LinkedIn Recommendations are a natural evolution of references and letters of recommendation. However, they often are more credible than these traditional documents, because it is harder to fake a Recommendation on LinkedIn than it is to forge a letter. Since many companies are restricting reference checks to verification of title and dates of employment, a LinkedIn Recommendation from a supervisor — and/or coworkers — carries weight.
LinkedIn has been described as a “reputation engine.” That’s an apt description, because your reputation does precede you online — not just in your work history, but also in your LinkedIn Recommendations.
Someone looking at your Recommendations wants to know two things:
- What are you like?
- Are you good at what you do?
Recommendations are also vital in increasing your visibility on LinkedIn. In order for your profile to be considered “complete,” LinkedIn also requires you to receive a minimum of three Recommendations. According to LinkedIn, “Users with Recommendations in their profiles are three times more likely to receive relevant offers and inquiries through searches on LinkedIn.”
In addition, you can enhance your own reputation by providing Recommendations, because people viewing your profile can see (and read) the Recommendations you make. (Go to the person’s profile on LinkedIn, and on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see a box for “(Name) Recommends.”) You can see excerpts of their Recommendations, or click the link for “See all Recommendations.”
In the upcoming weeks, I will suggest approaches you can take to collect reputation-building recommendations that win interviews so check back frequently.