Managing Your LinkedIn Recommendations 101

african-american-father-son14Even though we aren’t kids anymore, each of us still likes to hear someone tell us, “Good job!” A recommendation on LinkedIn is like that pat on the back. Only more important.

It’s common now for employers to visit your LinkedIn profile before they invite you in for an interview. It’s a sure thing they will read your recommendations. Let’s make sure they like what they see.

When someone recommends you on LinkedIn, you’ll receive a an email notification.

When you click on the link at the bottom of the email, you will be taken to the same message in your LinkedIn account. If you are not already signed into your LinkedIn account you will need to sign in. LinkedIn will ask if you want to “Show this Recommendation on my profile” or “Hide this Recommendation on my profile.” Choose one option and then click “Accept Recommendation.” Yes, you can accept and still hide. More about that in a minute.

After you click “Accept Recommendation,” you’ll receive a “Recommendation Confirmation.” This screen will also give you the opportunity to write a reciprocal recommendation. It’s always a good idea to reciprocate, and the sooner the better.

If you find an error in your recommendation, or it’s not specific enough, you can click the “Request Replacement” link and it will automatically generate a request for a change with an email to the individual who wrote the recommendation.

What if you get a recommendation you like except some of its facts are wrong? The best way to handle this situation is to ask for it to be changed. But instead of asking your contact to change the whole thing, you can make it easy — and at the same time show you appreciate their effort — by being specific with your request. Tell the person exactly what you would like changed. Here’s an example:

“I like what you’ve written, but I was wondering if you would correct the statement where you said I brought in $200,000 in revenue; my records from that time show that the figure was closer to $375,000.”

Replace the standard text in the message with your custom message. It’s simple to request a re-write for a recommendation you’ve previously received but that hasn’t become part of your profile. First, choose “Recommendations” from the Profile menu.

The default tab on the Recommendations page is “Received Recommendations.” At the top of the page, you will see what recommendations you’ve received that haven’t been published. The second section is “Manage Recommendations You’ve Received.”

In the section below that heading, you’ll see a list of your current positions and the recommendations you’ve received, associated with each job position you’ve listed in your profile.

If you click on the Manage link, you will see the recommendations you’ve received for that position. You can click the checkbox above the word “Show” and it will change that recommendation to hidden on your profile. When you click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page, it will remove that recommendation from being visible on your profile.

This is the page where you can also request a new or revised recommendation.

You can also graciously refuse recommendations. When you receive a message notifying you of the recommendation, and you prefer that it not be part of your page, choose “Hide this Recommendation on my profile.”

Then, click “Accept Recommendation.” This will acknowledge receipt of the Recommendation, but it will not be visible on your LinkedIn profile. Most likely, the recommendation writer will never know you chose to ignore the rec he wrote. Being polite is an important business skill.

More Notes on LinkedIn Recommendations

Recommendations matter. But who writes them can be more important than what they write. A recommendation from a higher-level person makes more of an impact than one from a colleague who is on the same rung of the business ladder as you are. A prospective employer will judge any recommendation by the quality and status of the person writing it. That’s just business as usual.

Finally, don’t write or display any bad recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. What’s a “bad recommendation?” It’s one that is:

  • Generic
  • From a person who doesn’t have a clear understanding of you or your work
  • Written without context, such as how or when this person knows you or worked with you
  • Obviously out-of-date or has information that is irrelevant

For more LinkedIn tips and tricks to help you with your job search, be sure to download “Resume to Payday: Online Secrets to Find and Land Your Dream Job” today.

Author: Mir Garvy

I’ve written resumes for 2,000+ job seekers just like you—and helped my clients land jobs with companies like Amazon, SAS, Google, Duke University, Travelocity, Cisco Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, Expedia, and IBM.