It was the summer of 1992 and I was getting ready to enter the 10th grade. I found myself switching back and forth between Guns N' Roses and Red Hot Chili Peppers songs, flashing my L.A. Gears and being observed from a mile away in my neon shirts. One thing was for sure: Slam Books were the “in” thing. Remember those nifty little spiral notebooks where we wrote things such as, “Who is your secret crush?” The best part was passing around the notebook only to receive it back and see our name on that list.
The bad news for me is that my name was never on that list. The good news is that the Slam Book has returned, in full-force, through social media. No, I’m not referring to how many “likes” you are getting on a status update on Facebook. What I am referencing here is something so much bigger than we ever imagined.
“What do you think of me?”
LinkedIn allows you to answer that. How? Through the power of recommendations.
LinkedIn recommendations are in fact the 2015 version of the Slam Book. They are better than those typed letters of recommendations we used to ask for from our teachers and ex-bosses. On LinkedIn, your recommendation remains in plain view online for the entire cyber world to see. The best part: LinkedIn recommendations give you enormous credibility because of their public appearance. They are a permanent footprint on your online presence. That footprint can generate more jobs and more leads for your career growth than you deemed plausible.
Anyone checking out your profile on LinkedIn can look at your recommendations and look at the recommender’s profile. That drives traffic to both of your profiles which increases your visibility and profile ranking. Hello, celebrity status!
Now begs the question: What type of recommendations should you write?
You want a recommendation that is going to draw the attention of the reader and leave him or her with an everlasting impression. Pretend as though the one reading the recommendation knows nothing about the person. Be direct and specific. You can even tell a short story of your own personal experience with that person. We recommend a five-part process: 1) a great introduction that grabs the reader’s attention; 2) an explanation of your relationship (i.e., what he/she did for you); 3) a unique characteristic or trait about that person (insert bold adjective here); 4) personalize it; and 5) end with a clincher of why you recommend the person.
Here’s an example of that process set into motion:
“There are lots of resume writers out there but The Writing Guru is different than the rest. She took the time to really ask me about my career goals and objectives. She created a resume that literally blew my mind and blew up my phone with interviews. Even after I accepted a great job, I was still getting calls for interviews, weeks later! If you want results, look no further than The Writing Guru.”
Now it’s your turn to create your own Slam Book for 2015. But first, crank up the volume on “Paradise City.”