There's nothing more excruciating than writing a LinkedIn recommendation for a colleague. I've worked with plenty of talented people, but when it comes down to writing a recommendation, they all pretty much sound the same and convey very little additional information beyond what's included in the profile.
Don't get me wrong. LinkedIn recommendations are an important step that helps to confirm that a person had the job he or she said they did. But outside of that, I have yet to read review that makes me go, "Hey, I should contact that person, pronto!"
In fact, the recommendations sound so simmilar the folks at endorser.org built pseudo-random recommendation generator to make the process somewhat painless. I love solutions that are "one click and you're done," but this pushes the boundaries of being impersonal.
So, I took a cue from woot.com product reviews and have decided from this day forth to use the narrative mode to both entertain and convey the required information in my recommendations.
My first victim is a project manager I worked with in both digital and film.
The choice to hire Kelly was simple--the other candidate, let’s call him “Steve,” was pretty much full on zombie. Don’t get me wrong, both Kelly and Steve had a certain attention to detail that was immediately obvious in their past work, but Kelly had that little extra something our company looks for in its employees--a fully functional brain.
Kelly brought with her years of diverse business experience. Steve brought with him a half eaten possum that was undeniably still twitching. Kelly showed us how she had championed simple processes and aided in effective resource management. Steve showed us part of his skull that was being ineffectively covered by his scalp.
Three interviews later, Steve withdrew his candidacy for personal reasons, and Kelly went on to become a valuable member of our operations staff.
A simple choice indeed.
Kelly and I happened to work on a short Zombie film together, so it's a bit of an inside joke and gets three of her strongest qualities out there while implying that she's creative--which she is.
More so, I enjoyed the 5 minutes I spend writing this, and I have a feeling it will be much more likely to be shared--which is good for Kelly.
You can find me on LinkedIn here, but be forewarned that I already have a pretty full inbox of recommendation requests. :)