There’s no denying the fact that LinkedIn provides an incredibly valuable service to jobseekers, employers, entrepreneurs and business professionals alike. One aspect that is often used as a means of verifying a recruit’s background is their LinkedIn recommendations, which consists of a small blurb meant to endorse or recommend a particular candidate. Written by other LinkedIn users, these recommendations can provide a great deal of insight into the past accomplishments as well as the future potential of an individual. However, it’s important that you are able to verify the truth and accuracy behind such recommendations before committing to a particular candidate.
Examine the Connection
Firstly, it’s important to examine the real world connection, if any, that exists between the user in question and the user who completed the recommendation. If you uncover the fact that they are close friends, or even related, you may want to look elsewhere for recommendations, references or verification.
Conversely, those who seemingly have no real world connection at all with the user who placed the recommendation should prompt a red flag as well. Because fraudulent profiles do exist on LinkedIn, it can sometimes be difficult to uncover the validity of a single recommendation.
However, profiles that have multiple recommendations, especially recommendations that have come from reliable, reputable or otherwise verifiable LinkedIn members, are likely legitimate profiles that belong to dedicated, diligent and professional jobseekers.
Take a Look at the Depth of the Relationship
If you find it difficult to gauge the validity of a user’s LinkedIn recommendations via the above strategies, try to take a look at the depth of the relationship between the two LinkedIn users. There are a number of things to look for that can help to uncover the depth of such relationships, including whether or not the users have actually worked together in the past, whether they interact with each other through LinkedIn on a regular basis and even whether or not they are located in the same geographic region. If you find any discrepancies when doing so, you may want to begin a further investigation.
Ask Your Own Questions
Finally, some LinkedIn recommendations are rather brief or uninformative. A lot of users post simple sentences praising an individual without detailing any specific traits, accomplishments or skills. If you find that this is the case with a potential recruit, don’t hesitate to ask your own questions. Not only will this help to determine if a particular candidate is the perfect fit for your team, but it can give them the hint that their LinkedIn profile needs a little bit of work.
As you can see, there really is no surefire way of uncovering the truth behind one’s LinkedIn recommendations. While you can certainly scrutinize and examine such recommendations further, it’s really quite difficult to judge the validity of such claims. However, a little bit of diligence, research and even technical prowess can go a long way in gaining a better understanding of one’s LinkedIn recommendations.
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