Getting recommended while building the ‘you’ brand
In a job interview, your credibility and the narrative that you create for yourself will make all the difference. It is of prime importance here that when a third person refers you, the values, skills and the qualities that that are unique are recognized. You cannot be an expert in every sphere- specificity is the key to creating a positive impact. As your career transitions into the civilian path, you will need to give importance to your narrative in terms of your introductions, referrals, testimonials and your recommendations.
While gathering your recommendations, be it in person or online, the following are some of the crux points that you must keep in mind for generating the desired impact:
The source of your recommendation
The recommendation of your former co-workers and the ones that you get from your former supervisor and even the CEO of the company are not the same thing. Weigh your options and try to evaluate as to which of those would be more credible than the rest. Here, you also need to remember that there are companies that consider recommendations as endorsements with HR and legal implications, and thus may not allow them.
Recommendations from members of the community and other people that you have collaborated with or are in the business, who can vouch for your skills, ethics, talents or anything similar would also create an added advantage.
Keep the format in your mind
If you are on a professional social network like LinkedIn, only someone who has also joined the site can recommend you. This is why you need to ask those colleagues or supervisors who can to provide you with recommendations. LinkeIn allows you to review and even suggest some changes before it goes on your LinkedIn.
Written and telephonic recommendations can be more detailed than the rest. Here, you would benefit by providing your recommender with as much knowledge and guidance as you can. Translating the military terms into civilian and easy-to-understand phrases will help both your recommender and hiring manager understand you better. Do not bury the recommender in details- keep it to the point and easy to refer and navigate from.
Make recommending you an easy task for the person
Remember to provide the recommender with clear and concise points that can be addressed. This is even more crucial while translating a military CV into a civilian one. You will need to provide keywords that they can use and understand. For instance, in IT project management, phrases like IT specialist and project manager instead of ‘tech-guru’ will better serve your purpose.
Saying ‘thank you!’
Always thank the recommender or the person who gave you a testimonial. Someone actually took out time and put his or her own credibility on the line to do nothing but help and support you.
A recommendation is a great way for celebrating the people that you served with, and share their talents with others. Keep those recommendations in mind for those people are leveraging their own reputations in order to vouch for you in a world where reputation is everything!