LinkedIn recommendations need to be real as opposed to the bureaucratic clichés ones that most people use. A recommendation might be the only way a potential employer gets to meet the person on the profile to be able to assess how well they can work, deliver and perform on a job without necessarily having to meet the person in question. This is because a good recommendation is a testimonial from other people that have ever interacted with the subject giving their experiences working with them and basically showcasing their abilities, strengths, and attributes that would make them great team players and great resources to potential companies.
Getting someone to give you a great recommendation can be a nightmare, simply because most people might be unwilling to do so, other times it would be because the only available recommenders are people hat laid you off and therefore any form of relationship with them would be strained or simply unyielding.
Sometimes the availability of people to write a recommendation is there but the wording and the preciseness of the recommendation fails. This, therefore, brings us to the ways in which one can create a great and unique recommendation that acts as a tool to land them jobs especially on LinkedIn. In an endeavor to demonstrate what a wonderful recommendation would look like, I will give examples of weak recommendations then counter them with what would have been a wonderful recommendation and finally give simple steps that will help you create an awesome recommendation.
An example of a weak recommendation would look like this.
“Sally was a wonderful employee, she was thorough in all the projects she did and she was respectable to her bosses and fellow colleagues. Sally arrived on time on most of the days and was never late on any deadlines”
A great recommendation would look like this.
“I met Sally on my first day at work in the ABC pharmaceuticals, she has a warm personality and was able to notice that I was new to the company and she offered to show me around as I looked a bit lost on the corridors. Though she worked in a different department dealing with customer service and I worked in the production department I could tell she was great at what she does. Later in the same month, we were sent on a trip to southern Europe to market the company’s new malaria vaccine. This gave me a chance to see her on her working gear, she was nice to all the respondents that visited our stand, she professionally welcomed them and introduced the rest of us with such great ease and grace, This made us in the production department explain the product with so much more confidence and ease owing to the awesome introduction made by Sally. I would love to work with her again.”
I would call the First recommendation a weak clichéd recommendation. This looks outrightly as a copied template kind of a recommendation. These are just generic recycled words that add no much value to the person in question but only show basic abilities that all employees should have no unique attributed to the subject at all. It also acts the activeness of the speaker as hey only write seemingly from a distance as if they never interacted with Grace at all.
A good recommendation on LinkedIn would, therefore, avert all the above flaws and follow these simple steps.
- Being specific and paying attention to certain attention to the accomplishments of this person
Being specific helps the one reading the recommendation to have a glimpse of who the subject is even without meeting them face to face, therefore attributing to certain qualities that the subject has is important in order to sell the person in question effectively. On the first example given above it is impossible to tell what kind of a character Sally is because nothing specific about her is revealed, she is just portrayed as a robotic kind of a person that adheres to a deadline. On the second recommendation, it is practically possible for the reader to see Sally at work. We can see her welcoming guests to a stand and dong introduction the production team. A potential employer reading the second recommendation would, therefore, be drawn to learn more about sally since they can already see her at work.
- A great recommendation tells a story.
The story approach gives anyone reading a chance to navigate through specific work schedules of the person being spoken about. It gives them a chance to see them in action. It also gives a personal touch to the recommendation so that it does not seem like a rigid copied material just to impress on the surface. The second example given above shows clearly how sally met the writer, helped them and they finally ended working together on a project that clearly brings out sally’s positive attributes as opposed to the first example that does not have a personal touch at all.
- A good recommendation has an active voice.
By an active voice, I mean that the reader has to feel the person writing too. The person needs to be alive and recognizable. This gives it a live touch that actually shows that there was a relationship created by real humans. The initial example lacks much of that as we are unable to see how sally impacted the life of the writer that would attribute her as an awesome person that would contribute wonderfully to a team on the subsequent jobs. Being able to feel the writer of the recommendation is not only a plus on the person being written about, but to the writer also as a potential employer reading the recommendation would also want to have a glimpse of who the writer is. In this case, if it was a close friend or ally writing the recommendation for you therefore and might also maybe needing employment, it would work both ways as you all have a chance to sell your profiles without necessarily logrolling.
