The GREAT JOB SOONER Blog

Is Your LinkedIn Profile “Open” for Recruiters? Use this New Feature!

I’ve often had the experience of optimizing a LinkedIn profile for someone and then getting an email like this: “I’m hearing from recruiters who found me on LinkedIn, and some of the openings are really interesting!”

I have a lot of tips for attracting recruiters. Here’s one you can easily implement on your own in just a few minutes.

Turn on LinkedIn’s new “Open Candidate” feature, which instantly makes you more findable by users of LinkedIn’s Recruiter subscription – while cleverly hiding you from your own company’s recruiters.

Here’s how to set up LinkedIn Open Candidate:

  1. Click the Jobs icon in the navigation bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. In the Jobs you may be interested in section, click Update preferences. Enter your preferences about workplace location, position level, industry and company size.
  3. If your job search is “under the radar”: In the Let recruiters know you’re open section, look for the little shield symbol and read the warning about how LinkedIn will – probably – protect you from having your own company’s recruiters see you as an Open Candidate. Click for more information and make sure you’re comfortable with the level of risk involved.
  4. Click (don’t drag) the toggle button to turn on Open Candidate.
  5. Once you’ve done that, a new set of questions appear. Answer those. See my tips below about how to make best use of the 300-character Introduction.
  6. Optionally, click the Share your profile toggle button. (You don’t have to do this in order to make use of Open Candidate, but it’s probably helpful.)
  7. Click Done.

What can you write in the Introduction box to grab recruiters’ attention? Focus this on one or more of your key selling points. If you’re not sure what those are, read the first chapter of my new book, Get That Job! The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview. Don’t have the book? Get Chapter 1 FREE when you subscribe to this blog.

Now, ready to hear from those recruiters?

Tell LinkedIn What You Want Changed! It’s Easy.

Are you annoyed, enraged or thrilled or just puzzled about LinkedIn’s new desktop layout? There are a lot of strong feelings about what’s been added – and removed! – in the new interface.

If you’re puzzled, read my post from last week about making the new layout work for you.

If you don’t entirely like the new look, then why not…

Let LinkedIn know what you want changed!

Here’s how.

  1. On your home page, just click the “More” link in the are to the right of the news feed. (See image.)
  2. Then click “Send Feedback” in the 3rd column from the left in the view that appears.
  3. From there, it’s self-explanatory – and very quick.

Of course there’s no guarantee you’ll get what you ask for – but you’ve got even less chance if you don’t ask!

LinkedIn’s New Look – 5 Steps to Make It Work for You

LinkedIn’s new desktop layout provides a more seamless experience across mobile and home – but will it make you look good?

Here’s what you need to do to ensure your profile is branding you the way you want it to – starting from the top and working our way down.

One: Brand Yourself with that Summary “Teaser.”

One of the first things someone viewing your profile will see, in the top box (often called the Snapshot), is the beginning of your Summary – the first 92 characters on mobile, 220 on desktop – along with a “See more” link. Not everyone will click to see more, so make sure those first words contribute to a relevant, positive first impression that supports your professional brand.

The truncation process eliminates line spaces, so you may find that those first 92/220 characters include words or sentences jammed together with no space in between, like this:

CATHY L. CURTISSustainability Consultant – Corporate Social Responsibility – Communicationscathylcurtis@gmail.com

To prevent that, use dashes or symbols (from the “Symbols” font on your computer) to separate the words, like this:

▒ CATHY L. CURTIS ▒ Sustainability Consultant – Corporate Social Responsibility – Communications –  cathylcurtis@gmail.com

Two: Pay Attention to Your “Articles and Activity.”

Since your recent posts and post “likes” now show up at the top of your profile, they’re much more noticeable. So make sure your posts support your professional brand. If you wouldn’t talk about a certain topic in a large meeting at work, don’t post it on LinkedIn. And if the last time you posted was a long, long time ago, it’s time to share some news or an interesting work-related article.

Three: With Job Descriptions Hidden, Make Sure Your Titles Speak for Themselves.

Your job descriptions are now hidden until the reader clicks for more. If there’s something super-important in the description – like the fact that “Analyst III” actually means you built websites – add some description to the job title field, in parentheses like this: “Analyst III (Web Development & Design)”.

That’s actually been a good idea all along, since job titles are a very important field to load with key words if you want your profile to come up high in searches for people with those skills.

