In my last article, What’s a Worthwhile Recommendation in LinkedIn?, I discussed what a useful and valuable recommendation is in LinkedIn versus a piece of puffery.
However, worthwhile recommendations just don’t appear out of thin air, they have to worked for like everything else worthwhile in life! (Please excuse the pun, I couldn’t help myself!)
There is a process for receiving worthwhile recommendations and I’ll discuss that in this article. (And, yes, I’m going to use the word “worthwhile” a lot in this article. I’m trying to make a point!)
First, do the work!
Your mother may be the only person who will say anything worthwhile about you without your having done the work. (Maybe yours, mine wouldn’t.)
Next, ensure that those who will be recommending you are delighted with your results!
Then, make sure you have specific, measurable results that you and your recommenders both agree upon.
Once the work is complete and the results are agreed upon, all you have to do is receive a worthwhile recommendation.
Well, in an ideal world, your recommenders are so delighted with your work that they fire off a timely and worthwhile recommendation without any prompting from you.
Realistically, many recommenders are simply either too busy or too distracted to write a worthwhile recommendation on their own. (Truthfully, many times we’re just lucky to get them to sign the check!)
There is a school of thought that says the initiative for a recommendation should always be left with the recommenders.
I disagree with this for several reasons.
First, this is fine in theory but we all know about “theory.”
It’s not reliable as a general rule.
This approach doesn’t leave you in control.
Finally, many recommenders don’t know how to prepare a recommendation in LinkedIn.
I have several steps that I recommend for obtaining worthwhile recommendations:
- Send a note to your recommender after the work is completed thanking them for the opportunity, inquire as to see if they have any unanswered questions or unresolved issues pertaining to your work, and ask for a recommendation in LinkedIn.
- Include for their use a suggested recommendation to help them prepare one.
- Your recommendation should contain the following:
- A statement of the work done (Remember to use your primary keywords from your profile!)
- Present the value delivered in quantitative terms
- Include a simple, but not effusive, recommendation of you with a call to action for others to engage you for similar assignments and an offer to speak with anyone on your behalf in the future
- Remember to present this recommendation to your recommender as a suggestion for their use. (Most will use it verbatim!)
- Don’t use the same recommendation every time you do this! A little variety please! Many misunderstand this approach as simply reusing boiler plated recommendations and don’t use if for that reason. (They also complain about not getting any recommendations let alone worthwhile ones!) If you go about it that way then they’re right!
- Once you receive your worthwhile recommendation, don’t forget to send a simple thank you note in reply! (Yes, email’s perfectly alright!)
Worthwhile recommendations are important and shouldn’t be overlooked!
Obtaining them is a process like anything else in your social media program!
Also, don’t forget to write worthwhile recommendations for others!
That’s it for now!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.
I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.