LinkedIn recommendations are testimonials given by people who know and appreciate your work. By having your strengths, skills, and positive contributions highlighted by others, recommendations provide you with an “opportunity to have others reinforce your claims”. Remember, these individuals are taking time out of their busy schedules to vouch for you. Consider the following tips to ensure you’re making the most out of this valuable feature.
Who to ask for a recommendation
Aim to have one recommendation from each organization you worked at. Ideally, choose someone who you reported to or directly saw your work. You can even request a recommendation from a subordinate; that is, someone who you led and could vouch for your leadership skills.
When someone writes you a recommendation, it will show up on their own profile under “Given”. Ensure that whomever you are requesting a recommendation from will be happy to provide you one.
How to ask for a recommendation
Before sending a recommendation request through LinkedIn, for courtesy, email the individual asking for permission to request one. Follow-up through email if they do not respond within a few days. Once you get approval from the contact, send them a formal LinkedIn recommendation request.
Craft a personalized message and be mindful of the individual’s time. Nothing says “I don’t value your time” like a non-personal message that was obviously sent to many people.
Share context that will make it easy for the individual to write you a recommendation. List your official job title, relationship to the recommender, and strengths you would like highlighted. Even better is listing particular projects you helped execute and the skills and behaviours you demonstrated in the process. Try to make your skills and strengths as specific as possible so the individual can quickly think back to what you accomplished.
After a recommendation is made
Once your contact writes you a recommendation, read it carefully and let them know if there is something you would like tweaked. Remember that you don’t have to accept it if you think it doesn’t add value to your profile. If you are happy with it, remember to publish it. Go to “Recommendations” and click “Add to Profile” under the “Received” tab to have it appear on your profile.
No one has to write you a recommendation. If you receive one, remember to show your appreciation. Send a nice thank you email or handwritten card, and consider writing them a LinkedIn recommendation in return. Read more tips for writing a great recommendation.