Ask and you Shall Receive: Why You Should Start Asking for LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn has become one of the best networking tools for recruiters and job seekers to connect with new talent and seek out interesting opportunities.  There are dozens of articles describing ways to improve your profile to get you noticed, but having a solid number of recommendations is an important area where many are lacking.

LinkedIn has changed the way employers are learning about potential candidates.  Say you have five candidates who apply online to your company and complete their application by uploading their LinkedIn profile (as many organizations are now doing).  The candidate who has 10 positive recommendations already uploaded into the system could very well be one step ahead of the rest.

These recommendations not only highlight the candidates strengths and achievements, but put this information right at the finger tips of employers.  Weeding through hundreds of resumes can be grueling, so setting yourself apart is crucial in order to land that initial interview.

It is always better to keep up than to catch up, so even if you are not actively looking for another job, it doesn’t hurt to ask your colleagues, managers or professors (if you are in school) to recommend you.  This way, you are fresh in their minds and they will probably have more to say about how great you are.  You can also reach out to past employers/co-workers that you built relationships with; more often than not they will be happy to help you out.

My biggest piece of advice is to personalize.  Do not go through your LinkedIn connections and send a mass “Can you recommend me?” email blast.  Not only is this very impersonal, but more likely to be ignored or looked at as spam.  Reach out to each individuals personally through their LinkedIn account to let them know you are trying to build your professional network.  This might sound really easy (and obvious) but you would be shocked how many profiles have this section blank.  Don’t be shy to remind them of projects you worked on together or where you excelled so that they can cater their recommendation to match what positions looking for.  Don’t be afraid to follow up after the message if you have not heard back! Many people don’t check their accounts often, so an e-mail might reach them more quickly.

LinkedIn has recently updated their recommendations dashboard to make it easier to give, receive and track.  Check out this quick video on how to take advantage of this feature.  I encourage you to reach out to five to ten past or present colleagues; I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at the positive response (and small ego boost/confidence) that you will receive!

Also check out these sites for more tips:


After graduating from the University of New Hampshire, I ventured out to San Diego, CA where I started my professional career as an Executive Assistant, earned my Master’s in Organizational Management, started a blog and soaked up all the sun and sand that SoCal had to offer. After four years, I am now back in New England looking for new opportunities in Boston.  I enjoy the beach, hiking, traveling, volunteering, cooking, reading and learning/trying new things.

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