Are you a LinkedIn member yet? If not, you definitely should be. If you are, connect with me! It’s an online network for professionals that essentially allows you to have your resume posted online 24/7. It’s a great tool to use to see what other people in your industry are doing, talking about, and working on.
Probably one of my favorite features is the ability to recommend people you know or have worked with in the past. Prospective employers and recruiters like to see that you have had a positive impact on those around you. The great thing about the formatting of recommendations is that, when you write one for someone else, that person has the option to review, publish, and then recommend you back. It’s an awesome give-and-take relationship setup.
If you’re on LinkedIn and aren’t writing recommendations on a regular basis, you’re really missing out on a few fantastic benefits to doing so:
1. Showcased Writing Skills
It’s easy to think that what you post online will only be seen by you and your close friends (Hi, Mom!). But blogs, facebook, twitter, etc. all prove the exact opposite. My wife’s blog has regular viewers from all over the world! You should definitely check it out. LinkedIn is no different. If your recommendations are published, they are not only seen by you and your friends but by anyone who views the profile of the person you recommended. They may not necessarily be looking to hire, but recruiters take the ability to write and communicate professionally seriously.
2. Win Friends and Influence People
To borrow from Zig Ziglar, “You can have everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” Recommendations on LinkedIn provide a great way to do just that. Help other people get what they want. Not to mention, think about the improvement of your professional and personal relationships with people for whom you have just written a dazzling recommendation.
3. Think Positive
Saying nice things about people forces you to notice the good and eliminate any negative feelings you have towards them. Note: Unless you do that, your recommendation won’t be very good at all. That being said, if you’re angry at someone, write something nice about them and those feelings tend to melt away. Thinking positively about people has all sorts of inherent benefits. You would not believe how much easier people are to work with when all you can think about them is friendly, positive, and productive.
All of that being said, get to writing. It makes you a better employee, more effective communicator, and an all around happier person.
“But you don’t have to take my word for it…” – Levar Burton (Reading Rainbow)
Just get going. You never know, you may be writing your own blog post about it in the near future. Let me know when that happens. I’d love to read it.