Most professionals I know suggest fewer quality recommendations over quantity. Of course, this depends on your level of experience and the number of positions you’ve held.
We had a great discussion on this very topic at an Institute of Management Consultants Los Angeles breakfast meeting. My colleague Jeremy Eskenazi, Managing Principal at global human resources consulting firm Riviera Advisors, cautions against too many or reciprocal recommendations. “I curate my LinkedIn recommendations so it doesn’t dilute my reputation. Too many recommendations and reciprocal recommendations can be a detriment to a candidate’s credibility.” Read Jeremy’s related blog on how to show up credibly on social media – Just Be You!
I do believe that when it comes to LinkedIn recommendations, less is more. In addition to being wary of high quantities and reciprocal recommendations, keep in mind that recruiters and business owners don’t have time to read many recommendations. Just as you should have a concise resume for hirers to review, so too should you have a concise LinkedIn profile and recommendations.
I also believe that reciprocal recommendations are a detriment. Wary recruiters and managers do look at the profiles of your “recommenders.” If you have also recommended your recommender, it raises a yellow flag, if not a red flag. Having reciprocal recommendations is similar to reciprocal links that Google used to favor for SEO rankings. Now not only is that gig up, it will work against you.
LinkedIn suggests 3 recommendations to contribute to a “100% complete” profile. LinkedIn automatically tracks this and serves up reminders for you to complete your profile, including recommendations.
I recommend that initially you should try to get three to ten solid recommendations. Then, over time, you can curate existing recommendations and replace or add to them with new ones if they are stronger and more specific. For more information, check out the discussion on the LinkedIn Strategies Group, as well as this Forbes article, Everything You Need to Know About LinkedIn Recommendations.
How many LinkedIn recommendations do you think are ideal? The more the merrier? Quality over quantity? Please comment below.
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