Four: Claim Your Accomplishments.

Several sections that once were separate are now grouped under the heading “Accomplishments”:  Certifications, Courses, Honors / Awards, Languages, Patents, Projects, Publications, Test Scores and Organizations. You don’t need all of these things, of course. But by labeling them “Accomplishments,” LinkedIn has made them more important. Enough said.

Five: Be Aware of Other Changes.  

You no longer have a choice about the order of the sections. If previously you had Education or Certifications near the top of your profile to emphasize it, that’s no longer an option. Instead, use your Summary (especially those first 92/220 characters) to draw attention to what’s important.

Groups have not disappeared, but it’s less obvious how to find and interact with your Groups. Click the magnifying glass next to the search field at the top and then click the “Groups” tab that appears. Or scroll down to “Following” near the bottom of your profile and “See more.” Various changes have been made to how your Groups function, mostly to make it less spammy. Here’s more on that.

Advanced Search is still there, you just have to click the magnifying glass first.

The new Notifications page makes it easier to engage with post activity.

LinkedIn Posts is now called Articles and works differently in various ways. The bad news is that your articles are no longer shared with all your Connections. Here’s more info on changes in this area.   

Exporting your LinkedIn connections is now done under Account>Basics.

There’s a new messaging feature similar to Facebook Messenger with a chatbot for scheduling meetings with Google Calendar.

Tagging of contacts is no longer available, but you can do that and more with add-ons like Dux Soup.

Capitalize on the Power of LinkedIn to Build Your Brand

Despite Facebook’s recent entry into the job posting world, LinkedIn remains the preeminent professional networking site. Use it to your advantage!

What Your LinkedIn Photo (or Lack of One) Says About You

What Your LinkedIn Photo (or Lack of One) Says About YouDid you know recruiters spend 19% of their LinkedIn profile viewing time looking at the person’s photo?

As a LinkedIn profile writer, I can ensure the verbal content makes a great impression, but you also need to post a good picture.

Is it superficial for recruiters to spend so much time looking at the picture? That’s a matter of opinion, but it’s also just human nature.

Within seconds of seeing someone’s face, we feel like we have some idea what kind of person they are. Right or wrong, those first impressions will influence whether we trust that person and want to talk to them. It will affect how we treat them.

What does your photo say about you? People’s reactions to your photo will be highly subjective, but in general a good photo can say “I am approachable, pleasant, energetic and professional.”

A bad photo may say “I’m stressed out,” “I’m intimidating,” or “I lack passion about my work” if the facial expression and lighting aren’t sending the right message. It can say “I’m careless with details/have poor judgment” if the photo is underexposed or inappropriate.

Having no photo at all is not a solution. A profile without a photo can seem evasive, as though you’re hiding something.

Profiles with a photo are more appealing, appear more credible, and are seven times more likely to be viewed than those without.

A photo also helps clearly identify you, distinguishing you from that other guy who has your name and a police record!

“Okay, I know I should post a picture but I don’t seem to get around to it.” Let’s look at what might be stopping you, and some tips for getting it done.

“I don’t have any good photos of myself, and a professional photo can be expensive.”

If you really can’t afford a pro, you can sometimes get good results by having a friend photograph you. There’s actually one advantage: your affection for your friend may enhance your smile!

Lighting is very important, so make sure it’s flattering – ideally, outdoors in the morning or late afternoon, or in the shade so there are no harsh shadows.

Take as many shots as possible – at least a dozen, in different locations and at various angles. (Professionals often shoot several rolls in one session!) Pick your own top five, then ask several friends which of the five they like best. Tell them what you’re looking for, e.g. “the one that does the best job of making me look like someone who’s collaborative but can also be a strong leader, someone you’d want to hire as a manager.” Otherwise they may just pick the one that looks the most beautiful, or some other trait they are focused on.

If you can afford to hire a pro, all the better! It’s an investment in your career.

“If I update my photo I’ll look too old/unattractive/etc.”

This is why you need a professional photographer, or at least a well-planned amateur shoot as described above. Good lighting and the right facial expression can do wonders.

And it’s not about being gorgeous or handsome. We can all think of people we know who aren’t fashion-model attractive, yet we like looking at them because of the way their character shines through – qualities like warmth, intelligence and humor. Get a photo that radiates a good personality, and people will have positive responses to your face.

“I have a photo but it’s too light/too dark/needs cropping, etc.”

