LinkedIn recommendations are statements and testimonials from another LinkedIn member who has a professional working relationship with you. These recommendations are posted on your LinkedIn profile as evidence of your skills, character, and expertise. With 95% of recruiters scouring through LinkedIn profiles to find the best candidate, the LinkedIn recommendation section is a critical real estate that should not be overlooked.
Here are 4 reasons LinkedIn recommendations help boost your career and are worth your time.
1. LinkedIn recommendations are social proof
The numbers don’t lie.
- 92% of people are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations
- 92% will trust a recommendation made by peers
- 70% will trust a recommendation even if this comes from someone they don’t know (and this is still high!)
All that is to say that you can’t ignore the power of social proof not just in your business or your brand but also in your job search and career.
Social proof matters now more than ever as it allows you to prove to others that you are competent, credible, and an expert in your field not from your own words and self-promotion but through the perspective and validation of others. You can put your accomplishments and skills all you want, but ultimately, what people say about you carries greater weight.
Your LinkedIn recommendations section is, without a doubt, the best place to build strong social proof and third-party credibility. Every recommendation serves as an online review about you and what it’s like working with you, and these statements will help recruiters trust you and move forward with your application.
2. They give recruiters a more holistic view of your work experience, competence, and skills
With the myriad of job applications being submitted for a single job opening, you need to take advantage of anything that can help you stand out from the pool of candidates, get an interview, and land the job.
LinkedIn recommendations give recruiters an overview of all the different companies you’ve worked for and how you were in your work as vouched by other people. It would be a plus if the one giving the recommendation is someone the recruiter knows or someone who is a mutual connection.
Recommendations also give you a space where you can share parts of your personality, character, or skills that you aren’t too comfortable saying about yourself.
For instance, if you are big on servant leadership, promoting this about yourself would feel awkward. But through LinkedIn recommendations, someone who has worked with you can attest to your servant leadership and share this on your profile. And this would most definitely carry more weight than having you proclaim this yourself.
3. LinkedIn recommendations are verifiable references
The good thing about the LinkedIn recommendations is that they are visible to anyone looking at your profile. The best thing is that every recommendation is tied to the LinkedIn profile of the person writing it!
So any prospective employer, recruiter, or hiring manager can just click and go through the profile of the person giving the recommendation to further investigate and vet the job candidate. They can also reach out to the person and ask them to expand on what they really think about the candidate.
4. LinkedIn recommendations help you rank higher in LinkedIn search results
Another important reason why LinkedIn recommendations are essential is that they help you rank higher in search results, especially when they are peppered with relevant and industry-specific keywords that a recruiter might search for. Using strong keywords in your LinkedIn recommendations section is an opportunity to boost and optimize your profile ranking in recruiter and company search results.
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Now that we already know how vital LinkedIn recommendations are, the more critical question remains: How many LinkedIn recommendations should you have?
Quality beats quantity
As with any other review, these two things have a significant bearing on the effectiveness and weight of your LinkedIn recommendations section:
- The quality of the recommendation
- The person making the recommendation
Yes, having many recommendations would be good but having five high-quality recommendations is way better than having too many low-quality ones. At the end of the day, quality trumps quantity.
Here are a few suggestions:
- If you’ve worked under different companies before, get at least one recommendation from each of your previous managers.
- Get at least one recommendation from a workmate or colleague who knows how you do your work and what you can offer.
- Have at least one recommendation from someone who’s part of your team if you are leading one.
- If you have been volunteering, get at least one recommendation from your supervisor or the Executive Director of the organization.
- If you offer services, get at least one recommendation from a satisfied client.
This is not an exhaustive list, but the goal is to get quality recommendations from people who can vouch for you and whom you trust. The importance of reaching out to different people from your previous companies is that this helps provide recruiters and prospective employers with various perspectives about you as a job candidate.
The LinkedIn recommendations section indeed plays a critical role in boosting your reputation and helping you stand out during your job search. And now that we already know that these recommendations help shape a recruiter’s view and opinion of you one way or another, getting quality recommendations is definitely worth your time, effort, and energy.
Learn how to get solid recommendations and give one in this article. You can also check our comprehensive LinkedIn profile writing guide to build a robust profile that gets noticed by recruiters or run your LinkedIn profile through our optimization tool and see if it is optimized for your job search!