Glowing recommendations in your LinkedIn profile can be a huge help in proving your value as an employee, but they're pretty much useless if employers don't take the time to look you up. So why not call attention to them by adding one to your cover letter? It's a great way to make your case for the job. Here's how:
Find a Great Quote
If you're lucky, you'll have a few recommendations to choose from. Pick the one that paints you in the best light. It's okay to use an excerpt if the full recommendation is lengthy, but make sure to leave the original wording and intent alone, since a prospective employer could be intrigued enough to double-check your source.
Make it Flow
You can't just drop in a recommendation without leading into it. Incorporating a paragraph that clearly defines a way you can contribute to the company (which should be included in every cover letter anyway) will set the tone for the recommendation. Here's what I mean:
My 10 years of web design experience in the B2C sector, especially for retail businesses, can be of immense help to your expansion plans in the western U.S.
To further prove the value I could add to your team, please consider this recommendation:
"Katie has a great eye for detail and follows instruction to a T. If her clients change focus mid-way through a project, she has a keen ability to switch tracks and deliver stunning materials with the new focus in mind. Besides print projects at A Big Company, LLC, Katie has done some freelance work for an up-and-coming business in Amherst, including designing a storefront sign, billboard ad, and brochure pieces, all of which attract new business to the store. She is a very versatile, deadline-conscious designer and I highly recommend her work!"
- James Mardel, Former Graphic Designer at A Big Company, LLC
Ideally, you'd add the quote at the end of your letter, right before your closing paragraph (you know, the one that says thanks for your consideration, I'll be in touch, etc.).
If the person left a recommendation on your public LinkedIn profile, it's fair game to reproduce in your letters. I've used this approach in several cover letters I've written for friends and they've been juggling interviews ever since. I can't say they got the interviews because of this unique addition (their resumes rocked, too), but it's a good sign that they're doing things right to get a foot in the door!
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