Don’t let this stop you. I myself am no technical or graphics wiz, to put it mildly, but I find the iPhoto software that came with my Mac pretty easy to use. You might want to start with an Internet search for “online photo editing.” There are free applications. Or maybe you have a friend who’s good at this sort of thing?

My final word of advice: Just do it. Stop putting off dealing with this essential element of your LinkedIn profile – and of your overall online presence.

Once that great photo is there it will serve you well for a long time. It may well play a part in helping you get a new job!

Symbols to Liven Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Symbols to Use on Your LinkedIn ProfilePeople sometimes ask me where they can get the cool checkmarks (✔)  I use as bullets in my LinkedIn headline:

Job Interview Coach ✔ Job Search Strategist  ✔ Resume Writer ✔ LinkedIn Profiles ✔ www.TheaKelley.com

Unlike the thumbs-up stamp at left, the checkmark is not a graphic but a font character. It comes from the Symbol font, so you can type or paste it into any text field in LinkedIn.

Given that LinkedIn still doesn’t support boldface type, italics, or various other staples of the printed word, symbols can be handy for creating a little…

✫✫✫ EMPHASIS ✫✫✫

…where you need it.

(You’ll also notice that CAPITAL LETTERS are fairly common on LinkedIn, and may be appropriate given the limited options.)

In case you’d like to see all the possibilities of the Symbol font without having to type every character on your keyboard, I’ve included it below. (I found this list on the website of Social Sales Link, where you can actually copy the ones you want. You can also email me for a copy in Word.)

Now, are all of these symbols appropriate for your LinkedIn profile? Of course not, as I’m sure the SSL folks realize. For example, the symbols in the “Religious” and “Political” lists don’t belong in most people’s profiles. Smileys might seem a bit fluffy, and it’s hard to imagine why you would want the scissors icon in an online profile. But rather than censor this, I’m simply showing you the full list!

Symbols:

Smileys: ☹ ☺ ☻ ت ヅ ツ ッ シ Ü ϡ ﭢ

Love: ♥ ۵ 웃 유 ღ ♂ ♀

Phone: ✆ ✉ ☎ ☏

Scissors: ✁ ✂ ✃ ✄

Music: ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭ ♮ ♯ ° ø

Write: ✐ ✎ ✏ ✑ ✒ ✍ ✉ ⌨

Religious: ✡† ☨ ✞ ✝ ☥ ☦ ☓ ☩ ☯ ☧ ☬ ☸  ♁ ✙ ♆

Political: Ⓐ ☭ ✯ ☪ ☫ ✡ ☮ ✌

Question: ❢ ❣ ⁇ ‼ ‽ ⁈ ¿ ¡ ⁉ ؟

Chess: ♔ ♕ ♖ ♗ ♘ ♙ ♚ ♛ ♜ ♝ ♞ ♟

Cards: ♤ ♧ ♡ ♢ ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

Stars: ⋆ ✢ ✣ ✤ ✥ ❋ ✦ ✧ ✩ ╰☆╮ ✪ ✫ ✬ ✭ ✮ ✯ ✰ ✡ ★ ✱ ✲ ✳ ✴ ❂ ✵ ✶ ✷ ✸ ✹ ✺ ✻ ✼ ❄ ❅ ❆ ❇ ❈ ❉ ❊

Money: € £ Ұ ₴ $ ₰ ¢ ₤ ¥ ₳ ₲ ₪ ₵ 元 ₣ ₱ ฿ ¤ ₡ ₮ ₭ ₩ ރ 円 ₢ ₥ ₫ ₦ z ł ﷼ ₠ ₧ ₯ ₨ K č र

