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Two people join Linkedin every second. This one statistic tells scores about Linkedin’s growing popularity. People are using Linkedin for professional networking, intelligence, and recruitment purposes.  But how does an individual can make the most out of this vibrant network?

You should seek some good Linkedin recommendations from your network to display on your profile. A great recommendation can prove to be the difference between getting a new project offer or a position over someone else.  But there are certain things you should keep in mind before you go about giving or getting recommendations. Here are some guidelines that will tell you what to do and what not to do.

Request for Specific Recommendations

Waiting for someone to recommend you is not a good idea. You may end up waiting for too long. Instead, you should ask someone for the recommendation.  But make sure that you make a personal and polite request. Those who use Linkedin often must be knowing that Linkedin autofills the recommendation box with some text. Take that text out and then ask the person to recommend you for something specific. It can be a big project on which you worked together. Not doing so would mean that you end up with a recommendation that says ‘he is a great guy’. But this is of course not what you want. You want a recommendation which is specific and distinct.

Do Not Go About Asking Recommendation from Everyone

I come across a lot of people who send requests for Linkedin recommendations to all connections in their network. You should not do that. Because you may not have worked with most of your connections. Getting a generic recommendation (great guy type) or a recommendation for a job you are not looking for (he is a good landlord) is worthless. No one wants such silly Linkedin recommendations to be added on to their business profile.

Never Ignore a Recommendation Request

And when you receive a request seeking a recommendation, never ignore it. You may not really know that person too well but ignoring their request is not the right thing to do. Instead you should get back to that person and express your inability to recommend them at this moment in a professional way. For example, you can respond like this “Thanks for the recommendation request. However, I will not be able to endorse your work at this moment. I don’t think we know each other well. Feel free to contact me at a later date if that changes.“  So you have turned down the request gently as you are unable to recommend that person at this time. The good thing is that you are not leaving the recommendation request hanging.

It is Important How You Recommend

It feels great to have some really good Linkedin recommendations studded on your profile. But how you recommend and get recommended is also very crucial. I suggest people to avoid having their entire team recommending each other. It not only looks cheesy but does not add value as well. When you recommend someone it shows up not only on their profile but what you have written is also visible on your profile as well. So take care.

Updating Recommendations

Yes, it does not happen often but still when it happens here is what you need to do.  Click “Sent Recommendations”  link in your profile and simply withdraw the recommendation you wish to remove. Or you may want to edit a specific recommendation or fix a spelling mistake, you can do that as well.

Thank the People Who Recommend You

When someone recommends you, you are also given an option to return the gesture. But if you do not feel like recommending that person, do not recommend. May be you can do that further down the road. But as a matter of courtesy you should send him or her a note saying Thank You.

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