LinkedIn Recommendations For Your Job Hunt: Do They Help?
By: Tracy Levine, President, Advantage Talent, Inc.
Recently, I was forwarded an article about how Executives could get a job through LinkedIn. One of the suggestions was to solicit recommendations for the hiring manager to read. The observation was made that in the normal job situation you only get to provide a few recommendations but now with LinkedIn you can give the hiring manager even more positive recommendations to read. The declaration made me laugh out loud. Published studies show that the average hiring manager only looks at a resume for 10-15 seconds. It flies in the face of logic to think that the hiring manager who only takes seconds to read a candidate’s resume is going to take even one second to read recommendations on LinkedIn. Professional Executive Recruiters and HR Directors are tasked with asking specific questions that relate to the job at hand when calling a reference. A short recommendation on LinkedIn isn’t even in the same league as a real recommendation and cannot be compared.
Some people have taken to attaching their LinkedIn recommendations to their resume. Most Executive Recruiters and hiring managers I have spoken with say they take recommendations on LinkedIn with a grain of salt. Recommendations that are from people who have actually worked with the person or used a person’s services are the closest to real recommendations. The problem with LinkedIn recommendations is that many people solicit recommendations from people who know them from social situations and networking but cannot speak to the person’s work experience. Another problem is the “you give me a recommendation” and “I will give you a recommendation” situation. Typically, these exchanges are not conducive to real or to meaningful recommendations.
Getting recommendations are great if you stick to only getting and giving recommendations to people you have personally worked with in a meaningful capacity. However, no amount of recommendations can erase a checkered history. It is the job of the Professional Recruiter or HR Director to do a thorough background check.