Hand: ☜ ☞☝ ☚ ☛ ☟ ✍ ✌

Copyrights: ™ ℠ © ® ℗

Yes: ☑ ✓ ✔ √

No: ☐ ☒ ✇ ✖ ✗ ✘ ✕ ☓

Weather :☼ ☀ ☁ ☂ ☃ ☄ ☾ ☽ ❄ ☇ ☈ ⊙ ☉ ℃ ℉ ° ❅ ✺ ϟ

Flower: ✽ ✾ ✿ ❁ ❃ ❋ ❀

Triangles: ▲ ▼ ◄ ► ◀ ◣ ◢ ◥ ▼ ◤ ◥ ▴ ▾ ◂ ▸ △ ▽ ◁ ▷ ⊿ ▻ ◅ ▵ ▹ ◃ ▿

Ratios :⅟ ½ ⅓ ⅕ ⅙ ⅛ ⅔ ⅖ ⅚ ⅜ ¾ ⅗ ⅝ ⅞ ⅘

Compare: ≂ ≃ ≄ ≅ ≆ ≇ ≈ ≉ ≊ ≋ ≌ ≍ ≎ ≏ ≐ ≑ ≒ ≓ ≔ ≕ ≖ ≗ ≘ ≙ ≚ ≛ ≜ ≝ ≞ ≟ ≠ ≡ ≢ ≣ ≤ ≥ ≦ ≧ ≨ ≩ ⊰ ⊱ ⋛ ⋚

Roman: Ⅰ Ⅱ Ⅲ Ⅳ Ⅴ Ⅵ Ⅶ Ⅷ Ⅸ Ⅹ Ⅺ Ⅻ Ⅼ Ⅽ Ⅾ Ⅿ ⅰ ⅱ ⅲ ⅳ ⅴ ⅵ ⅶ ⅷ ⅸ ⅹ ⅺ ⅻ ⅼ ⅽ ⅾ ⅿ

Circled: ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄ ➅ ➆ ➇ ➈ ➉ ➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐ ➑ ➒ ➓ Ⓐ Ⓑ Ⓒ Ⓓ Ⓔ Ⓕ Ⓖ Ⓗ Ⓘ Ⓙ Ⓚ Ⓛ Ⓜ Ⓝ Ⓞ Ⓟ Ⓠ Ⓡ Ⓢ Ⓣ Ⓤ Ⓥ Ⓦ Ⓧ Ⓨ Ⓩ ⓐ ⓑ ⓒ ⓓ ⓔ ⓕ ⓖ ⓗ ⓘ ⓙ ⓚ ⓛ ⓜ ⓝ ⓞ ⓟ ⓠ ⓡ ⓢ ⓣ ⓤ ⓥ ⓦ ⓧ ⓨ ⓩ

Remember: Hold your horses ♘♘♘♘♘ & don’t ☹ get carried away, okay?

Cute symbols are no substitute for the kind of relevant, engaging, well-written content that makes for a truly impressive profile.

LinkedIn Recommendations: Giving and Receiving

LinkedIn Recommendations: Giving and ReceivingIf you frequently read my blog, it must seem that I am always harping on the importance of having a LinkedIn profile with recommendations. The fact is, recommendations do impress prospective employers and other important career contacts.

Giving a recommendation is a great way to build relationship with a first-degree LinkedIn connection whose work you sincerely admire. It can also lead to receiving a recommendation in return, although reciprocity is not required and should not necessarily be expected.

Be aware that your recommendations of others can be read in your profile and, unless you choose otherwise in your Settings, they will appear in your Activity Broadcast (your automatic contributions to the LinkedIn Updates emails received by members). Only give recommendations that are accurate and deserved.

To get recommendations, ask for them! Your contacts may think very highly of your work, but may not be in the habit of giving recommendations. It may never have occurred to them.

The most important recommendations are generally from your direct supervisors and those above them. Internal and external customers are also very important. Once you have recommendations from these groups, recommendations from peers and direct reports will round out the impression.

To Give a Recommendation:

  1. Go to the person’s profile.
  2. Move your cursor over the triangular black arrow icon next to the square button(s) in the top section of the profile.
  3. Select Recommend and follow the step-by-step process.

To Request a Recommendation for Yourself:

  1. Consider contacting the person outside of LinkedIn first – via phone, email, etc. – to mention that you’ll be requesting a LinkedIn recommendation. This can give your request a more personalized feel and may increase the likelihood of a good response.
  2. In LinkedIn, click the drop-down arrow next to the large blue button in the top section of your profile, and select “Ask to be recommended.”
  3. Select a position from the “What do you want to be recommended for?” drop-down list.
  4. In the “Who do you want to ask?” section, enter the name of one (not several) of your connections into the text field or click the address book icon to search.
    • Replace the generic message with a personalized one. Be gracious; you are asking for a favor. At the same time, it may be a good idea to suggest specific aspects of your work you would like the person to comment on, or provide insights on why you are requesting  a recommendation at this time.
    • Sending along something you have drafted “as a starting point” can be a big help for busy contacts.
      • Give special care to the first sentence, since that’s all that shows up initially (the rest is hidden until the reader clicks View).
  5. Click Send.

