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I'm starting to use LinkedIn now (I have very few connections) and I would like to use it professionally and to give a good impression both to my friends, to former colleagues, and to potential recruiters.

I like the idea to give recommendations for three reasons:

  1. I want to be grateful to people who deserve it;
  2. I hope they'll give recommendations in turn if I deserve it;
  3. I suppose that spending time writing something positive for others gives the impression to be a positive person to work with. In other terms, I want to show recruiters that I am kind, grateful and also committed to using Linkedin in the most serious way (which is what I am and what I'm trying to do).

Sometimes it happens that people have a good opinion of you but they are too lazy or overwhelmed at work and they forget to give a recommendation in turn, or just because such a practice is not very used in certain contexts.

In my case, I gave two recommendations to my former colleagues and I would like to make them visible on my Linkedin profile for the reason (3) expressed above. On the other hand, for they didn't return, I'm afraid that this "one-way" effort may be counterproductive and give the impression that I don't deserve recommendations / they don't want to give recommendations to me for some other reason.

Is it a good idea to show the recommendations I've given to others on my Linkedin profile, even when they aren't given in turn? Or is it better to hide them on my Linkedin profile?

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If you wrote a good recommendation for someone else, there is no reason not to display it on your profile. This will display to those viewing your profile that you have worked well in the past with others, that you are able to show appreciation and give positive feedback, and that you are able to write cogently and effectively.

It would be nice if they returned a recommendation, but that should not be what it is all about. I do not think that you should be worried that others will analyze who has returned a recommendation and who hasn't. Those who are going to base their decisions on such minutiae (especially when there are reasonable reasons for you not to have one displayed) are probably not going to be taking you seriously in other places as well.

Your recommendations add positivity to the system as a whole. Be proud of them. Show them off.

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  • +1 there is zero expectation that recommendations be mutual. I have received many from people I haven't recommended and I've recommended many people that I haven't received one from. It's weird to even consider that as a quid pro quo activity. – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Feb 20 at 2:59

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