LinkedIn is an impressive, professional social media platform. With over 830 global members, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone not on LinkedIn!
Regardless of your specific career or professional status, setting up and maintaining a strong presence on the site is vital.
But, did you know that LinkedIn excels at more than just providing a space to post your resume and qualifications, make connections, and share posts? One of the platform's best features is the ability to send and receive recommendations from people in your network.
These recommendations function a lot like classic job application references. They give your colleagues a chance to express gratitude and appreciation for your work and skills, and they give you a chance to further show off your qualities to future employers.
Keep reading if you’re still a little fuzzy on how LinkedIn recommendations work and how to request and write your own. We’ll cover all that and more, including handy tips and tricks and several outstanding examples for inspiration.
LinkedIn recommendations provide a simple and straightforward way to shout out your connections.
They have a 3,000 character limit, so it’s not the place for lengthy, complicated prose. Instead, it’s an opportunity to highlight characteristics, skills, and maybe a personal memory that emphasizes why a person makes a great job candidate.
Think of LinkedIn recommendations as an online review, similar to the one you would leave for your favorite taco place or arcade. However, in this case, it’s a review of a coworker.
You can write from either your own profile or the profile of the person you’d like to recommend, and each person’s collection of recommendations shows up in a dedicated section on their page.
Perhaps the most obvious reason to write a LinkedIn recommendation is that you might be asked to!
It’s pretty common for people to request recommendations from former or current bosses and coworkers to boost their profile and help them stand out. So, you’d be doing them a favor and making yourself look good.
Also, if you’re willing to give recommendations, people are more likely to give you recommendations. There’s a reciprocal nature to LinkedIn recommendations, so you need to make sure you’re giving them out just as much (if not more) than you’re asking for them.
It’s also a fantastic way to show appreciation for your colleagues and reconnect. Sometimes professional relationships are hard to maintain, which is one way to keep them going.
Finally, writing recommendations for others shows everyone (including future employers) that you are thoughtful, kind, and generous. These are all excellent qualities that an employer would be lucky to have on their team.
So, not only are you helping someone else out, but you could also benefit yourself.
Luckily, the actual steps to create and publish a LinkedIn recommendation are not difficult.
Let’s walk through them together.
To create and publish a LinkedIn recommendation from your own profile, you need to:
To create and publish a LinkedIn recommendation from another person’s profile, you need to:
If you’re a busy professional, you probably don’t have much time to write these recommendations.
We know your time is valuable, so here are the top tips to make yours engaging, clear, and effective in no time.
As with any piece of writing, you want to start with something that gets the reader’s attention and compels them to keep reading. In this case, it’s not as important since they’ll probably read it even if it’s not that thrilling.
However, you’ll have a much greater impact if you make it a memorable experience for the reader. Since recruiters and hiring managers read tons of repetitive material all day long, you want to make your recommendation stand out.
It’s good practice to begin with a strong complement to the person you recommend. For example, you could say something like:
Try to stay away from basic phrasing like, “[name] is my favorite coworker,” or, “[name] is the best teammate.”
You want to be as creative and original as possible. Write something substantive to convey how you feel about the person.
Need some help coming up with the perfect opener, give our free LinkedIn headline generator a spin.
It’s a powerful AI content generator that can help you figure out what you want to say in just a few seconds. It has a ton of tools to choose from, including a freestyle option that’s flexible for however you want to use it.
When writing a LinkedIn recommendation, be sure to ask yourself:
Whatever your specific connection is, you’ll want to define it to clarify your relationship.
Although LinkedIn will display your respective employers and connections, it’s a good idea to elaborate a bit in the recommendation to add credibility. It helps establish you as a solid reference, which leaves a stronger impression on hiring managers and recruiters.
Be sure to infuse your recommendation with personality, but not your own! Instead, focus on the personality of the person you’re writing about.
After all, most people want to hire someone who’s great on paper and has a winning personality to match. So, here’s your chance to show why this person is a great addition to a team and workplace.
Did they always bring donuts on Fridays? Are they the office comedian always making everyone laugh at meetings? If there’s a cute, positive anecdote or trait you can share, this is a good spot to do it.
Just try to avoid going overboard and journeying down memory lane. You want to keep the audience (future employers) in mind, and make sure you keep it relevant.
Focus on one or two exceptional qualities of the person you’re writing about.
You can tie this into your opening compliment to maximize continuity and flow and help drive home the point.
For example, ask yourself:
Whatever it is, use this as an opportunity to highlight what makes this person so special.
Now it’s time to wrap it all up. You started with an interesting opener, established your connection, shared a personable moment, and highlighted their unique traits and skills. So, make sure you put it all together by stating a clear recommendation.
You don’t need to explicitly say, “I recommend [name],” although you could.
It’s typically best to phrase it differently. For instance, try something like, “Fred makes a great asset to any team. They have my highest recommendation.”
You can make it specific to a position or role or keep it vague.
Now that you know the steps to write an awesome LinkedIn recommendation, let’s move on to real-world examples you can learn from.
This example does an excellent job of using an opening statement.
Even though they use the cliche, “one of the very best,” in this instance it works.
The writer explains stand-out examples of Spencer’s work and ends with a clear recommendation.
This is a wonderful example of throwing in a personal touch.
Here, they praise Bernard’s writing and mention that they have several of his books on their own bookshelf. That automatically makes the recommendation feel more personable and genuine.
Dean also closes with a strong recommendation statement to wrap things up nicely.
This LinkedIn recommendation is a prime example of developing a personal connection and describing the relationship. It effectively highlights the impact JT had on Julia.
Also, Julia does a great job of highlighting one specific skill or project that makes JT stand out as a job candidate.
This recommendation exemplifies why keeping things short and sweet can be highly effective.
They don’t waste any words, but they still paint a picture of why Irene is a top-quality candidate and highlight what makes her a unique asset.
This post briefly describes Aderemi’s characteristics and a personal story that emphasizes their connection.
It’s a great example of blending all of the key aspects we covered above into a top-notch LinkedIn recommendation.
Writing LinkedIn recommendations is a great way to express gratitude and appreciation for your colleagues. Better yet, it helps build a reputation for yourself as well.
By following the easy steps in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to crafting exceptional recommendations that hiring managers will love.
Don’t forget, if you’re stuck staring at a blank page and running out of time to write, give Copy.ai a shot with our ai writing generator.
This article is part of an ongoing series on LinkedIn and how to navigate it as a professional in the modern age of interacting with decision-makers across the globe. From bio templates, LinkedIn content ideas to writing the perfect LinkedIn summary, Copy.ai has you covered..
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