At some point in your career you may be asked to write a LinkedIn recommendation. 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 a great 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 that 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, and 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 amazing people in your career; if they asked, it would be easy to give them a glowing LinkedIn recommendation.  However, there may be people you don’t feel that way about. If you cannot give them an excellent recommendation, then please don’t write anything at all!

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 back on you.

Know the end goal

You need to know what the end goal is 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 to 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 the recommendation can visit the profile of whoever gave it, 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 achievements.

3. Personal insight

While you want to highlight achievements, it is equally important to give a sense of a person beyond their resume. 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 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. Proof read it a couple of times, then hit send.

Great recommendations help you

Crafting a great message could help you in the long run. If you provide a great LinkedIn recommendation, the chances are high that you will get one in return. It will help you improve your LinkedIn profile and boost your creditability. 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 the what you write helps them in their goal. They could be applying for a new job or position, using your reference to engage new clients, or even be trying 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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