LinkedIn: the tricky question of recommendations
Thread poster: Anne Diamantidis

Anne Diamantidis  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:49
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
Apr 20, 2012

Dear colleagues,

For those of you who use LinkedIn as a business and networking tool, here's an article "The tricky question of LinkedIn recommendations"

I'm curious about your take, experience and thoughts on this question.

Cheers
Anne


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't see the point Apr 20, 2012

Am too busy to read the article, but here's my own subjective opinion of LinkedIn: I find it a nuisance, and not at all useful or helpful, since I'm not really interested in networking or making new contacts.

In fact, I'd like to block it from my inbox but don't know how and can't be bothered to take the time find out.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:49
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Interesting Apr 20, 2012

My rules:

1. Never recommend anyone unless I have frequently worked with/for that person for a number of years or I know the person very well indeed as a result of a very long friendship.

2. No need to back-recommend.

3. No response to requests for recommendation. I add recommendaitons just when I feel like it.

4. Keep the number of recommendations to a minimum, since you never know what kind of expression could be potentially damaging to the other person in a career change.

I think so far I have only added recommendations about some 5/6 people in LinkedIn after nearly a decade of use.

I don't feel compelled to add recommendations for anyone so that they recommend me or to secure/promote any kind of transaction: my recommendations are the result of sincere respect and appreciation to someone on a personal level after knowing the person for years.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:49
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
So very true Apr 20, 2012

I simply hate recommendations.

I have been unemployed at various stages of my life, and have had to ask for them, simply because potential employers insisted, and I needed a job.

Never again.
I used to have a line on my profile that I do NOT ask for references. However, I did make an exception in an exceptional situation, and I now have two unsolicited WWA's.

I am very rarely asked to give recommendations. And to my acute embarrassment, I once bungled one that I sincerely meant!

I do occasionally add LWAs to the Blue Board - somehow that is different, but when I give a 5, it is because I really, really like that client. Otherwise my LWAs are negative, to warn others off.

I am very much a loner, but there are some colleagues and PMs I would recommend if they asked me. It warmed my heart when the two recommended me, but it does not worry me in the least if no one else does.

On the whole, look in my portfolio, look at my KudoZ, and think about the stuff I add almost daily in the forums. That is the nice, business side of me, and if you want to work with me, then let's take it from there.


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Texte Style
Local time: 16:49
French to English
I have recommended several people Apr 20, 2012

It just so happens that those who have asked me for recommendations have been excellent translators so I write sincere, glowing reports.

For one in LinkedIn I had to give points in a mini questionnaire, one question being about creative flair. Since it was for a translator specialising in pharmaceutics, who did boring (for me) reports about drug trials for the FDA, I had had no opportunity of assessing that. there was no "not applicable" option so I gave her a "fairly good" assessment but specified in the remarks that it wasn't relevant for the work I sent her.

One translator landed a super job at the European Council further to my recommendation, so she was no longer available for me, however she thoroughly deserved it so I have no regrets.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm an adult, my clients are adults Apr 20, 2012

I'm sorry, but all of this just takes me straight back to my days in the school playground.

"Give me a bite of your Mars bar and I'll give you some Coke"
"I'll only be your friend if..."
"I don't like you because you don't like James"
"John says Ian likes you, so you must be OK"

On ProZ.com, my clients are more than welcome to leave compliments about my services. And if I feel it's appropriate, I'll leave comments about them (good or bad). However, I see it each as a separate entity, not linked. In fact, I detest the "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" mentality, especially in business relations. That's the beginning of corruption, something I abhor.

I really did give LinkedIn a fair trial, but I've washed my hands of it now. I have a job to do.

Sheila


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:49
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Life is a playground Apr 20, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I'm sorry, but all of this just takes me straight back to my days in the school playground.

"Give me a bite of your Mars bar and I'll give you some Coke"
"I'll only be your friend if..."
"I don't like you because you don't like James"
"John says Ian likes you, so you must be OK"



But isn't that exactly how human society works (and has always worked and probably will always work)?

Every day some of us find themselves in a situation where they are not sure whether to accept a job from a new client, whether to work with someone they don't know. What do they do if they don't want to simply trust their instincts? They ask around for recommendations - they might ask colleagues face to face, or they might ask via ProZ or other forums, they might check the Blue Board and so on.

And the same is true for almost any other aspect in life. Before we buy a device we read other users' reviews to see what their experience was. When we plan a trip we check other peoples' hotel recommendations. When we are new in town we ask around if anyone can recommend a hair salon, a property agent or a bicycle repair man.

