it right.

About Briefs

LinkedIn Briefs is a new series of quick advice by Executive’s Guide to LinkedIn Blog to help people become more aware of LinkedIn’s potential to change businesses and careers. I invite you to share your thoughts and ideas for future briefs in comments below.

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Learning More

I lead periodic seminars globally, where participants master these issues and many others. The next one is Chicago’s Social Networking Bootcamp, featuring LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging on August 19-21.

2 comments to LinkedIn Brief2 How many LinkedIn Recommendations Should You Have?

  • Chris, these are excellent points that I’m going to keep in mind in the future. My current work involves several 3-6 month project engagements for clients, so I make a habit of asking them for a recommendation. Since each project is somewhat unique, this allows me to showcase my project management skills while highlighting my ability to adapt to new situations.

    What reasons lead other readers to request recommendations?

  • Jacob, thanks for writing.. that’s a great idea to ask clients for recommendations, but make sure to start by asking them to comment on a specific aspect of your contribution. That way, you can influence the variety and the relevance of the recommendation to your overall message.. without telling the client what to write.

    Recommendations are the “voice of the customer,” broadly speaking, so they can be very powerful and strengthen your message. They say things differently than you, so that widens your appeal.

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