I’ve received a few new recommendations on LinkedIn lately and I’ve been tempted, like the rest of ya, to hurry up and do the “courtesy recommendation” because of undue pressure. That pressure doesn’t come from that other person but from myself.
But I’ve been thinking about this and it’s just not a good idea to hurry up and reply with some hap-hazzard-3-line-piece-of-crap for your connection who probably spent an incredible amount of thought and time in recommending you (or not).
Here are a few tips I’ve come up with when receiving a recommendation that warrant your consideration:
- Do you actually KNOW this person? (Now, you laugh – but we see this all the time. People making stuff up about you or blowing smoke just so you’ll recommend them in the same way. Don’t do this. It’s not genuine and it could bite you in the rear down the road when someone asks you to introduce them to so-in-so and you’re like, “Who?”)
- Respond with a nice note of “I appreciate the recommendation” in your own words. You don’t have to make a big fan-fare out of it.
- Mark your calendar and schedule an allotted amount of time to work on that recommendation that you are going to write. (You don’t want to forget and blow it off – you’ll look like a jerk)
- For goodness sake, put some thought into it. Don’t copy someone else’s recommendation they’ve written for their friend. This is (supposedly) your good contact. You know them. You’ve worked with them (please tell me you have) and you know their work ethic, their experience and perhaps their passions. Write it down.
- Take the above and re-write. And then again. It just makes it get better and more concise. These are things that (some) folks will look to when thinking of hiring this person whether for a potential job or when using their businesses and services.
- Just ask. If you’re not that bright to do the above or lazy (whichever the case) perhaps a simple “asking that person what they would like for you to accentuate in your paragraph. It they get pissed about that, oh well.
These things may sound silly and contrite but some folks depend on these recommendations (I don’t) for whatever reason. And taking 5 seconds to reply to their recommendation just because you feel the pressure is not very smart. Simply tell your friend you will work on it and get back to them on it. Be honest with them and tell them that you want to return the favor because they’ve been so generous, but you want to do it up right. And for goodness sake, follow through.
Here’s a thought, how about recommending someone FIRST. Perhaps you have some awesome folks in your contact list that could use a little love on their LinkedIn profile. How about making the first step in helping them (I’m talking to myself, now). Sometimes I forget to do the little things for folks that could mean a lot.
And lastly, if you’re just too busy, or are not great at writing these kinds of things (or writing in general) send it my way. I have a great team of folks who are fabulous at doing these kinds of things.