Be patient. Recommendation requests don’t seem as urgent as other emails, so it may be several weeks before you get a response; or the recipient may not respond at all.

If you receive a recommendation you’re hesitant to use, you can either choose not to make it visible (e.g., if it consists of “faint praise”), or send it back to the person suggesting a small revision (“Can you mention the XYZ project?”) or with spelling errors corrected (“I just fixed a little typo – can you copy and paste this in?”). In the latter case, realize that you’re doing your contact a favor by helping them look good.

If you do receive a recommendation – even if you never post it – be appreciative! A handwritten thank-you note or card is a nice touch.

For an example of a LinkedIn profile with recommendations, here’s mine.

LinkedIn: 10 Tips for an Impressive Profile

10 Tips for an Effective LinkedIn ProfileEven if you’re not in job search mode, LinkedIn is essential as a place to make connections and communicate your value in the professional world.

To help you get the most out of LinkedIn, here are 10+ tips for creating a profile that will help you achieve your career goals.

 1. Consider your name. Will you be Thomas G. Brown, Tom G. Brown or Thomas Grant Brown? Before you even go to LinkedIn to sign up, do an internet search on various forms of your name and see what turns up. You want a clean, unique identity so you won’t be mistaken for anyone else. You may want to use the name most people know you by, for example Beth instead of Elizabeth.

2. Do upload a photo or other image of yourself. Use a good head-and-shoulders photo of yourself in business clothes. Smile and look approachable. If you’re concerned about age discrimination, invest in a really good professional photographer and tell them to make you look as young as possible through lighting and focus. Or use some other type of portrait. It’s not rare, especially among creatives, to see artfully computer-generated portraits that can be very flattering.

3. Use the Professional Headline to your advantage. You’ve got 120 characters (including spaces) to brand yourself. Don’t just use the default, which consists of your title and current company. Changing the headline at some later date when you’re interested in moving on may tip off your current employer; start with a forward-looking, customized tagline right from the beginning.

4. Write an engaging Summary. In a future post, I’ll go into detail about this crucial piece. For now, read this brief post from Jason Alba’s blog I’m On LinkedIn, Now What? Jason’s Summary is a good example, as is my own Summary.

5. Write full, compelling descriptions for your Experience section. Emphasize accomplishments. How did you make a difference? Include the most important keywords for your occupation and industry.

6. Be complete. Fill out every section unless you have a strategic reason not to do so.

7. Request recommendations. This is one of the most powerful and underutilized aspects of LinkedIn. Why not have supervisors and other management VIPs, clients, co-workers, teachers (if you’re a student) and others singing your praises? In an increasingly review-driven online world, recommendations boost your credibility. It’s easy to request recommendations once you find the links to click.

8. Get help from a writing professional, or at least a skilled proofreader. Very few of us can write a profile without any typos, grammatical errors or incorrect punctuation. You wouldn’t want to have a messy spot on your collar at a business event, would you? Don’t have one on your profile.

9. Understand the Privacy and Security Settings. Visit this section via the dropdown menu under the tiny photo of you at the upper right-hand corner of the profile. For many people the default settings are just fine; others will want to control how much of their information and updates are visible and broadcasted to their contacts.

10. Customize your URL. A cumbersome URL like “www.linkedin.com/put/your-name/17/525/527” looks a bit clueless. It’s easy to get a smooth URL like this: www.linkedin.com/in/theakelley. Just click “Edit” next to the URL under your picture and follow the instructions.

IMPORTANT BONUS TIP!

Don’t stop after filling out your profile! Join Groups and participate in discussions. Explore. Keep learning. Much has been written, and is still being discovered, about effective use of this powerful networking tool, and these tips are only a start.

LinkedIn Profile Mistake #1

LinkedIn Profile Mistake #1Most LinkedIn profiles fail to fully utilize one of the platform’s most valuable features: recommendations. How can you make the most of this awesome opportunity to have your contacts praising you on the Internet?

First, make sure you understand the difference between recommendations and endorsements.

Recommendations are:

  • Free advertising for your job search.
  • A boost to your credibility.
  • Evidence that you’re worth hiring.

The claims you make about yourself in your LinkedIn profile are greeted with understandable skepticism by prospective employers. Why should they believe you? Recommendations from others carry more weight.

Here’s how to make use of this powerful self-marketing tool.

