Prepare Your LinkedIn Recommendations and References

Prepare Your LinkedIn Recommendations and References
When you provide references, or accept LinkedIn recommendations, you could actually be hurting your ability to obtain a job offer. That is why it is important to select just the right individuals as your references and to prepare them well for the reference check.

LinkedIn Recommendations

You can select the order that recommendations appear on LinkedIn. Make sure your best recommendations appear first. Hiring authorities read your recommendations first or second when they review your profile. Only accept recommendations that highlight your most marketable skills and experience, you can also ask that a recommendation be re-written if you don’t think it represents you well.

If you have more than one person that can recommend you for a particular job, you should prepare each of them to recommend you for a different skill or part of the job.  For example, one person might recommend you for your communications skills, another for you project management ability, still another might recommend you for your presentation skills.  This will ensure you don’t receive several “Joe is a great guy and easy to work with” recommendations.

You should also try to get recommendations that speak to the job you are wanting to get.  So if the job you are targeting is a management level position but your positions listed on LinkedIn don’t reflect management experience have your recommendations address your how you managed your job.

Company References

Many times, hiring companies will want to talk to references at your previous company.   The individuals providing reference checks can often hurt your chances of getting a job offer, even though they are attempting to help you. This happens when someone giving you a reference stresses expertise and talents you have that won’t be used in the job you are targeting.

It is for that reason, that you never want to provide references unless they are requested. Once they are requested, take time to contact your references and share the specifications of your targeted job. This will help them know what to emphasize from your experience during their recommendations and which skills they should highlight. This will help your chances of landing your next job.

A glowing reference about you and your abilities can mean the difference between receiving an offer or not.  Take the reference process seriously.

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Rick Christensen

Rick has been a career consultant for over 20 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

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