- It contains at least a certain strong professional attribute
We all know that the moment we begin selling our skills on the social platforms in order to get jobs we become the products under review, it is therefore important that recommendation allude to at least one of the strong characteristics and most importantly a professional one in order to sell us appropriately.
In the examples given above, the second example gives a clear indication that sally does her work in customer service effectively, without coercion and on the specific business trip they were in; she helped the team achieve the end goal of selling their new malaria vaccine.
- Finally, a good recommendation should induce an interest to know more about the person.
If a potential employer is not amazed by what is being spoken about a person in a recommendation and then actually develop a liking and an urge to see more of the person, then the recommendation will not have served its purpose. A good one should send the reader to the profiles of both the writer and the one being written about. This is because the recommendations should portray the both of you as wonderful, qualified and employable persons.
In conclusion, it is important to note that recommendations can be written by anyone. Most appropriately by a person that knows you well and can say a thing or two about both your character and the professional side of you. So simply put it should be a person that has interacted with you at whatever level during the execution of your duties. The notion that a recommendation can only be written by your boss or a person in the higher ranks careerwise than you is neither here nor there. As portrayed in the examples above a colleague or just a workmate can deliver a good recommendation that can win you jobs in the market. It is however important that one is careful not to practice logrolling in which case it would cause biases and lead to cheating and hence loose the professionalism that a recommendation should come with. So in cases where multiple workmates are laid off at the same time, it is obviously natural that they will write each other’s recommendations since they have worked together but they should be careful while at it.
Finally, it is okay for you to respectively decline a recommendation that you feel is weak and might not avail much to your profile on LinkedIn. Therefore if a recommendation makes you wince every time you look at it, inform the person who wrote It that you appreciate it but you will not be using it.
Losing a job can be quite devastating. In the current world, we are living in now, jobs have become highly volatile. Different reasons are leading to major layoffs, such things as increased use of machines that render human labor obsolete, the general recession waves that cut across parts of the world leading to companies to downsize their workforce base, the general shift of the work culture from the office the remote-working hence needing fewer people on a specific job due to the swiftness remoteness creates. Each and every day changes in the work sector are being made that are not necessarily favorable to all the stakeholders in the job market. The owners of the workplaces make decisions that favor them, in various ways such as helping reduce their general overhead costs and also the daily operation costs. This eventually helps optimize their returns. In an endeavor to achieve this, collateral damage has to happen and in most cases, it leads to layoffs as the companies need to downsize their workforces to optimize returns. A company may decide to do these layoffs in phases or it can be a massive activity whereby a large group is let go at once. Whether one is laid off individually or as part of a group, it is no consolation at all because they all are going to need an income and therefore looking for their next jobs is top on the agenda.
While losing your job is sad and unfortunate, it is not a reason to sulk and pity yourself; it is also not time to lower your standards in terms of job requirements just to fit in somewhere. It is still perfectly possible for one to land a job on a different company or institution after being laid off from another; a similar job or even a better job with better remunerations and terms of service. It will all depend on how one picks themselves up and soldiers on the journey of Job hunting.
Admittedly putting yourself back on the job market can be very challenging. This is because trends are changing each day and different types of skills and talents are entering the market each day and one may feel intimidated to even try their luck in the already saturated workforce market. It is, however, prudent to note that the aptness and swiftness in which one acts in these situations makes the whole difference. Several ways are available for one to put themselves out for potential employers to see them and consider incorporating them into their teams. Social media is a great marketing tool for job hunting, it is therefore not just enough to find these social media platforms. It is not enough just creating mere profiles and expecting to land a job or even an offer. With large numbers of people already looking for employment, it is of paramount importance that one stands out in the way they market themselves in order to be viable.
That is where LinkedIn recommendations come handy. So go ahead create that wonderful recommendation. All the best!