Thursday, April 23, 2009

Get Recommended on LinkedIn

Yesterday, I dedicated my morning to a surprisingly fun activity: endorsing people on LinkedIn. Actually, I got started by asking people to endorse me.

For the longest time I ignored this function on LinkedIn, fearing it would be too time consuming for the recipient and uncertain as to whether anyone would accept the request. As it turns out, my fears were completely unfounded.

For starters, of the eight colleagues I sent requests to six agreed to endorse me right away. Of those, five have already submitted their endorsements, all in the course of 24 hours! Which means I now have a recommendation for every job I've had since graduating college. But here's what really struck me: the warmth, generosity and sincerity of the recommendations people wrote. Many of whom I have not seen in years.

These endorsements were an excellent reminder for me of what I do best. It's one thing to write a list of qualities you embody in your work. Quite another to see what you're remembered for by colleagues and business partners. And knowing your strengths is a path to greater self-awareness and success in life.

But the real joy for me was reciprocating the gesture. Endorsing my colleagues brought back memories and a true appreciation for the talented individuals I've had the pleasure to work with over the years. It's nice to see how people have grown and flourished in their careers. I am so proud of the work they are currently doing and the amazing work that is yet to come.

Whether you're employed or not, I highly suggest dedicating an hour or two to endorse former colleagues and classmates. And don't be afraid to ask people to endorse you! LinkedIn manages the process with ease -- if you've never endorsed, or requested an endorsement before, here's a quick overview:

Request Endorsements:
  • Click the "Request Recommendations" button under your job title
  • Select a LinkedIn member from your contact database
  • Next, there's a form letter -- delete that and write a personal message to the recipient (Note: do not enter a name, LinkedIn automatically inserts "Dear [contact's first name]"for you although it doesn't show it to you in the form letter)
  • Once your contact has entered an endorsement, you will be alerted via email and instructed to review and "accept" the endorsement -- nothing is posted publicly until you approve it
  • After you accept the endorsement, you are immediately prompted to reciprocate the gesture and endorse your contact
Submit Endorsements:
  • Visit recipient's LinkedIn profile and click "Recommend" beneath the company where you worked together
  • Next, there's a form where you can submit the recommendation
  • Write a brief (2-3 sentences is fine) entry with a focus on positive attributes and qualities of the person you're recommending--also remember to state how you worked together, particularly if this is not apparent from your job titles at the time

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