The credibility of LinkedIn recommendations has come under scrutiny lately with Jeremiah Owyang, Web Strategist for Forrester Research, publicly announcing he will no longer be making LinkedIn recommendations, see “Requested Recommendations on Social Networks: Why I Won’t Do It.”
Adam Nash, Sr. Director, Product & User Experience at LinkedIn, responded by making a case for the value of recommendations in today’s Reputation Economy. He further suggested people make five “unsolicited” recommendations. The theory is that recommendations not specifically requested are more credible and valuable.
While we don’t suggest a number, we suggest you make one unsolicited LinkedIn recommendation to someone you feel deserves it and share your experience with us. Before making that recommendation, please keep these five tips in mind:
- Think about YOUR reputation. The person making the recommendation weighs more heavily than the recommendation itself. Do not waste your reputation and sphere of influence on a less than stellar candidate.
- Be honest. This speaks for itself.
- Be specific. Avoid puffery. Use detailed skill and character descriptions tied to a specific outcome, i.e., “Jane Doe’s strong work ethic and excellent project management skills kept a very difficult redesign project in budget and on track with the support of the entire team. The client was so pleased with the results, they referred three new clients to our firm.”
- Don’t expect anything back. As with a Random Act of Kindness, the joy is in the giving.
- Tweet it! Extending the reach of your recommendation on Twitter spreads the good word to your followers and through the search engines. A referral is the best recommendation you can make.