How to Get or Write LinkedIn Recommendations (Examples Included)

By Mike Simpson

LinkedIn is undoubtedly the quintessential social media platform for professionals. It serves as a resume supplement, a place to showcase your expertise in posts, and a home for a range of networking activities.

It’s no secret that professionals usually spend a lot of time primping their profiles, ensuring that it has the right keywords and that each sentence and bullet point is just right. But with over 722 million members worldwide, it also means that there’s a ton of users vying for attention.

Is there any way to give a profile that little bit of extra oomph to really shine? Is there anything you can do to make sure that your (or a connection’s) profile stands out among the sea of other users? Luckily, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” With great LinkedIn recommendations, users can separate themselves from the crowd.

Whether you want to get your hands on a LinkedIn recommendation or two, or are trying to figure out how to write a LinkedIn recommendation after being asked, here’s everything you need to know.

What Is a LinkedIn Recommendation?

A LinkedIn recommendation is essentially an endorsement. One professional writes a review of another, and that review displays on the person’s profile. Yes, it really is that simple.

Looking for something a bit more in-depth? No problem!

In many ways, writing a LinkedIn recommendation is a lot like writing a professional reference letter, which we’ve covered previously. It’s pretty much one professional explaining in writing why another professional is amazing, providing clear examples that showcase why the person is awesome sauce.

The main difference is that LinkedIn recommendations are much (much) shorter. You only get 3,000 characters. That means, instead of several paragraphs, you usually only need one or two.

What Makes a Great LinkedIn Recommendation?

Alright, now that you know what a LinkedIn recommendation is, you may be wondering, “What makes a LinkedIn recommendation stand out? Is every recommendation good, or is there something that separates the great ones from the pack?”

Well, the simple answer is that not all LinkedIn recommendations are created equal. Some may be so-so, while others are exceptional.

Generally, stellar LinkedIn recommendations are concise and highly relevant. They are also example-driven, telling a brief story about why the person is so incredible. Usually, they’re a bit personal, too, offering up something unique that you won’t see everywhere else.

Not sure what we mean by that? No worries. We’ll be sharing a few examples in a minute.

How to Get LinkedIn Recommendations

Okay, if you want to get a few recommendations on your LinkedIn profile, you typically have to request them. Luckily, that process is pretty simple. If you want to get LinkedIn recommendations, here’s a step-by-step process for doing just that.

Choose the Right Person

Technically, you can ask anyone in your immediate network to provide a recommendation. Really, the only requirement is that the recommenders be 1st-degree connections that you have previous working relationships with, such as current or previous coworkers, managers, clients, or suppliers.

But does that mean you should ask everyone you’ve ever worked with for a recommendation? Of course not. Instead, you want to be tactical about your requests.

When it comes time to gather LinkedIn recommendations, use the same strategic approach as you’d use for job references. You want recommendations that pack a punch and provide you with a ton of value, so be a bit choosy.

Review your network for connections that can really help you shine and are highly relevant. Usually, that means concentrating on recent managers and coworkers that know you ridiculously well, and that think you’re the bee’s knees. That way, the recommendations are positive and speak to your current capabilities.

Head to the Connection’s Profile

Once you know who you want to ask, take a trip over to their profile. From there, you’ll be able to make the request.

Access the Recommendation Request Form

After getting to the person’s profile, click on the More (…) icon at the top. Next, choose “Request a recommendation.” That will produce a popup window.

Provide Initial Details

Once the popup is visible, you’ll need to fill out two fields. First, you need to state the relationship you have with that connection. Second, you need to state your position at the time.

With those two fields done, simply click Next.

Write a Personal Message

Now, you get a chance to craft a personalized message to the person. Seize this opportunity! Not only can you request the recommendation, but you can also do a bit more.

What exactly can you do? Well, you can give the contact a few examples of what you’d like them to share or tell them about your goals for the recommendation. This gives them an idea of why you’re asking and what would meet your needs. Plus, it makes writing the LinkedIn recommendation easier for them, increasing the odds that they’ll say “yes” to your request.

Be Available

After you make the request, make sure you’re available for questions or feedback. That way, you can work with your connection to get a great recommendation put together, ensuring you both feel amazing about the experience and what was shared.

Offer to Return the Favor

The world of LinkedIn recommendations can be a two-way street. Since you have a relationship with the people you reached out to, why not offer to write them a recommendation in return?

Now, they may or may not take you up on your offer. But by putting yourself out there, you’re showing that you’re open to reciprocating. That can help keep the relationship strong, ensuring your networking is about give-and-take and increasing the odds that the connection will be there for you long-term.

