While LinkedIn is one of the most powerful job search tools, it’s possible to misuse it. Specifically, I’m talking about recommendation requests. But first there are 2 other “request” categories that deserve mention:
Properly used, these are great. But unfortunately I sometimes get recommendation requests from people I’ve never worked with, or may not know very well. They ask me to write a recommendation to help land a job. I typically decline these requests, sometimes to the surprise of requesters. Why decline? Reputation–theirs and mine. How could I recommend someone I’ve never worked with? What could I write of substance about the person? This kind of recommendation is worse than no recommendation.
Bottom line: Request LinkedIn recommendations only from people that know you, and preferably, who have worked with you and have something glowing to say. For more on this topic, read: “Career Advice–Avoid Spontaneous Combustion Linkedin Introduction Requests written by Phil Rosenberg, Feb 8, 2011.