Everyone likes to read nice things about themselves, and that’s especially true about positive LinkedIn recommendations, since the praise can help land future jobs and further your career.
But how often do you give or receive unsolicited recommendations? Probably not often. People tend to write recommendations when they are requested or if they are seeking a recommendation themselves.
Giving recommendations out of the blue can have unexpected benefits, though, says Eva Wisnik, president of Wisnik, a career strategy firm in New York City.
Wisnik started 2012 off by writing seven LinkedIn recommendations to people who positively impacted her professionally in 2011.
One of the keys for Wisnik was writing the recommendations without expecting recommendations in return. Instead, she hoped that her words would inspire each person to write a recommendation for someone who made a difference in their career or business, whether that be herself or someone else.
“If someone did something great for you, and you give them a positive and unsolicited recommendation, then it may trigger them writing one for someone else,” said Wisnik. “By putting something good out in the universe, it may come back to you.”
She recommends being very specific about the person’s impact or positive contributions to avoid sounding gratuitous. “You could say you really enjoyed their creativity on the project you worked together on, that their contributions helped make a great event or that collaborating together was a positive experience,” said Wisnik.
If it is a client or other similar relationship, she suggests letting them preview the recommendation. Wisnik also recommends following up after posting the review since some of the people she recommended didn’t realize that she had sent a recommendation.
Wisnik plans on continuing the practice throughout the year and wants to write at least one recommendation per month in 2012. To help her remember, she makes a note on her mobile calendar when she thinks positive thoughts about someone in her professional life.
Writing LinkedIn recommendations has been an extremely positive experience for Wisnik and she encourages others to do the same. “I could not believe how good it made me feel,” said Wisnik. “It really felt like giving someone a real gift.”