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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!

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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.

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Who’s The Boss Of The Self-Employed?

Who's the boss of the self-employed?

© cliff1066™

I’ve heard the phrase, “be your own boss” so many times that it appears to be synonymous with the term “self-employed.” But, is that really an accurate description? The formal definition of “boss” is, “an employer or supervisor” or “one who makes decisions or exercises authority” (Nelson Canadian Dictionary, 1998). Although self-employed people have authority over their business activities and make decisions on what work they accept, they still have to answer to a number of others. Let’s take a look at who else has some authority or influence on the work of the self-employed, the ones that keep the self-employed accountable for their business activities. Read More…


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…

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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

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3 Questions That Lead To LinkedIn and Social Networking Success

There is a lot of info out there to increase your efficiency with social networking. A Google search turns up several results—I simply looked up “how to network with people” and a book by Harvey McKay, titled “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty” came up. As the title indicates, it does make sense to have a well ready by the time you need to drink from it. Likewise, active social networking turns up the most results when created before you need the benefits of the network itself. It is best to use a simple strategy developed by answering the three simple questions outlined below. Read More…

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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…