Is it a Recommendation or a Testimonial?

When it really counts, how often do you get a Recommendation from someone?  How did you feel when someone said, No, to giving you a Recommendation?

Social Media doesn’t provide standard definitions for a recommendation or testimonial.  How would you define these terms?  I believe a Testimonial is given when someone thought you did really well and perhaps wants to keep a relationship going.  A Recommendation is given by someone who paid for and was satisfied by the work or service provided (volunteer service work included).

Testimonials are positive and very meaningful.  They provide recognition for a given period of time.  A Recommendation usually overs a specific time period.  Recommendations place responsibility on the author to discuss the recommendation, if called upon to do so.  Lastly, Testimonials live on while Recommendations get stale with time, perhaps due to Recruiters wanting current information.

Are you very satisfied with the work someone is doing?  Why not take a few minutes now and make a gift of a Recommendation.  You will feel pretty good about it and it will provide a great service to the recipient.

If you received Recommendations upon entering higher levels of education, do they still matter five years later, or do they get placed in the nostalgia bin?   What happens to employment Recommendations?  They probably are never looked at again unless something goes amiss with the employee at a future date.

Although for different reasons, Bernie Madoff’s name wil be remembered for a long time, as will Dr. Samuel Mudd.  Dr. Mudd was the physician who unknowingly treated President Lincoln’s assassin.  (The phrase, “Your name is mud” is an outcome of Dr. Mudd treating John Wilkes Booth.)  What Recommendations and/or Testimonials were given to Madoff in his decades-long Ponzi Scheme.  What value do they hold now for a convicted felon who will be jailed, with no parole, for the rest of his life?

As I conclude this Blog, I am aware that I asked quite a few questions.  That’s the business of Coaches.  Please continue to write all future recommendations and/or testimonials with considerable care.  They are definitely necessary and I hope will reflect Who You Want To Be Known As, while serving someone you know.

Jo Ann M. Radja, Career Management Coach                                                              & Change Agent

1 thought on “Is it a Recommendation or a Testimonial?

  1. This is very informative! As a Brand Ambassador working in the field of events and promotional services I often get these two confused, especially as it applies to requesting feedback and references from an agency I’ve worked with in the past.

    If you don’t mind, I’m going to post a link to this page in our Network of event industry peeps.. if you have a chance come on by and recommend other material for our members!


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