Everybody likes the "try before you buy" approach to life. Would you buy a car without doing a test drive? I doubt it. Have you ever read an online review before buying a product? Of course. Everyone wants to make sure that they are getting something for their investment. Employers are no different. Employers have numerous ways to evaluate you: the resume, your LinkedIn profile, the interview, etc. All of those methods are self-reported though. They consist of you talking about why you are so great and should be hired.


What if OTHER people were saying how great you are and why you should be hired? That's a whole different ballgame right there. What do you think the benefits would be if you had other people selling your value for you on your profile? Would that add to your credibility? Your competitiveness as a candidate? Holy cow, you bet! Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. If you were comparing two LinkedIn profiles in search of a candidate and one had several recommendations and the other had zero, would that make a difference to you? Common sense says yes.

I'll use myself as a perfect example. Prospective clients tell me all the time that they read my success stories and LinkedIn recommendations. Why? Try before you buy!! I'm not immune to this. Why do you think I have so many LinkedIn Recommendations? (Which I SO appreciate, by the way. Thank you to all of my success stories!!) 

"But I hate asking people for favors, Lorraine! I don't want to be annoying." That's what you are thinking, I know it. I can hear you saying it through the computer. If you are strategic in who you request a recommendation from, it shouldn't be a problem. If you reach out to people who know you and like you, they'll be willing to do it. Additionally, share with them that you are actively looking and it would help in your job search to have a recommendation from someone who knows your skill set. Perhaps most importantly, be willing to do it for them. Giving is the gateway to receiving in life, in more ways than one.

Here's how the conversation might go:

"Hi John,

I hope everything is going well on your end. I wanted to let you know that I'm currently in a job search for my next role as a Technical Project Manager. Since you and I worked together on some pretty cool projects back at XYZ Company, I was wondering if you'd be willing to write a short recommendation for my profile. You know my work style and my experience quite well, so I think it could really help in my search to have a recommendation from you. Of course, I'd be happy to do the same for you! Let me know if you have questions, and thanks in advance."

Was that so hard? Of course not, because I wrote it for you. It's done. Copy and paste! If you aren't sure where to go to request a recommendation, go to the profile of the person you have in mind and click on the menu to the right of their profile photo. (It's three little dots that are so small you'll need a magnifying glass.)

Good luck!
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