Linking to others on LinkedIn is really easy. If you look for and link to people you know you will quickly see other possible people to link with, automatically generated by the software much like it does on other social networks. As I said in the past, there are two philosophies about making “friends” online and only you know what’s best for you. Make connections with anyone you want; there are no rules other than those driven by your own personal tastes.
You should also get a recommendation or two, especially if you see and link up with past employers on the site. Requesting a recommendation on LinkedIn is easy; just go to “Settings” and then “Manage Recommendations.” The technology makes asking for a recommendation online easier these days, but in general this is not something you should take lightly. We could dedicate an entire piece to the subject of business recommendations and it might not be enough to emphasize its relative importance.
Whether you’re a job seeker or a business owner, there is no single more powerful tool for furthering your ambitions than a well-timed, glowing and sincere recommendation. And if it should come from someone considered to be a trusted source then your chances of success will go through the roof.
How do you ask for one? Start here: impress people. It’s good practice and you will be surprised at how it reverberates throughout your career. And it’s never too late to start.
For a business recommendation for LinkedIn you can also follow these basic rules to be more successful in getting good recommendations:
Contact people you know. Although you may “friend” anyone, you should only ask for recommendations from people you know.
Make it easy for them! Offer to write a sample that they can customize, include specifics you may want mentioned and remind them of something you did and its outstanding result. Don’t expect others to remember everything about you.
Email or call the person along with sending the LinkedIn request. Tell them that you sent the request and that you really appreciate their consideration.
Tell the person why you are asking. It gives you a chance to let this person know how much you respect him or her.
Offer to return the favor.
Try and get three recommendations. The truth is without any you might be fine and with seven or eight you might do really well. Don’t fret over it. Three is a fair amount. Those that have thirty or more recommendations on LinkedIn, I tend to think of as people who overcompensate, but maybe that’s just me.
If you can, get a list of people you want recommendations from and go about it right, contacting them beforehand and making it easy for them. Ask them if you can use this recommendation in any form and let them know they might have to answer an email for such things like LinkedIn. This way you can also have quotes available from them when people ask in an interview what your past employer might say about you and it will sound authoritative. Plus you will know exactly what people will say about you if called upon as a referral later.
Everyone loves a good recommendation. It reminds us of how much we are appreciated and how we actually do touch others lives. Give it that kind of thought when you ask for one and give others recommendations that are fair and helpful if so deserving. I highly recommend it.
Jason Veduccio is a hard-working entrepreneur following his dreams, and he wants you to dream, too. Drawing on his experiences working with companies on marketing, technology, hiring, and workplace issues, his regular column will demystify the job search process and identify strategies for moving up the corporate ladder. Founder of In1Concepts, Jason also knows the ins and outs of launching a new business. He welcomes your questions and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.