There are a lot of people asking for recommendation in LinkedIn and other social networks.
My focus will be on LinkedIn, because it’s the most popular business professional network, where many people are trying to gain and increase their “personal brand”.
Although it seems a great way to gain some free “personal brand”, I think the person who will write a recommendation for a friend or colleague must think twice before do it:
Among other questions I will start with:
1) In your professional analysis is it really true what are you writing about your friend?
2) Are you ready to answer about the words you used to recommend your “friend”, to your boss, ex boss, future boss, colleague, friend, etc.?
3) Do you want to be accountable for a future failure of your recommendation just because someone who trusts your judgment accepted it has true?
On LinkedIn it’s not about what people are saying about you, I can value more your value, reading the recommendations written by you, because it reflects your judgments, person analysis, technical and personal soft skills, etc. If you can do a good analysis, probably you know something about the subject you are talking about, and that values you, not the person that you are recommending.
Even being a friend of yours, it’s your reputation in the game, and above all in the the social network, visible to thousands of people, including head hunters and job opportunities.
Sometimes people ask me if I know/recommend someone to a specific job. Sometimes I know someone, sometimes not, but I always try to recommend a person that I know it will do the job, and be careful enough to say what I know about the person and don’t risk to blindly recommend her/him, and in the future be the guy who cant analyze people, who has recommended a failure, that will be my failure. How can I, in the future, present my self as a Team Leader, Project Manager or a Senior if I cant analyze the skills of someone? And, these skills must be not just technical ones, but soft skills too.
So, my “recommendation”: be very honest when you recommend someone on LinkedIn or other social network, because its not about the person who are recommending, but its, above all, the content of your recommendation about that person, which will reflect you as a professional. And it will be your name and your reputation, and your capacity as a business professional.
Don’t jeopardize your future just because he’s a friend.
Sometimes, it’s hard to say no to a friend, he could not understand a friend saying no to a “little help” for is professional life. In that case, I recommend you to be honest, try to focus on things that are really true, and if that friend had to work with you, what role do you think will fit in him? That, I think, it will be the content of your recommendation.
Hope it helps you in the future!