Along the route, at nearly ever mile, we saw the signs.

Someone wanted Monica to be encouraged during her half-marathon. At each mile, they placed encouraging, inspirational posters, calling her out by name, reminding her of her own inner strength and perseverance.

Even though the signs were not intended for me, I felt buoyed by them.

Whenever I am working hard to achieve something big, I appreciate encouragement and support from others. In my marathon training, I must constantly remind myself that I am strong enough. Part of what fuels me is the mental file I’ve created of what others say about me and my running, including the words of my running partner, Laura, who consistently reminds me that I have endurance to run distance.

As you work hard to achieve something big with your career, recognition and praise from others will contribute to your success. To be successful on LinkedIn, you need to collect praise — recommendations from people who know, recognize, and call out your strengths.

Here are a few tips about gathering LinkedIn recommendations:

Request LinkedIn recommendations from people who know you well. The best recommendations on LinkedIn will provide specific, concrete examples about your strengths and abilities. In order to provide details, people must know you well.

Give direction as to what you’d like your recommendation to include. The words someone uses to write your recommendations matter. When possible, provide key words to those writing recommendations. The more key words contained in your profile (and recommendations are part of your profile), the more likely you will be to be found by people searching for the unique value you offer.

Make the process as easy as possible; be alert to opportunities. When working with a client or colleague, you may hear them say words of praise that would be a great LinkedIn recommendation. Be alert to those opportunities and ask for a recommendation! In those cases or others, your friends or colleagues may appreciate you drafting a recommendation for them. While it may feel strange, this is a gift because it gives you the chance to be sure you include the important details that will help showcase your abilities.

Ask for new recommendations regularly and find ways to share positive feedback about your work with others. Make “collecting praise” a regular part of your influence-building regimen. Ask for recommendations when you’ve completed a project or engagement. Don’t be afraid to ask former clients for recommendations, even months after the fact. Once you have great recommendations, you can repurpose them on your website or for use in social media updates to reinforce your brand value.

Be generous in recommending others. As often as you are able to do so enthusiastically, write genuine, specific recommendations for others. When you give without asking for anything in return, you may be surprised and pleased with the results.

In training for LinkedIn success, gathering recommendations is a critical activity. Who will you gather praise from today?

Tell me something! What tactics have you used to gather LinkedIn recommendations?