Recently a client asked me about giving, and requesting, recommendations on LinkedIn. She had two questions, I’ll address them both.

Q – “I’m a bit shy to ask people for a recommendation, and I’m thinking of writing some that I would anyway, and hope some will write one for me or should I ask directly?”

A – If you love what someone is up to, or had a fabulous experience working with him/her, and want to give them a recommendation do so. And do it without the intention that they will write one for you. Think of it as a gift. They may (or may not) reciprocate. That’s up to them.

Even though you may be shy about it, if you want a recommendation from someone, just ask directly. People are busy and it doesn’t always occur to them to proactively think about writing recommendations.

You already know the people you plan to ask so they’re probably happy to do it. And if they don’t do it, please don’t take it personally. Remember, there’s no harm in asking.

“You create your opportunities by asking for them.” Shakti Gawain

Q – “Also, if someone hasn’t asked for a recommendation, is it strange to write one for them (since I don’t know what they are aiming for in terms of future career growth)?”

A – Not at all. Whatever you write will be about your positive experience with that person, which is always beneficial.  It doesn’t matter if the person is now doing something completely different than when you worked together. This is because the attributes and skills the person exhibited during your encounter will reveal valuable qualities that remain with the person.

To learn more about referrals, check out my article Who Else Wants More Referrals?

What’s your take? How do you ask for recommendations of your work?

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