LinkedIn – My Way – Part 4

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Getting people to write recommendations
You have a complete profile and now you have contacts. The last thing you need is someone to endorse your career path. LinkedIn demands a minimum of 3 recommendations to make your profile complete. To a newbie to LinkedIn, to get this done requires some effort.

Go back to your notepad and open your contacts. Start listing potential recommender for each job/educational qualification. The list should mostly comprise of people who are above you in the organizational hierarchy. Avoid classmates / other students with whom you studied with. Co-workers in exact same hierarchy level as yours should also be avoided. Once this done, classify them based on hierarchy

Most Desired (CEO of the company/ Dean ),
More Desired (The Plant Manager/Head of the Department),
Desired (your manager/ your guide),
Others (Other managers in the company/ Other Professors).
Last options (co-workers/project team mates) – Use when you have exhausted the other 4 options

Note: This is also a reality check on your networking skill set: If you don’t find anybody to write you a recommendation, you need to take a look back on your networking skills. You are missing out some thing important.

So you now for each job/education have about 2-3 people if not more to write you a recommendation. Start with your desired recommenders. Speak to them offline (hopefully you see them daily or if they are from your previous company/university – you are in touch with them through email and phone). Most probably they will agree to write you a recommendation. Once you have established an offline/ oral need, go ahead and send them a recommendation request. A polite reminder after 2 weeks, followed by another offline chat would help incase they have not executed your request. While one needs to be aggressive, one should not be perceived as pestering or pushy.

Now try for the most desired and more desired guys. It may be difficult to speak to them offline. So just request one from them on LinkedIn using a decently composed mail.

At this stage you must realize, that LinkedIn recommendations are not easy in coming. Most of your more/most desired recommenders will never get to write a line for you. Your best chance lies with your desired recommenders.

What if you have exhausted all your desired options and still have not got a recommendation. You can then start knocking your others contacts. Remember not to ask recommendations from people who hardly know you. Others must be people who know you, as a superior in some sense. You worked in a project in a different department, where he was the team lead, the training manager, a professor under whom you had taken a course, etc. They should be in a capacity to judge you.

Suppose even this doesn’t work, then hit on the sure shots of co-workers and classmates (team mates are a better choice). This should be your last of last options. It really doesn’t look professional when somebody in your level endorses your career. Finally never ask a recommendation from people who are below you in the ladder. However, you can accept if somebody writes you one and not choose to display it. Again 1 recommendation for every job/education would be perfect. More than that is better. Lesser is okay as well. Though, 3 should be the basic minimum.

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