Common LinkedIn Recommendation Mistakes

As with all things, it’s possible to make mistakes with LinkedIn recommendations. As a requestor, you may target the wrong members of your network, leading to recommendations that don’t provide you with value.

Being overzealous about asking for recommendations also isn’t a smart move. You don’t want to harass people about them. Why? Because those who are willing to write one are technically doing you a favor.

Acting like you’d owed a good recommendation isn’t going to go over well. While following up once is probably no big deal, don’t overdo it. And, if someone declines your request, accept that and move on.

When it comes to writing a LinkedIn recommendation, one of the biggest mistakes is being too robotic. Bland, personality-devoid recommendations are dull to read and feel incredibly generic. That means they won’t help anyone stand out.

Instead, have some personality. Mention a quirky tidbit about your experience with the person. Include a professionally-appropriate play-on-words.

Another big mistake when you write a recommendation is saying something you don’t believe in. Ultimately, you’re sort of staking your reputation on the person, and that shouldn’t be done lightly.

Now, you might think that it’s no big deal. The trick is, it is. Dishonesty in your review could come back to haunt you. When a hiring manager figures out (and they will) that you weren’t honest, that damages your reputation, and that’s never good.

If you do the other way and tell the truth, no matter how bad, that can also hurt you. Why? Because it makes you look bad. Just like you shouldn’t badmouth an employer, don’t leave a review that badmouths another professional.

If you don’t have just good things to say about the person, don’t write the recommendation. It’s that simple.

5 LinkedIn Recommendation Examples

Sometimes, the easiest way to figure out how to approach something is with a great example. It gives you a model you can follow, serving as a source of inspiration or a framework for your own creation.

Now, you can’t always rely on one example to get you moving in the right direction. When you’re writing a LinkedIn recommendation, you want to use an approach that makes sense based on the relationship. That way, it feels informative and appropriate for the situation.

LinkedIn asks you to define the relationship you have with the person. With that in mind, here are five LinkedIn recommendation examples – each representing a different relationship type – that can get you on your way.

1. Employee Recommendation

“John isn’t just a technically exceptional software developer; he’s also a standout leader. He joined my team five years ago, coming into a fast-paced and, at times, chaotic environment where deadlines were often tight. Not only were his technical skills robust, but he also shined when it came to accuracy. When John was working on a project, our error-correction needs were always reduced by half or more thanks to his outstanding diligence and attention-to-detail. Plus, John never shied away from sharing his knowledge with others and often took the reigns when others weren’t sure how to proceed. Calling him an asset seems like such an understatement. As he works to take the next steps in his career, I wholeheartedly recommend him to any company looking for a reliable, accountable, and highly skilled software developer.”

2. Manager Recommendation

“When I accepted a position under Jane three years ago, I was excited for the opportunity. While I knew I’d have a chance to put my skills to work, what I didn’t anticipate was how amazing of a manager Jane would be and what that would mean to me. Jane doesn’t just instruct; she nurtures, coaches, and guides. She is as much a teacher as a leader, ensuring that her entire team had the opportunity to grow and thrive. Being her employee has been the highlight of my career thus far. In my mind, she set a very high bar when it comes to being a manager, one that I may never see beaten. If you’re looking for an exceptional manager who can help a team reach new heights, you simply can’t go wrong with Jane.”

3. Team Member Recommendation

“When I joined XYZ Company four years ago, John was one of the first coworkers I had the pleasure of meeting. Immediately, John made sure I felt welcome, and he actively went out of his way to ensure I had access to every tool and system I needed to thrive. As the years passed, John and I frequently worked together on critical projects. Not only are his technical skills exceptional, but he’s also a beacon to every team member. I considered him the calm in the storm, as he never seemed flustered, even when faced with unexpected obstacles or challenges. Thanks to his diligence, dedication, and determination, I never had to doubt that we would ultimately be successful. I highly recommend John not only for individual contributor positions, but I also recommend him for management roles. He would be an asset to any company, without a doubt.”

4. Mentee Recommendation

“The moment I met Jane, I was impressed. We initially connected at an annual accounting professions conference where we were paired for a breakout session exercise. While Jane was earlier in her career, her enthusiasm and confidence were unmatched. Ultimately, that’s was drew me – a 20-year professional in the industry – to mentor her. Not only is her skillset top-notch, but her willingness to listen and learn is unparalleled. I’ve personally witnessed her long-term development, and she continuously strives to stay at the forefront of the accounting field, actively monitoring trends, and acquiring new skills to stay current. Plus, she doesn’t just embrace challenges; she does so with a smile. I believe that Jane would be an asset to any company that would be lucky enough to have the chance to welcome her aboard.”

