Your LinkedIn profile has essentially become a press kit for the professional individual, putting everything you’d want to send to a potential employer all in one place.

One of those things is letter of recommendation, and LinkedIn makes it easier than ever to ask for, and proudly display such a letter.

Having recommendations also eliminates the “references upon request” back-and-forth you might otherwise have to go through. Hiring managers can easily browse the recommendations on your LinkedIn profile and make decisions based on what they find.

How many do you need?

It’s a good idea to have more than just one or two. In fact, some recruiters have said they won’t even consider candidates without at least 5 or 10.

Start by aiming for 10 recommendations. That might sound like a lot, but you’re not asking for a full-blown ringing endorsement – just maybe a paragraph or two about a specific project or relationship. Getting a few more than that isn’t going to be detrimental, and perhaps more importantly, seeking out recommendations will help you reconnect with old colleagues, clients and partners.

How do I go about asking for recommendations?

Try to get two or three from each previous job, and don’t blanket all your connections with a generic request for a recommendation. Some kind words from your old restaurant manager aren’t going to be worth much if you aren’t in the hospitality industry anymore.

Don’t sit around waiting for somebody to contact you about a recommendation. You might be waiting a long time. Preferably, you should be asking others in a personal and polite manner.

When the LinkedIn recommendation request form pops up, take out the text that initially appears and ask for something specific the two of you collaborated on together, like a big project. You want to avoid getting a recommendation that is generic because this doesn’t offer much value to a potential employer.

If possible, find out the results of your collaboration. Did sales rise or costs go down? Hard data reveals how your knowledge and skills were put to use.

An effective way to ask for a recommendation is to ask people you have done a favor for. This is a trade-off the recruiters use all the time after they land someone a new job. Simply put, ask for the recommendation when you deserve it the most.

Finally, be sure to thank those who have taken the time to write some kind words about you.

Being strategic

Shoot for variety and quality in your portfolio of recommendations. Ideally, it should include co-workers, clients, supervisors, partners, companies and other people relevant to your career. Too much diversity will seem odd, so attempt to keep a nice equilibrium. Avoid recommendations from friends and family unless you have worked with them.

At ZDA, we help supply chain job candidates with every part of the job-seeking process. If you’re in need of assistance, contact a leader in supply chain recruitment today!