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Solicit recommendations using LinkedIn

Whether you apply for a job or pitch for freelance work, good reviews of your previous efforts can help convince people to pay for your services. Those reviews can carry extra weight if the people who read them can easily find out who gave them.

With LinkedIn, the names and public LinkedIn profiles of the people who give you recommendations are attached to the recommendations themselves, which makes said recommendations more valuable. After all, potential employers and clients alike can, if they choose, contact the people who gave you recommendations.

While you might list recommendations in other places, try using LinkedIn as a place to accumulate recommendations. This way, people will see recommendations as they’re posted on your profile.

Note: You need at least three recommendations before your LinkedIn profile can be considered complete.

Asking for LinkedIn recommendations

When you ask people for recommendations:

  • ask that a recommendation include a problem that you solved for the person.
  • consider drafting a recommendation to save each person some work in the writing (presuming that what you write is something the other person agrees is true).
  • LinkedIn will ask you to approve each recommendation before it appears on your profile.
  • if you just successfully completed a project or you’re doing really well at work, ask the people who are pleased with your results to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn.
  • if people have previously given you recommendations elsewhere, ask them to put their kind words into a LinkedIn recommendation as well.
  • if you’ve lost touch with the person who you want to ask for a recommendation, call or email that person first to ask if it would be OK to ask for a recommendation.