In all of the conversations I’ve had with recruiters and hiring managers, I’ve never once heard that a weak recommendation cost a candidate consideration for an opening. It’s not likely that a silly recommendation on your profile will damage you. However, when considering candidates, recruiters do say that they notice these three things about LinkedIn recommendations:
1. They count to make sure there is a strong ratio between the number of connections and the number or recommendations. A large network with few recommendations is a red flag.
2. An equal number of recommendations received to recommendations given is a red flag. It makes it look like the recommendations were mere reciprocity.
3. Recruiters look for quality (meaty) recommendations, and disregard flakey or fluffy ones as not credible.So, how can you increase your number of meaty recommendations?
How To Ask For LinkedIn RecommendationsIn years past, you didn’t really ask for recommendations, you wrote your own letter, presented it to your boss or mentor and asked them to make any changes to it and sign it. Back then, you needed only about three of these. So, it wasn’t always obvious that you actually wrote all of them yourself! But with LinkedIn, you may end up with over 20 of these, and if you wrote all of them, it would be obvious. So, here is a way to ask for a freshly written rec without burdening your manager or mentor.
- Remind them that a LinkedIn recommendation isn’t a full letter; it takes only about 10 minutes and doesn’t need to be longer than three short paragraphs.
- Give them something specific to recommend about you. For example, “Would you mind talking about the ATT project we did together and the role I played?”
- Suggest three specific personality or professional traits you want them to mention. For example, “Would you mind mentioning my work ethic, ability to work in teams, and depth of experience working with large enterprise accounts?”