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LinkedIn Recommendations. Is it really useful?


As we see, people praise each other in LinkedIn recommendations. No one will say anything about bad about others. Even if someone writes, the recipient will not display it. Then what is use of recommendation? Does it really help?


It is a valid observation ! It sounds like mutual admiration society. My own LinkedIn profile has recommendations from some people whom I too have recommended.

In spite of the observation, it is still credible. Here is how:

When you work with someone nasty and you are not impressed, would you recommend? Not likely. Out of courtesy, if you recommend someone, what would you write? You will write the best qualities. If someone is smart but does not work, you are likely to write that this person is smart. You may not write the rest. Likewise, when you see someone who gets results and become very dependable, you are likely to write those good details.

When I hire people, I try to look up. If there are explicit strengths mentioned and if it is mentioned by multiple people, then it is credible. Also I observe what is not said. If someone is considered hardworking without any other word about results or circumstances, I may not be impressed with the hardworking nature. Also if I see recommendation of great social skills, but no mention of technical depth, I notice that too. For some  roles, the specific combination might be more suitable.

The recommendations are useful, if we see through them and use them for cross checking.