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Your Holiday Weekend Professional Branding Tip: It’s Not About You!


by Mike Farragher


It’s the holiday weekend. The work emails are trickling in as slow as frozen ketchup. You’re in your home office, surfing LinkedIn, trying to keep busy, which is the perfect time to start thinking about….someone other than yourself.

Say what?

This quiet time is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the people who made you who and what you are today, be it the team who got you to the President’s Club Trip to Cabo or the mentor whose sage advice at a critical time changed the trajectory of your career.

Acknowledging someone on LinkedIn is a breeze: smply click on the person’s page, scroll down to the bottom of their profile under the “Recommendations” section, and click the “recommend button.” Like a Google review, you will be prompted to write a few words and define how you know that person. That person then gets a notice in their direct messages that a recommendation is waiting for them, and they can choose to add that to their profile or not.


It’s that simple.

But wait—-the headline of this article is about my professional brand, you might ask. What does all this have to do with me?

The answer to that question lies at the bottom of your LinkedIn profile, where the recommendations you’ve given and gotten on that platform are housed. If you have branded yourself as a mentor and an empowering leader of people in your profile but haven’t given anyone a recommendation since the first Bush Administration. your actions are inconsistent with the brand values you claim to espouse.

Not bad. Not wrong. Just inconsisent.


I’ve been practicing these “random acts of acknowledgement” every holiday weekend since I joined LinkedIn a few years ago; I write 2 or 3 recommendations each day of the holiday. Over the years, I’ve given over 110 recommendations and received more than 40.

A serial acknowledger, perhaps? Guilty as charged.


In working with clients on their resumes and professional profile remodeling, I hover on my recommendations within my profile during my Zoom tutorial. I ask them what these numbers say about me, not because I am thirsty for a compliment, but to prove a point. Their reactions typically go something like this:

“Wow. You really go the extra mile for people.”


“You have influenced a lot of people in your time on earth.”


“You clearly invest in the success of your team players.”

Aren’t these the things you’d want people to think or say about you if your brand is built on the premise that you are a mentor and empowering leader of people?


I rest my case.

Why not start now? Squeeze some sugar out of your keyboard and spread some holiday cheer of a different variety this weekend!

Mike Farragher is the CEO of CareerLetters, which specializes in resume writing, professional profile remodeling, and business copywriting. For more information, check out www.careerletters.com


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