Yes – it’s happened again. Writers block! Only this time, all I have to do is write a few simple sentences about why I think Joe Smith is great. And I really do think he’s a fabulous manager. He has really turned around productivity in the customer service department. I remember when he made a suggestion to change the customer lead form that revolutionized our process…or the time he implemented his “Service is the Key” reward program; that was a great moral booster. Good stuff. Boy, he sure will be missed around here.
[double-take] [bulb illuminates over head]
[keys tap furiously]
What you’ve just witnessed is what’s known as the “a-ha moment.” That instant when things fall into place and you realize maybe you’ve been over-thinking a problem. Such is the case with writing LinkedIn recommendations.
A few weeks ago, I posed the question on LinkedIn:
Do you have a format you use when writing a LinkedIn recommendation? ..or does it just “free-flow” from your brain?
I truly appreciate all the wonderful advice that was freely given. Compiled here is the shortlist about writing LinkedIn recommendations:
1. “First, state how and in what capacity I know the individual; then, characterize their work style and/or accomplishments; third, provide an example or two; finally, close with a strong “vote of confidence” statement.”
2. “…be concise and specific using numbers (facts) where possible.”
3. “They should sound natural, but they cannot be amateurish either, or they lose credibility, and that includes attention to grammar. They must be sincere and to the point, but enthusiastic about the person.”
4. “Saying the truth according to your core values of honesty, accountability and transparency, and not in function of a convenient or polite lie, is all that is needed to write meaningful and sincere recommendations that will prove to be helpful to whom might require it.”
5. “If you are going to use a formula, or give standard script recommendations, then it says little factually about you, but much about both peoples lack of character. Approving a duff and formulaic recommendation is worse then giving one.”
6. “A generic recommendation, which is what it would be if it’s ‘formatted’, means absolutely nothing and may actually ‘harm’ the person to whom you’re intending to give a recommendation.”
7. “I only recommend those that I know, personally. In my business, we only have our reputations.”
In summary, your recommendations are like gold. Don’t give them to just anyone. Write them from the heart based on your true impression of the person. Here’s what I ended up with for Joe Smith:
“Joe Smith is a fabulous Customer Service Manager. He implemented a process in our department that revolutionized a form submittal process, saving us about 8 hours of admin time each week. His vision of a “Service is the Key” reward program was a great moral booster that resulted in superior service by our reps. Joe’s leadership and training skills have greatly benefited our organization. I highly recommend Joe as an excellent Customer Service Manager.”