I have been asked many times throughout the years about the value of LinkedIn recommendations, and more recently about the value of the endorsement feature. While there are many different angles to this discussion (and I could argue both sides of the value proposition with enthusiasm), one piece of the discussion puts me firmly on the side of “yes, they add value.” This piece surrounds the strengthening of your personal brand.
LinkedIn provides you with a very visible and free way to grow your personal brand. Both the endorsement and recommendation features allow you to take your brand to a higher level. While I understand these features are somewhat different, here are three quick tips that apply to both that will help maximize your results.
Don’t overdo it. While this applies more to recommendations than endorsements, having 100 recommendations is overkill and might cause a brain-freeze to anyone who happens to be looking at your profile. Think quality vs. quantity.
Get specific. Try to streamline the kind of endorsements your connections can offer you. You’re able to edit your skills at the bottom of your profile (edit “Skills & Expertise”). This will at least help to steer the types of endorsements you receive. When asking for recommendations, help your connection out with a few bullet points that remind them of specific skills you are good at or projects you have worked with them on. Naturally, they’ll be more likely to highlight these items within the recommendation.
Seek out thought leaders. You can control who shows up on your recommendations, so make sure you have the most impactful person sending the message you want to send. Seek out individuals who can speak highly (and intellectually) about your past successes and character/work ethic.
Finally, keep this in mind: It’s important to be constantly aware of your personal brand and how your actions online impact it both positively and negatively. Your personal brand online can be even more important than your first impression in an interview (because your online brand can help you land you the interview in the first place).
About the Author:
Chris Ohlendorf brings over 17 years of experience to the consulting and recruiting industries. As the Chief Talent Officer and one of the founders of Versique and McKinley Consulting, Chris is responsible for guiding the overall internal recruitment and training strategies, including expansion into new divisions, and managing the overall administration functions at both companies. He is also involved in business development for the companies, and is actively involved in Versique’s volunteer committee, which focuses on giving back to the community. Chris is a member of Allied Executives, a peer-to-peer membership organization for CEO’s and business owners. He is a graduate of Bethel College with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, and has an MBA in Marketing Management from University of Minnesota-Carlson School of Management. To learn more about Versique Search & Consulting, visit www.versique.com, and to learn more about McKinley Consulting, visit www.mckinleyconsulting.com.