Getting recommendations on LinkedIn is a subject that comes up a lot in my individual and corporate training sessions. Here my advice: Take a look at who you are connected to and pick out those you’ve enjoyed working with either as a volunteer or on the job. Then it’s easy write a sincere review of your working relationship (and it really comes through in the writing). Hopefully, that person feels the same about you, and they will return the favor. That’s not the main reason you should be writing recommendations and it feels good to sing someone’s praises without being asked.
Should I ask for recommendations?
You can ask absolutely ask people for recommendations, if you like, but I like this approach better because you are giving to get. It doesn’t pay off 100% of the time but it’s awkward for everyone involved if you ask and they don’t provide.
A woman I know well socially asked me to write one for her and I had to respond that I would be happy to once we’ve worked together on a project. Knowing someone from networking isn’t enough and I won’t put my name on the line if I have no reference to a person’s working style.
I’m on a committee with a man that’s the least dependable person I’ve ever met. He’s bailed on every project he’s been assigned, he whines about everything, interrupts people constantly, and is always “busy” when it comes to pitching in. He has asked me repeatedly for a recommendation and I simply cannot. At some point he’s going to ask me why I haven’t and I’ll have the opportunity to be honest with him. You’d think he’d figure it out after half a dozen requests but he hasn’t.
I believe that giving to others is the best approach because it creates goodwill and better relationships with your network. and If you don’t expect them to give back, it’s a bonus to your reputation (and your mood) when they do.