How To Get a Recommendation Cascade on LinkedIn

I’m a LinkedIn junkie, as you well know, so the fact I’m writing on it probably won’t surprise you.  But as always, I’m finding some new way to use it which I want to share.

What I want to share is what I call the LinkedIn Recommendation Cascade.

You want LinkedIn References.  You want your skills and expertise endorsed.  The best way to do that is to recommend others – which you have been doing regularly, right?  Recommend them for what they’re good at, they’ll do the same.

Assuming you haven’t been tapping into the collective LinkedIn wisdom out there, here’s what you do.

  1. Make sure you’re on LinkedIn.  If you’re not, then I am ashamed of you and you bring dishonor to the legion of people who can have in-depth analysis of Jungian symbolism in Naruto.
  2. Make sure your profile is complete, and the “Skills and Experience” section is very important.  List your skills and experience honestly, but be sure to be complete about it (they give you a lot of space).
  3. Make sure you’re linking up with people you’ve worked with.  I figure you’ve been doing this before, but I’ll encourage you.
  4. Make sure you give out as many recommendations as reasonable and as deserved to people.  I also go out of my way to do it 3-6 months after I start working with people.
  5. Make sure that you ALSO endorse people’s skills – a relatively recent feature added to LinkedIn.  you can endorse people for skills on their profile, and LinkedIn will often ‘bug” you to endorse people.  So go for it!

When you do this, other people will return the favor to you.  In fact, if someone owes you a recommendation, recommending them is not only appropriate, it’s a nice, socially acceptable nudge.

I’m finding that the Skills and Experience recommendations are becoming a big thing on LinkedIn since they’re so easy to do.  Make sure that you use those for those who deserve the recommendation, because it’s more specific and easier for people to return the favor.

Give it a try on your LinkedIn Profile.  Which is all set and up to date . . .

. . . right?

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at