I am actually not very much into recommendations myself. I find asking for them awkward and rarely feel compelled to give them (unless I really feel strongly about it or am asked by a third party). But I do see the merits of the whole networking and recommendations system.

[Edited at 2012-04-20 14:28 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Instincts vs recommendations Apr 20, 2012

Thomas Pfann wrote:
What do they do if they don't want to simply trust their instincts? They ask around for recommendations


Frankly, I trust my instincts a lot more than I trust recommendations on a site where they are offered so freely. On ProZ.com, we can only recommend people we have actually worked with; on LinkedIn, you can recommend anyone, I believe (I must admit that I don't actually know how it works, but from the article, it looks that way). Would you ask my old school-friend who's now an electronics engineer whether I am a translator to be recommended?

Sheila


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 16:49
English to German
Assess the recommending person Apr 20, 2012

[quote]Thomas Pfann wrote:

Before we buy a device we read other users' reviews to see what their experience was.


Indeed, I do that. But I do asses the reviewers competence: Does he or she really know what he or she speaks about? Is he or she just a simple soul? Does he or she want to give the impression of being quite competent? Is he or she a boaster?

And last but not least: What does my brain.exe output?


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JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 16:49
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
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Interesting topic for further discussion? Apr 21, 2012

This discussion ties in to something I have been pondering over for some time - to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, or not?

There isn't a day that goes by without me reading advice from a translator or other freelancer exhorting me to organise my online presence in order to boost my income.

But every time I look at these platforms and try to work out how I could approach them, I just get the same feeling as when I occasionally catch a glimpse of a reality TV show. "That might work for some people, but it's just not for me."

The problem is, of course, that the people who use social media in their marketing are naturally the people who have a loud online presence. Those who - like Christine - are quiet individuals who just sit there and get on with their work quite successfully tend not to be all over the Internet shouting about it.

I'm increasingly of the opinion - and this discussion has really helped crystallise my thinking - that there are two sorts of people in the electronic world. Those who grab every new social media trend and have the latest smartphone and practically can't brush their teeth without updating it on Twitter and those who manage quite nicely without it all, merely using the Internet as a source of information and to keep in touch with their families.

I feel greatly reassured by this realisation, and can now happily go and get on with not being LinkedIn or blogging and just enjoy my work.


Jane


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:49
French to German
+ ...
Thank you, Jane Apr 21, 2012


The problem is, of course, that the people who use social media in their marketing are naturally the people who have a loud online presence. Those who - like Christine - are quiet individuals who just sit there and get on with their work quite successfully tend not to be all over the Internet shouting about it.

I'm increasingly of the opinion - and this discussion has really helped crystallise my thinking - that there are two sorts of people in the electronic world. Those who grab every new social media trend and have the latest smartphone and practically can't brush their teeth without updating it on Twitter and those who manage quite nicely without it all, merely using the Internet as a source of information and to keep in touch with their families.

I feel greatly reassured by this realisation, and can now happily go and get on with not being LinkedIn or blogging and just enjoy my work.


I totally agree.

I used to be a member of LinkedIn, Xing (but cancelled both early last year) and I still have a Twitter account but I found that it is absolutely not for me. I have nothing to say that I want the whole wide world to know, I don't want to have zillions of contacts whom I don't even know and I simply have no inclination to spend time on those social networks.

I have never used people or "connections" to achieve anything (if I keep in touch with people they can be sure that I like them, not because I think they might be "useful" for me at some point) and I don't need to thank anyone for any sort of favours or "recommendations".

Personally, I don't like to rely on recommondations due to very bad experiences in the past so I prefer to trust my own judgment and instincts.


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Sabine Deutsch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:49
French to German
+ ...
Agree with every single word Apr 21, 2012

JaneD wrote:

This discussion ties in to something I have been pondering over for some time - to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, or not?

...

I feel greatly reassured by this realisation, and can now happily go and get on with not being LinkedIn or blogging and just enjoy my work.


Jane



I agree with every word you said, Jane, and would add that I just can't imagine where people find all the time and energy to feed their internet presence!

Sabine


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Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:49
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Social networking takes up too much time Apr 21, 2012

Sabine Deutsch wrote:

JaneD wrote:

This discussion ties in to something I have been pondering over for some time - to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, or not?

...

I feel greatly reassured by this realisation, and can now happily go and get on with not being LinkedIn or blogging and just enjoy my work.


Jane



I agree with every word you said, Jane, and would add that I just can't imagine where people find all the time and energy to feed their internet presence!

Sabine


And I agree with both of you.


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LinkedIn: the tricky question of recommendations

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