How to write a great LinkedIn recommendation [with template]

September 9, 2020

How to write a great LinkedIn recommendation

As you progress in your professional journey, there may come a time when you are asked to write a LinkedIn recommendation. This request could come from various individuals – whether it's a manager, colleague, or service provider.

Whether you are currently collaborating closely with them or have established a past connection, the chance to offer a meaningful recommendation could present itself.

If you decide to craft a LinkedIn recommendation, it's crucial to ensure it's done exceptionally well. Here's a guide on how you can accomplish just that:

What is a LinkedIn recommendation?

For several years now, LinkedIn has been the network most trusted by users (Business Insider), specially when it comes to searching for jobs and hiring. In fact, 6 people a minute get hired through LinkedIn.

A LinkedIn recommendation is a statement commending a connection you have on LinkedIn. It is visible to anyone who views a LinkedIn profile and is also visible on your own page. You can both request and provide recommendations on LinkedIn.

At any stage, you may choose to hide a recommendation given to you. If you are unhappy with what has been written, you can always request a revision.


When should you accept or decline a LinkedIn recommendation request?

You may have had the pleasure of working with some amazing individuals in your career. So, when someone like that requests a recommendation, it's easy to accept and provide them with a glowing LinkedIn endorsement.

However, there may be some individuals that you don't feel as enthusiastic about. If you are unable to give them a positive recommendation, it's best to refrain from writing one altogether.

Every recommendation you provide should be honest and truthful. Your name is on it, and you don’t want to be recommending poor performers as it reflects badly on you.

What to include in your LinkedIn Recommendation

Here are the key steps to know on how to write a LinkedIn recommendation:

1. Your relationship with each other

Provide context for your professional relationship, including reporting relationship. Make sure that you mention the role (or roles) they held, as this will give more validity to your message.

Ensure you include details that will answer when, where, how long, doing what, and most importantly, why you are qualified to give this recommendation for this person.

Keep in mind a LinkedIn recommendation is easily verified. Whoever reads it can visit the writers’ profile, and determine your creditability for themselves.

2. Standout abilities or achievements

Share specific examples of how the individual's actions or qualities made a difference in your work experience. Recall a time when their leadership skills brought a project to completion, or when their innovative ideas helped boost productivity. Highlight how their dedication to their work not only benefited you personally but also contributed to the success of the team or organisation as a whole.

By painting a vivid picture of their impact, you not only showcase their strengths but also provide concrete evidence of why they deserve the highest praise in your LinkedIn recommendation.

3. Personal insight

While you want to highlight achievements, giving a sense of a person beyond their resume is equally important.

Touch on what they are like as a person and why they worked so well within your team. Write about how they made you feel or an aspect of their personality you enjoyed while working together.

4. End on a high note

End with a powerful statement about the person. Make it clear that you recommend them wholeheartedly. Your feedback can make a significant impact on their professional reputation and opportunities. So, don't hesitate to provide a glowing comment that truly reflects the remarkable qualities of the individual. 

Finally, when drafting your LinkedIn recommendation, keep these 2 key things in mind:

Know the end goal

You need to know the end goal for the person making the request. You should be providing different messages depending on their needs.

Keep in mind that the stakes could be pretty high for them. If they don’t give you an idea of what they want you to focus on in your recommendation, make sure to ask. It will help focus your message and help them shine.

Short, sweet and to the point

Any LinkedIn recommendation you write shouldn’t be longer than a paragraph – roughly 200 words whenever possible.

It is not a novel. Keep it concise but not so brief that no one has any idea what you are talking about. Proofread it a couple of times, then hit send.

Sample template for a LinkedIn recommendation

Not sure what to say or how to phrase it? The sample template below should help.

[Descriptive phrase] is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about [Name].

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing [Name] for [length of time], during which [description of your working relationship]. Above all, I was impressed with [Name’s] ability to [description of what makes this person really stand out].

And, of course, his/her [personality trait]. [Name] would be a true asset for any positions requiring [1-2 skills needed for position] and comes with my heartfelt recommendation.”

Great LinkedIn recommendations can help you

Crafting a great message could help you in the long run. If you provide an excellent LinkedIn recommendation, the chances are high that you will get one in return. It will help you improve your LinkedIn profile and boost your credibility.

Don’t wait for a request to come your way. Write recommendations for a boss, co-worker, or anyone you would enthusiastically recommend.

A LinkedIn recommendation should tell a story about the person. Make sure that what you write helps them in their goal.

They could be using your reference to apply for a new job or position, engage new clients, or even try to attract a recruiter looking for a great candidate.

Our recruiters take a LinkedIn recommendation as a credible source. You should treat them as such too.

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This post was written by: JC Cornell, Bids Manager