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Requesting recommendations via LinkedIn

An important part of your professional identity is a solid LinkedIn profile. Take your profile from mediocre to above average by including recommendations! Recommendations help showcase your experiences and illustrate your strengths to others in the professional realm. Since potential employers will often go to LinkedIn to scope out a candidate, it's a great idea to have positive comments on your page. It's easy for us to talk about ourselves, but the opinion of others can carry much more weight. LinkedIn provides an easy way to ask for recommendations from your connections, but you want to make sure you do it in a way that is most likely to yield results! Here are a few steps to follow to be successful in requesting recommendations:

1.      Decide whom you’d like to ask – recommendations should come from someone who knows your work. This can be a supervisor, co-worker, or supervisee. Alternatively, it can be a professor or someone else with whom you’ve worked closely in an academic environment. Aim for recommendations from people in the field you are trying to enter. LinkedIn is all about networking; you never know who might know whom! Try to stay away from soliciting recommendations from friends who don’t have working relationships with you. This can come off unprofessional, or even fabricated.

2.      Craft your message – you’ll want to create a personalized message to send with your request. Do not simply use the generic message provided, as it will seem impersonal and your connection may be less likely to respond. Also, a personalized message will allow you to encourage your connection to write about specific skills. Interested in a sales engineering position? Remind your contact about the time you worked on a sales presentation for them during your internship. This can help you to illustrate your applicable strengths on your profile.

3.      Send your message! – LinkedIn has a simple process for requesting recommendations. Find it here.

"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra."
-Jimmy Johnson