BLUF - I get tons of requests for Linkedin recommendations.  Some I would like to do in a second, others not as much.  


I'm really to the point of not putting any more recommendations out there (I have 4 now).  I've avoided it on purpose - the recommendations are public, including to their co-workers and those that might make an inference on me due to the recommendation.  I would only put something positive on a recommendation, so I'll refuse those who I've had issues with.

Recently, a company I was at 5 years ago let go half of my old directs.  They all reached out.  Even the guy who I had on a PIP as I left! 

Any advice?  Do recommendations make any difference anyway??  I don't look at them when I'm hiring, but I always look at the linkedin profiles to see how close they are to the submitted resume.  Since I'm looking for new work (as an IT Executive), should I be stockpiling recommendations?

jrosenau's picture

I think that you are right to be careful.  Recommendations mean more to some people than others.  Like you, some people don't even look at them.  Others may take them into consideration. 
Since it is virtual, people put less stock in recommendations because the threshold to write one is lower; however, I would stick to the reference question: Would I give the person a reference in real life?  If I got a call from a company, could I honestly recommend this person for a job? 
Based on the fact that all these people reached out AFTER being let go, I would be wary to do them all at once.  I would probably let them sit for a little bit and then decide who to recommend and who to decline.  You could even stretch it out and do a couple every month until your backlog is gone.

Maybe you can recommend the interviewing series and once they complete it and have a one page resume, then you can recommend them ;-)

Good Luck.


mattpalmer's picture

For all the same reasons that I would ignore letters of recommendation.  They only tell me what the candidate wants me to know, which is never, ever going to be a full and complete picture.  The recommendation also doesn't speak to my decision criteria for the role I'm trying to fill.

Whenever I see a glowing recommendation from someone who's worked with the person, I think "so why aren't you hiring them, then?"  Unless you're just engaging in unwarranted puffery, of course, and they're not really *that* good...