5. Supplier/Provider Recommendation

“John was my light in the storm. He oversaw my company’s account with ABC Supplier Company and, whenever we needed support, John was there. He listened to our unique needs, ensuring we could get the ideal solution. Plus, he followed up with us regularly, keeping the lines of communication open and providing answers to any question that may arise. I came to rely on John as much as I did the members of my immediate team and was able to achieve more due to his expertise and guidance. I highly recommend John.”

How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation

Alright, now that we’ve covered a bit about asking for recommendations and given you a few examples, it’s time to move onto another important point: how to write a LinkedIn recommendation.

If you’re well into your career, there’s a good chance that someone is going to ask you to stand in their corner and provide one. Don’t panic.

Writing a LinkedIn recommendation is actually pretty easy. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s a step-by-step process for how to write a LinkedIn recommendation.

Create a Standout Opening Line

When you write a LinkedIn recommendation, you want to make sure your opening line packs a wallop. Remember, hiring managers are busy. If your opening line doesn’t hook them, they might not read your recommendation in-full.

So, how do you ensure that your opener is an attention-grabber? By making it immediately clear that the person you’re writing about is awesome.

Precisely how you need to go about it can vary, as every professional and field is different. The main trick is not holding back. You want to get specific while also avoiding superlatives, ensuring what you share is meaningful and enticing.

A Little About You

While you’re opening line needs to catch the hiring manager’s attention, after that, you need to show the reader why they should care about what you have to say. How do you do that? By explaining your relationship to the person you’re writing about.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to wax on and on about how you know each other. A simple summary will do. Let the reader know where you worked with the person and for how long. Additionally, make it clear if you were a colleague, supervisor, or had another kind of relationship.

Now It’s Time for a Differentiator

Alright, if you’re writing a LinkedIn recommendation for someone, there’s a good chance that you think the person is smart, talented, a team player, etc., etc. The thing is, mentioning that isn’t going to help the person stand out. No sirree.

Instead of going on about the kinds of things everyone would share, it’s time for a differentiator. Think about an experience, achievement, or skill that really makes this person stand out from the crowd in a relevant way.

It’s okay if it’s a bit unexpected and even a little unconventional. Remember, your review is going to be on the person’s profile, right where an overview of their work history, education, and other resume-like stuff is. You don’t have to rehash that; the hiring manager can already see all of that information.

So, be a little bold. Bring up something that isn’t on the profile that makes the person look amazing. It’s a surefire way to achieve LinkedIn recommendation glory.

Don’t Forget Important Traits

Hiring managers aren’t just looking for someone with stellar technical prowess; they also want to find a candidate with a spectacular personality. So, make sure you highlight a few of the person’s standout traits.

The best way to go about it is to treat traits just like you do skills. Use clear examples that show how the person shines in various work-related situations. Provide enough detail to give the reader some context. That way, they get a feel for who the person is beyond their technical capabilities.

Say You Recommend Them

As you get ready to close out your recommendation, make it abundantly clear that any company would be lucky to have this professional on their team. Let the reader know that you genuinely recommend the person with a short-and-sweet sentence that says just that.

Review and Submit the Recommendation

Once you’re done putting the recommendation, give it a quick once over. Look for spelling, grammar, and other mistakes. After you’ve finished with that, you can submit it.

Be Open to Feedback

After writing a recommendation, the person gets a chance to review what you wrote. Oh, boy, right?

Now, you may ask yourself, “What happens if they don’t like what I wrote?” Well, what happens is that they can provide you with feedback.

After you write a LinkedIn recommendation, and the person reviews it, they have the ability to ask for a revision. When they do, they can include a note outlining why they are making that request or even discussing what about the review isn’t working for them.

Once you get that message, you can read what they’ve shared. Next, you can decide how you do (or don’t) want to change what you wrote.

MIKE'S TIP: Now, it’s important to note that you are still in control here. You don’t have to add or remove anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, or that feels dishonest. If the person is asking for changes that don’t seem right to you, don’t do it. Remember, you are putting your name to this recommendation, so you don’t have to move forward if you don’t want to.

With all of the changes you want to make complete, review the recommendation again for errors. Then, submit the updated version, and, tada, you’re done.

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, getting and writing LinkedIn recommendations doesn’t have to be a challenge. Just turn to all of the tips above. If you do, you’ll be ready to request recommendations from the right contacts, as well as return the favor and write a few recommendations of your own.

Good luck!

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About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.