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November 19, 2011
Got LinkedIn Recommendations? Here's How to Get Some Without Asking
 
A friend of mine has confused asking for a LinkedIn recommendation with promiscuous sex and used-car sales. “It makes me feel cheap, pushy, and desperate,” he explains. I ask if he would prefer that people just write recommendations for him completely on their own initiative without any requests from him. 

He rolls his eyes. Of course that’s what he wants. Am I an idiot? That’s what everyone wants. Then I ask, “So when’s the last time you wrote an unsolicited recommendation for someone else?”

What’s preventing you from writing an unsolicited recommendation?

My friend never wrote a recommendation on his own for the same excuses you are thinking right now. If they wanted a recommendation, why didn’t they ask? I’m so busy! No one has ever done one for me. Wah!

Enough excuses. Writing one will give you a bigger lift than anything else you do today. So, take five minutes out of your busy television or web-surfing schedule and look at your LinkedIn contacts. Who did you love working with? Who had a big impact on a project you were on? Who would you gladly give a recommendation to, if only they weren’t so afraid to ask? Write one right now. Be sincere. Be specific. Think about what hiring managers or clients should know about them.

Karma is a wonderful thing.

Take a moment to think how great you would feel if you saw a recommendation suddenly appear on your profile.  When you submit your recommendation, LinkedIn will notify your connection. Now think about how they will feel when they see what you wrote. They will probably get inspired…inspired enough to write a recommendation.

Giving recommendations makes you look good.

Even if you don’t get a recommendation from this particular person (although the chances are good), writing one reflects well on you. A LinkedIn profile looks pathetic when you see that the person has written zero recommendations. Does no one want your recommendation? Or are you too lazy to write one? Write some recommendations, and no one has to dwell on those questions about you.

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As the editorial director of Mojo40.com, Susan Kim’s goal is to help people over 40 get their career mojo back with content that is helpful, entertaining, and free of marketing-ese like shifting paradigms. She previously was the creative director at advertising.com (AOL). You can connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter.
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