Do you feel recommendations on LinkedIn are doing good to your career? Think again as some of them can actually be detrimental to your next job application.
Yesterday I was chatting with one my colleagues and he mentioned how he ‘Googles’ the candidate before and while interviewing him/her. He quipped that he gets a lot more information than just talking to the potential candidate. Is that right? And it has definitely happened to you – employers do Google the candidates.
What are they looking for?
They want to see your online professional presence on sites like LinkedIn, but they won’t mind seeing your Facebook page or your dating website profile. If it’s available!
I love LinkedIn. For the simple reason that it allows me to see who started where and is doing what. I get to connect with many people and who knows, I may find my dream job or an assignment or a stretch. I adore the recommendations part – it allows people to see what I have been doing and how it is impacting others. People are vouching for my work.
If there are no recommendations; the hiring manager may think, “OK. Nobody was impressed,” or “I don’t appreciate your efforts,” or even, “Jeez, Don’t hire him/her.” Now don’t stop reading the write-up and go to your profile to beg for recommendations from all your contacts. You will do more harm than good.
While you should have recommendations, you need to ensure that you avoid these five mistakes:
- Cornucopia: You get 10 recommendations in one day. That does not make you ‘Superman.’ Get real – people recommend for good work as it happens. Ask for it- when you complete a project or finish the task. Don’t be shy – it does not mean you are quitting. The base needs to be gradually built, not in a day.
- Heterogeneousness: In all your career history, nobody ever recommended you and one fine day you get them – from your ex-colleagues, your neighbor, your janitor and your ex! Relax! It’s a professional network and let it be a place for those recommendations. Your employer doesn’t need to know if you dance well or party a lot.
- Higgledy-piggledy: Do not accept all that comes to you. Review your recommendations and unless they fit the role you do, do not post them. LinkedIn allows you to revert with corrections and ask for it to be re-sent. Better still – help the person write for you by providing a draft.
- Emptiness: Don’t accept recommendations from empty profiles – those are FAKE! Everyone knows that. When someone does not have time to update their profiles, how do you expect an employer to believe what they wrote for you? Choose people wisely. It’s not the quantity but the quality that matters.
- Verbose: Avoid posting lengthy recommendations – make them crisp. Nobody wants an essay on you. Make it easy to read, by saying more in lesser words.
Here is an example of well crafted, meaningful and professional recommendation. The credit should go to Tim Collins (giver) in this case however the receiver should pay attention at all times.
In today’s connected world, it is your network and their recommendation is what is going to help you in your career. So be wise and be smart!
And don’t forget – Be Honest. Hiring managers are smarter than you think. I am sharing my LinkedIn profile for professional network.
Do you feel recruiters should ‘Google’ candidates to know more? Or it is a bad practice which intrudes into personal space?
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