In coaching clients on their LinkedIn profile, I often notice that clients have few or poorly written and vague recommendations. You should pay attention to LinkedIn recommendations. With over 135 million users and 2 people joining every second, LinkedIn is still the de facto professional networking and job search tool. Recruiters and hiring managers regularly scout for talent using this tool and are bypassing some of the more traditional ways of recruiting that have been used in the past.


Personally, I think it is important to have LinkedIn recommendations, but only if they help support your profile and candidature. Here are some tips to help you power-up your recommendations:


1. I suggest that you reach out personally to the individual you would like to write the recommendation.  A simple email or phone call suffices. You should only ask people who know of your work.


2. You should coach the recommender on what to include. Make sure the writer mentions how they know you, uses specific information about the work you did, and adds in something that sets you apart.  Example: “John helped grow our sales tremendously. Over the past 18 months, he did a fantastic job increasing inbound sales leads by 40%. He crafted catchy marketing pieces and rallied his team to go the extra mile. ” Try to avoid generic accolades such as “John is a very friendly guy and nice collaborator.”


3. Include a variety of recommendations from individuals a various levels within an organization-from bosses, subordinates and colleagues. If you run your own business, you should get recommendations from clients and other individuals you work with on projects.


4. Get a reasonable number of recommendations in relation to the number of connections you have. If you have 200 connections, 25 recommendations would be overkill and might actually hurt you. I suggest a minimum of 3-5.


5. Keep the recommendations to a readable length. Even though LinkedIn allows for 3,000 characters, just say what you need to get the point across.