One person at a time. LinkedIn gives us the option to ask for 3 recommendations at the same time. Don’t do it. If you want quality recommendations you need to invest the time and connect with people one by one.
Make it effective.
If you just send out the generic recommendation requests on LinkedIn, you might never hear from these people. First of all timing is everything. Make it a habit to ask for a recommendation right when a client tells you how much he’s enjoyed working with you. Or if you want to ask past clients or former colleagues you need to either call them first or send them an email (calling is better). You explain the situation (i.e. I’m looking for a new challenge or I’m updating my LinkedIn profile and would love to have your client testimonial) and tell them that they will receive your recommendation request via LinkedIn.
Make it easy for them.
In the LinkedIn request you will again want to personalize the message and I like to give people something to start with. Writing a recommendation is not easy, and something that will always come last on people’s priority list. But if they have something to start with, not just a blank piece of paper, it will be much easier for them.
Bullet Points or a First Draft
You can either just give them a list of bullet points (download my pdf below to know what to include in that list) on what you’d like to have covered in the recommendation or you can go ahead and write a complete first draft of your own recommendation (that’s when you’ll notice that it’s not that easy) and send them that, mentioning that they can add, delete or change anything they like.
Now go ahead and do it. Here’s how:
The easiest way is to go to the Recommendations Dashboard at http://www.linkedin.com/recommendations
From there click on the tab ‘Ask for recommendations’ and follow the easy steps below. In the message field you want to erase the default message and replace it with your own message and bullet points on what you’d like to have covered in the recommendation. If you need help with that list, download my 1-pager below for future reference.
Don’t forget to say thank you!
Once you have received your awesome recommendation, don’t forget to thank the person! Again, it’s not easy to write those, and the person takes time out of their busy day so the least you can do is send a nice thank you message via LinkedIn !