Apricate Career Management Solutions

Bask In Your Success

Leave a comment

How To Write A LinkedIn Recommendation In 3 Steps

LinkedIn is the leading social networking site for professionals.  My favourite thing about it is the Recommendations feature.  It allows your connections to leave endorsements of your work on your profile for others to read.  They are mini reference letters that answer the question for readers, “Why should I network or do business with this individual?”

Writing recommendations for other professionals is one way to show your appreciation or whom you are connected to.  The most common reason to write a recommendation is that it leads to receiving recommendations.  LinkedIn prompts recommendation receivers to reciprocate with writing a recommendation for the person who recommended them.  The reason you want to write and receive well-written LinkedIn recommendations is because they are evidence that you are who you say you are; they endorse your personal brand.

Personally, I enjoy writing recommendations, unfortunately, not every professional has the gift of writing. With that comes dread that leads to writers block.  I’m presenting a simple process for composing a LinkedIn recommendation that you will be proud to give.

Step 1. Brainstorm

Most LinkedIn recommendations hold similar information.  You will need to brainstorm responses to these common questions for each recommendation you write:

  • How long have I known this person?
  • How do I know this person?
  • What key projects or work have we collaborated on and the result (think numbers)?
  • What outstanding skills (know how), attributes (characteristics and attitude), and expertise (knowledge) does this person possess?
  • How did working with this person make me feel?
  • How did/does their work benefit the project, company, or field we work in?
  • Would I work with this person again?
  • Why do I recommend them and for what?

If writing comes naturally to you then this is all the information you need to compose your recommendation.  If you are still struggling then read on.

Step 2. Fill In The Blanks

With the answers to the above questions on hand, writing a LinkedIn recommendation is as easy as filling in the blanks.  There are many common sentences found within LinkedIn recommendations.  You can take almost any recommendation you read and break it down into its essential elements that you can then replicate in your own words.

Here’s an example of a generic recommendation:

“I have known Joe Smith for 5 years.  We worked together at ABC Company.  One of our key projects was developing an employee engagement strategy that resulted in increased employee retention by 80%.  Joe is extremely confident, determined, and outcome-oriented.  His expertise in human resources and employee engagement strategies far surpasses others in the field.  I welcome the opportunity to work with Joe again in the future.”

When broken down into its essential elements it looks like this:

“I have known name for # years.  We worked together at company name.  One of our key projects was project name that resulted in project resultName is attribute 1, attribute 2, and attribute 3.  His/her expertise in outstanding knowledge and outstanding skill far surpasses others in the field.  I welcome the opportunity to work with name again in the future.”

Some other common fill in the blank statements you could use are:

  • In the # years that I’ve known name I’ve been continually impressed with skill, characteristic, and expertise.
  • Name is has a reputation for being attribute 1, attribute 2, and attribute 3.
  • Name is known for his/her skills in outstanding skill 1 and outstanding skills 2.
  • Name was the driving force behind name of project that resulted in…
  • I highly recommend name if you are looking for someone who is knowledgeable about outstanding expertise, skilled in outstanding skill, and name an attribute.

3. Edit

Pick the above statements that fit your needs best and use them as a starting point for writing your recommendation.  Once you fill in the blanks, I encourage you to edit what you’ve written to be more personal to your experience with the person you are recommending.  When you think you are done your recommendation, read it out loud to yourself.  If it flows well, then you may have a winner.  Get someone else to proofread it for grammar and punctuation; it’s hard to see these mistake yourself.  Finding those types of mistakes in a recommendation discredits the author and looks bad for the person you are recommending.  When you’re ready send it to the person you are recommending with a personalized message.

With this three-step approach writing a LinkedIn recommendation does not have to be a daunting task.  Simply answer the questions above to give you the content you need to write a recommendation worth reciprocating.  Happy writing!

Leave a comment

Why To Keep Your Resume Up To Date

I cannot count the number of times I’ve advised people to revisit their resume often. How often is that exactly? The answer is simple: as often as necessary. Whenever something changes, as soon as you have new experience, skills, knowledge, education or training that would benefit your resume, add it.

Everyone, whether happily in a job or not planning to apply anywhere in the foreseeable future should get into the habit of noting whenever something would be beneficial for their resume. You never know when you will need your resume next. Think about your dream job. If a job opening came up for your dream job, you know, the kind of opportunity you don’t want to miss – would your resume be ready to hand in today?

By noting whenever something new happens, you will keep your resume up to date and ready to go. The physical act of updating your resume on the computer might not be possible (e.g., don’t have access to a computer or are super busy). Instead get into the mindset of noting whenever something would be helpful to land your next job. When you have those thoughts, just grab a pen and jot them down on a copy of your resume or keep important documents (such as certificates, performance reviews, workshop notes) in a folder or binder. Then make a date with yourself to update your resume on the computer every three to six months to keep it current.

Here’s a little story to illustrate my point. Recently I found the ideal job for me. Problem was I hadn’t updated my resume in over three years! I was very busy and the closing date was only a couple hours from when I found the posting. I emailed the hiring manager and sent her a link to my LinkedIn profile, but it was not enough. Not only did I not have a current resume, my LinkedIn profile was out of date too. Turn the clock forward a bit and I got contacted on Twitter with an opportunity for my dream job! Super exciting I know, but I still hadn’t updated my resume! I had spent hours updating my LinkedIn profile which lead to being recruited, but I still had to put my life on hold so I could update my resume and get it in on time.

