Providing a great LinkedIn recommendation

September 9, 2020

Providing a great LinkedIn recommendation

You may be asked to write a LinkedIn recommendation at some point in your career. The request could come from anyone – a manager, co-worker, or even a service provider.

You could currently be engaging with this person daily, or it could be a previous relationship.

If you decide to provide a LinkedIn recommendation, you will want to do an excellent job for them. Here’s how you can do just that.

What is a LinkedIn recommendation?

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.

If you can’t do a good job, turn them down

You have probably worked with some fantastic people in your career. If they asked, giving them a glowing LinkedIn recommendation would be easy. 

However, there may be people you don’t feel that way about. If you cannot give them an excellent recommendation, please don’t write anything!

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.

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.

What to include in your 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

Tell a story. Sing their praises. Mention memorable achievements and the impact they had on you or the company. Focus your recommendation on their end goal while clearly outlining their abilities and accomplishments.

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.

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 recommendations 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 else that 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.

This post was written by: JC Cornell, Renewables and Growth Marketing Manager