Ask for recommendations – from the right people. The most valuable recommendations will be from your direct supervisors, as well as senior executives and clients/customers. (Sometimes these may be hard to obtain or inappropriate to ask for, depending on your circumstances. Use good judgment.) Once you have some from these types of VIPs, you can also include some from current and past teammates and past direct reports.

Here’s how, straight from LinkedIn Help:

  1. Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile.
  2. Scroll down to the Recommendations box and click the Edit icon on the right.
  3. Click Ask to be recommended, which appears on the right side of the page.
  4. Select a position from the “What do you want to be recommended for?” dropdown list.
    • If a position or school isn’t listed, you can click the job or school to add it to your profile and the dropdown list.
  5. Select relevant connections in the “Who do you want to ask?” section, either by entering names of connections into the text field or clicking the address book icon to search for connections.
    • In your address book’s Choose Connections section, check the boxes next to the names you want to add and then click Finished.
    • When you request a recommendation from multiple people in one message, each recipient will receive a separate message.
  6. Enter your request in the Create your message section by using the message provided or personalizing your note.
  7. Click Send.

Give recommendations to members of your network. This looks good for them and for you. It also may prompt them to recommend you in return. After selecting “Recommendations” from the Profile menu, scroll down to the “Make a recommendation” section.

Coach your recommender. You want the blurb to be targeted to your current career goals, so suggest relevant accomplishments or skills you’d like them to focus on. Offer to draft something for them (and proofread it carefully, as they may use it verbatim). If you’re working with a career coach, they can assist with the writing.

Accept your received recommendations appreciatively, but examine them critically. Typos or grammar errors make both the recommender and you look bad.  If necessary, make use of the option to “Request a new or revised recommendation” and send a corrected paragraph they can use. (Tip: Don’t put the revised paragraph in quotes; people will often paste the quotes in along with the text, which looks odd.)

Show your appreciation. Give a recommendation in return if appropriate,  or send a thank-you note.

Use your recommendations elsewhere. Brief excerpts in your resume or cover letter can be quite powerful.

Collect a good number of recommendations. What’s a good number? I’ve heard everything from “several” to “10% of your total contacts,” and the optimal number is different for everyone. Use your own judgment. You can’t necessarily go by what your connections do; most people are making plenty of mistakes in this and many other aspects of LinkedIn!

Don’t rest on your laurels. If all your recommendations are from many years ago, considering obtaining some new ones.

Without recommendations, you’re expecting readers of your profile to “take your word for it” that you have the skills and experience you claim. Instead, build credibility by having others vouch for you!

LinkedIn – Recommendations vs. Endorsements

LinkedIn Recommendations vs. EndorsementsIf you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve probably been baffled by receiving endorsements from people who don’t know anything about you.

You may also be aware that you can give and receive recommendations.

Why are there two similar features, and what’s the difference?

(If you’re not on LinkedIn, by the way, you may want to read my post LinkedIn, Who Needs It?)

Here’s how LinkedIn explains these features:

“An endorsement is a one-click way for your connections to endorse the Skills & Expertise listed on your profile. There is not an automatic way to request an endorsement. A written recommendation is not included with this feature. Learn more about Skill Endorsements.

“A recommendation is a written statement of recommendation from a connection. You may request recommendations from your connections, as well as proactively recommend your connections. Learn more about recommendations.”

Do you see the difference in the level of effort involved?

Endorsements are often given so casually that they may not carry much weight in the mind of someone – perhaps a recruiter or potential employer – who is reading your profile.

However, they do affect your profile’s ranking in search results for specific skills!

A recommendation, on the other hand, requires some time and thought. The person recommending you actually has to write something (or you can draft it for them!). As with an endorsement, the person is putting their name on the line to support you, but it’s much more complete and conspicuous.

A word about recommendations and references.

It surprises me when I hear statements like this: “I don’t need LinkedIn recommendations; I already have good references.”

When does a prospective employer check your references? Usually it’s after an interview, when they are already close to a decision. Or maybe never.

In contrast,  LinkedIn recommendations are right up there on the Web to be seen, before the decision is ever made to bring you in for an interview. They can become a significant factor in that decision.

Underutilizing the power of recommendations is one of the top mistakes most people make in their LinkedIn profiles.

Watch for my next post, which will offer tips on obtaining and using recommendations. Subscribe to this blog to make sure you don’t miss it.