We live in a networked world in which relationships and reputations matter. Since a high percentage of recruiters and employers read LinkedIn profiles to evaluate candidates, LinkedIn recommendations are an important feature that can enhance your reputation and boost your chances of getting a job. LinkedIn recommendations validate your reputation based on endorsements from people who know you and have seen your work in action.
How important are LinkedIn recommendations? In a recent informal survey (Are LinkedIn Recommendations Important? Here’s What 10 Hiring Managers Say by AnnaMarie Houlis), ten hiring managers were asked if LinkedIn recommendations sway their opinions of candidates. Seven of the ten hiring managers reported that LinkedIn recommendations are a definite factor in their evaluations, with responses ranging from “super important” to “hold some weight.”
LinkedIn Recommendations Overview
A LinkedIn recommendation is a statement written by a LinkedIn member to recognize or commend a connection. People who view your profile will often read the recommendations you’ve received from your connections to see what others have to say about your work.
You can request recommendations from your 1st-degree LinkedIn connections who value your work, such as managers, colleagues or co-workers. If a connection responds to your request and writes you a recommendation, you’ll be notified via a message from the sender on LinkedIn. Once you’ve accepted a recommendation from your connection, it will be visible to your LinkedIn network.
You can also recognize your connections’ work by writing them a recommendation. You may receive a recommendation request, or you can take the opportunity on your own to write a recommendation for your 1st-degree connections. Writing recommendations for others is an effective way to encourage others to recommend you as well.
How You Can Benefit from LinkedIn Recommendations
How important at written recommendations in the hiring process? Job search expert Hannah Morgan points out that recruiters assess candidates by many different elements, such as relevant work experience, technical skills, tenure in jobs, performance and cultural fit. (see 4 Reasons You Need LinkedIn Recommendations). Ms. Morgan believes that recommendations can help recruiters evaluate and assess all these criteria by:
- Validating your strengths. Under each job on your LinkedIn Profile, you’ve described your key accomplishments and referenced skills and attributes you used to succeed. A LinkedIn recommendation from a supervisor or co-worker adds a level of credibility by complimenting your performance and endorsing the skills you’ve referenced. Since recruiters are often skeptical of candidates’ claims, a recommendation can remove some of the doubt. A well-written recommendation will also speak to your attitude and work ethic and can provide recruiters with insight on how well you may fit on a team or within an organization.
- Providing a public profile. LinkedIn recommendations provide public testimony of your skills and abilities. Recommendations are tied to the profile of the person who writes them, which means their reputation is also on the line. Be sure to set your public profile settings so that your recommendations are displayed and visible to anyone who looks at your profile.
- Differentiating you from other candidates. LinkedIn recommendations help differentiate you from other candidates. Many LinkedIn users don’t take the time to ask for recommendations, either because they don’t know how or are uncomfortable asking. Getting positive LinkedIn recommendations can help you stand out from others.
If you don’t have recommendations on LinkedIn yet, now is the time. In order to ask for a recommendation, you need to be connected on LinkedIn with your past supervisors, colleagues and co-workers. Once you are connected, you can send a request for a recommendation, or better yet, you can offer to recommend your connections, which can be a very effective way of getting a LinkedIn recommendation in return.