As you go about your life and are making your way along your career path, make note of your key accomplishments and experiences so you will be ready for your next big opportunity. It also helps you to identify skill gaps so you can make a learning plan to address them. Keep your resume and LinkedIn profile (if you have one) up to date so you are ready for your next big opportunity.


Establishing Your Online Presence Without Social Media

© office.microsoft.com

Whether you are ready to leap into the world of social media or not, people are already talking about you online—and they may not be saying what you want them to say about you. It might not be that they are saying bad things; they just might not be saying what you want them to. By establishing your presence online you are able to influence what people are saying about you, by framing who you are and what your business can do for others.

There are two types of online profiles. In previous posts we discussed interactive profiles (aka social media) and the basic elements of an online profile. This post discusses non-interactive profiles (aka static profiles), places for one way sharing of information; you talk and your audience listens.

Some static profiles to consider are:  Read More…

Leave a comment

6 Social Media Sites For Building Your Online Presence

Establishing your online presence is essential to influencing what others are saying about you on the internet. Previously we discussed the basic elements of an online profile. Now we’re going to move into the types of profiles to consider: interactive and non-interactive. Interactive profiles are built on Web 2.0 technology and are often referred to as “social media.” These are platforms for you to interact with your target audience, virtual meeting places for people to get to know each other.

Some popular social media sites to consider are: Read More…

Social Media for building online presence

Leave a comment

How To Turn Facebook Into A Virtual Resume

Facebook has changed it up again; Facebook Timeline has been launched and the response has been well received. It’s an entirely new way to look at social media profiles and the change works in your favour. For the first time you can go back and edit your past activity on Facebook by adding life events and status updates. This means you can go back to your birth and recreate your life on social media, filling in the gaps for your friends.

This is incredibly beneficial for job seekers. There are over 800 million active people on Facebook and one of your friends may be the connection to your next job lead. Are you ready? Besides posting that you are looking for work in your status updates, you can make the most of Facebook’s current functionality by making these updates to your profile.  Read More…

Leave a comment

8 Time-Management Tips For Working From Home

© Andrew Finegan

Working from home can feel like a juggling act at the best of times. It’s not easy to balance the kids, dishes, and laundry with a never-ending stream of emails, conference calls, and project assignments. How do people who work from home do it? After four years working from home myself, I can say with certainty that it is a dynamic juggling act that changes all the time.

One of the first things I had to learn was time-management skills. Making a to do list everyday just didn’t cut it. I found I would work like crazy and still have a number of things left on the list, leaving me feeling incredibly frustrated. I have since learned that every part of my day needs to be purposeful and I need to work smarter, not harder. Here are some time management tips to consider if you’re currently working or planning to work from home. Read More…

Leave a comment

Top 4 Benefits of Webinars

I know it has been awhile since my last blog post. I find I get so busy with the details of life that I am a blogcrastinator! I have good reason too. I have fallen in love with webinars, a.k.a teleseminars. I have done nine of them in the last three months. I excitedly login at weird times from the comfort of my kitchen computer and then call in on the conference call line for clear audio.

1. Learn New Things: I have learned about finding the right career, becoming a better writer, blogging and vlogging with CareerJoy.com’s Alan Kearn. I have learned about starting a business and renaissance personalities with Careerealism.com’s JT Odonnell and how to beat writer’s block with Meggin.com’s Meggin McIntosh. As I look at my giant calendar on the fridge I count four more scheduled this month.

2. They’re Free: Did I mention they were all free? I have not had to pay a cent for any of this valuable learning. I have been so impressed with the value that I am considering some of the paid webinars in the future. Each session I have learned more than one thing to make my life easier. I found out about them through Twitter and my LinkedIn groups. Sign-up was easy too. I was a bit nervous the first time but I found a great resource that explains webinars for newbies at Emphasis on Excellence.

3. They’re Convenient: Being a mother of three, there are always kids competing for my attention while they run around my house. I find webinars fit conveniently into my life. I can be a stay-at-home mom and continue learning from the comfort of my home. I can participate during nap/quiet time or any time that is convenient for me. Many of them are recorded, so even if the time doesn’t work out for me I can confirm my attendance and the recording will be sent to me after the event. At night I find myself listening to webinars instead of watching TV! Webinars often come with a slide presentations or handouts that emphasize the webinars message. Sometimes the presenter goes a bit fast so I do a quick screen capture so I can revisit the slide later.

4. They’re Interactive: Webinars are not all listening. There are some that allow you to verbally ask questions. Others allow you to interact with the presenters through a chat box. Even on webinars that have hundreds of attendees my personal questions have been addressed. I dare not un-mute myself for the obnoxious noise of my bustling home but the chat box allows me the interaction I desire. I always follow-up with a public thanks and connecting through LinkedIn and/or Twitter. This is just to acknowledge that I value their time and contribution. I have also signed up for valuable resources through the individual presenter’s websites.

Whether you are a professional or a stay-at-home mom (or both – like me), webinars are a great way to learn something new. They’re also a great way to beef up your resume if you are trying to break into a new career or are trying to excel in a current one. I am always up for taking new webinars. Do you know of any great webinars coming up?