The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

October 21, 2016

LinkedIn Recommendations: Permanent and Necessary Testimonials in the Age of Social Proof

Consumers overwhelmingly depend on verified peer opinions to make informed choices. How many times have you eaten in a restaurant without consulting Yelp? Will you purchase a product from Amazon before examining feedback from past purchasers? Are you comfortable ignoring star ratings and reviews when booking a hotel room on KAYAK?

If employers, too, are buyers and job seekers are products, the social proof principle applies on a larger scale. Hiring a new employee is far more expensive than a purchase from a restaurant, Amazon, or KAYAK. Moreover, the cost to replace the wrong employee is about 20 percent of the position’s annual salary. The risk of making a poor hire is a large reason why employers conduct reference checks prior to presenting job offers.

Employers contact your references as you near the end of the hiring process. Depending on your circumstances, though, you’re not involved in any hiring processes and no one is speaking to your advocates. Legitimate “reviews” of your professional expertise should be available to employers at all times.

This is why we recommend taking advantage of LinkedIn’s Recommendations feature to preserve positive testimonials of your accomplishments, skills, and character in one convenient place for public viewing.

Recommendations broadcast your strengths in the words of individuals other than you. You can brag about your achievements on your resume and LinkedIn profile as much as you’d like, but recommendations more convincingly support your claims.

Similarly, recommendations from identifiable, traceable sources are authentic. When a hiring manager or recruiter reads a recommendation on your profile, he or she can easily view its author and his or her relationship to them.

A strong display of recommendations reinforces confidence in your capabilities and eliminates doubt that you are unqualified. Suppose that a hiring manager has narrowed down the candidate pool for a specific job to 20 equally qualified candidates. Reviewing the applicants’ LinkedIn recommendations can reduce this number further. With a handful of substantial reviews of your professional work, you can keep yourself in the running.

A final bonus of cultivating recommendations is that you can easily reach out the authors for job references in the future. It is easily for the author to restate the same points from his or her Recommendation of you to a potential employer.

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