I’ve written about LinkedIn a couple times before and have stressed that I feel it is important to complete your entire profile, as well as keep it updated to your current position. While looking for a new job I noticed that people really do keep tabs on your LinkedIn status. In fact, some of my LinkedIn connections were even kind enough to send me encouraging notes and leads for marketing positions.
If you have your own LinkedIn profile, or just stalked other people’s, you may have noticed that there is an area for recommendations. This is a handy dandy way that former co-workers/clients/contacts can recommend you for your previous or current job position.
Well written recommendations can be extremely beneficial because they are visible for anyone to see, whether it is by your new boss, potential new clients or your proud mom.
You can receive these recommendations in a few different ways: someone can out of the blue decide to recommend you for a job well done; you can ask someone that you’ve worked with to recommend you; or you can recommend someone in the hopes that they return the favor.
In 2009 when I was getting my feet wet on LinkedIn, I recommended three different contacts. One of them returned the favor with a very nice recommendation for my page. Over the years, I asked a few more close contacts if they would mind recommending me, but nothing ever came of it and I didn’t want to nag them about it.
When I lost my job this Fall, one of my contacts made it a point to call me up and tell me how much he enjoyed working with me over the years. Since I had just recently updated my LinkedIn profile, it was the perfect opportunity to ask him if he’d mind recommending me. He said that he’d love to and promptly added a positive review to my profile.
I felt pretty awesome, having two recommendations on my page. I mean, I totally realize that others may have way more, but I was happy to have any at all. And as I mentioned before, positive reinforcement to a marketing person is like fluffy puppies, homemade cookies and lit Christmas trees all at once!
As I’ve said before, I’ve been doing some freelance work for the past few months and have been having a wonderful time with one of my clients in particular. I’ve done a couple social media blitz plans for him and just recently designed a postcard series and email marketing campaign for one of his association’s upcoming workshops (more on that next week). We have excellent rapport and he has seemed genuinely happy and appreciative of the work I’ve been doing for him. This of course, makes me like him even more because he says “thank you” and “you’re amazing” a lot.
When I asked him if he’d mind writing a recommendation to go under my consulting position on my LinkedIn page, he said that he thought that was a great idea. Then, like many of my ideas – I promptly forgot about it.
Yup, it totally slipped my mind until a few days later when he sent in his recommendation:
“If you hire Julie and don’t like what you get, I will cover the cost. That is my guarantee that Julie will produce what you want. Julie is a person who gets results. I hired her for an 11th hour challenge that she completed successfully with a sense of direction and enthusiasm. That was the beginning of a working partnership with the Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI) that continues today. Julie has many expert qualities. Her work is outstanding in terms of quality, timeliness and exactness. Her ability to size up a problem and produce a solution is almost magical. She is fast, focused and friendly, which means working with her is a joy. She works well in ambiguous situations with a firm grasp of the big picture. She is both an inventor and architect, creating solutions and building blocks that lead to success. Structure and clarity are tools she uses well to bring about results that, in the case of her work with RMI, always exceeded my expectations.” – Recommended by Michael Galiazzo on December 10, 2011.
When I read his words, I honestly got choked up and had to sing a happy little song in my head to keep from crying. It is honestly the nicest thing that anyone has ever said about my work performance or my work ethic in my entire life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I get lots of positive reinforcement and love in my non-work life, but the world of a marketing director is much more bountiful with blame then it is compliments. The fact that my client felt so comfortable with me and pleased with my work that he wrote the recommendation that he did means the world to me.
Since we’re smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, this is a terrific opportunity for you to take 5 minutes and spread the happiness.
If you have someone you’ve done business with that you would recommend in conversation with a friend or colleague – whether it is a client, an employee you really enjoyed working with, a vendor with fair prices, or more – take a couple minutes to recommend them on their LinkedIn page.
You’re not only giving their other contacts insight into their work ethic, but you might also make their day!