LinkedIn is the networking universe for job seekers and professionals. It’s a platform where you can showcase your own skills and highlight the skills of those you have worked with. LinkedIn recommendations are a great way to support your LinkedIn connections, and it often leads to them wanting to write you recommendations in return. Sort of a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” situation.
This article will explain the purpose of LinkedIn recommendations and show you how to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation from someone in your network. Because this will increase the likelihood that they will ask you for a recommendation, we will show you how to write one too. We provide LinkedIn recommendation examples for different scenarios.
A LinkedIn recommendation is no different from a normal letter of recommendation that you might request from a professor or a past supervisor, except this recommendation is communicated through social media. A letter of recommendation is a testimonial that conveys to a recruiter or an academic institution that you are a good candidate and possess the requisite skills, knowledge, and character.
A recommendation from a colleague, client, or boss boosts your credibility where working relationships are concerned when you are being considered for a position. The best LinkedIn recommendations improve your visibility and strengthen your network relationships if you return the favor and write recommendations for others. Let’s look at how to write a great LinkedIn Recommendation.
It can be quite a task to write a LinkedIn recommendation. The goal is to write something engaging and persuasive, but you don’t want to overdo it. Aim for an enthusiastic tone, but try to avoid describing someone with superlatives, like “the best” or “the finest” or “the most skilled” as your writing will not be convincing.
Here are some more tips for writing a LinkedIn recommendation
The opening statement should be a standout statement that the reader will pay attention to. For example,
“I have been lucky to build a professional relationship with Jane that has been mutually beneficial beyond my expectations.”
It’s important that you explain the context of your relationship with the person. This establishes your authority as someone who can comment on the person’s character and achievements. Also, state the timeframe of the relationship. For example,
“Jane has provided us with invaluable analytic and coding services for the past two years. She has answered our need for new, proprietary solutions whenever we had a need. She has never failed to meet whatever challenge we presented, and the outcomes have significantly expanded our product portfolio and bottom line."
This is the tricky part. Find at least one, preferably two, special qualities that the person has and emphasize those in a descriptive phrase. This will keep the recommendation interesting and sell the person to the reader. Perhaps the person showed exceptional leadership or coding skills.
Try to write something that aligns with the person’s overall goals. It’s a good idea to ask the person what they would like you to focus on in your recommendation. For example, they might be looking to assume a manager position, which would mean that you should speak to their leadership and management skills. If you can, give an actual example of when and how they exhibited such skills. Here’s an example for Jane, the coder.
“Jane managed to provide solutions for problems that most engineers could not. Her systematic approach allowed her to step in mid-project and lead a project team. Her ability to communicate directly and clearly with every team member kept projects on track and on budget.”
A good LinkedIn recommendation adds a human touch to the professional person. If you comment on their character or personality, the individual will seem less of a robot and more of a person the reader would like to get to know.
“Jane strikes the perfect balance between strong leadership required to guide a team through a difficult space and creating a fun atmosphere where people are committed to giving their best.”
Your final paragraph should be similar to a call-to-action. It is your final statement to persuade a hiring manager or the reader of the person’s outstanding value.
“It is my opinion that Jane would demonstrate the same professionalism and expertise in any situation, and I would not hesitate to recommend her.”
Provided you have a LinkedIn profile, a request for a recommendation will be delivered to you via a message. The message may come through to your email, or you can access it from the Messaging icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
If you are writing a recommendation for someone who has requested it, here is a step-by-step guide.
Click on the Messaging icon at the top right of your LinkedIn homepage.
Select Write [member name] a recommendation message on the left side of the Messaging page.
Click the link in the message to write the recommendation.
From the Recommendation feature pop-up window, click Write recommendation. If you don’t want to write a recommendation for the person. Click Ignore.
One thing to remember is that LinkedIn has a 3,000 character limit for recommendations.
Lastly, after you have submitted your recommendation for someone, it's time to send them a note to inform them and offer to change it if they prefer you say something specific.
Here are some LinkedIn recommendation samples and what they emphasize.
Example 1: Showcasing commitment
This example emphasizes this person’s soft skills, their commitment to the literary community, and the person’s role as a mentor and leader within that community.
Example 2: Showcasing expertise
These solid recommendations emphasize the person’s ability to lead and guide and showcase the person’s expertise in a specialized area.
Example 3: Showcasing achievements
This recommendation explains the achievements that the individual's achievements in a niche area and accentuates the person’s collaboration skills among different members of the education community.
It’s polite to add a personal message when you ask someone to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Tell them why you would like them to write one, and what your goals are. You could even suggest what you would like them to say. Offer to return the favor also. Here are some examples of what you can say in the personal message section.
Dear Bob, I hope you are well. I wondered if you would feel comfortable writing a short recommendation for me on LinkedIn to aid my job search? If you would be willing, could you mention my leadership role with the IT team at Data Solutions Inc.? I would be more than happy to write a recommendation for you also if you would like me to.
Be sure to write a thank-you note to the person when they write the recommendation. Here is an example of a thank you.
Dear Bob, Thank you so much for the wonderful recommendation. Please let me know if you would like me to write one in return. I’d be delighted to talk about your expert leadership and mentoring role at Data Solutions Inc.
You can request a recommendation from the Recommendations section of your profile. However, this section is only displayed once you give or receive a recommendation that isn't hidden.
The person you request a recommendation from should be someone you have worked relatively closely with and who knows your work well. Here’s the step-by-step process to request a recommendation from someone on LinkedIn.
Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
Select View profile.
Scroll down to the Recommendations section and click Ask to be recommended.
Type the name of the LinkedIn user you'd like to ask for a recommendation in the Who do you want to ask? field.
Select the name from the dropdown that appears.
Fill out the Relationship and Position at the time fields of the LinkedIn recommendation template in the pop-up window, and click Next.
You can include a personalized message with your request by changing the text in the message field.
The LinkedIn platform is becoming increasingly relevant. Almost all business professionals will check out another person’s profile before hiring them or doing business with them. Therefore, you should give your profile as much attention as you would your resume. Here are some final tips for writing and requesting recommendations.
When writing a recommendation, keep it brief, but open and close it with a bang—write a strong statement endorsing the individual.
Ask the individual what they would like you to emphasize.
When requesting a recommendation, keep some guidance as to what you would like the person to say.
Always say thank you when someone writes a recommendation for you and offer to write a recommendation for them in return.