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How To Write A LinkedIn Recommendation: Tips For Standing Out

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Are you having difficulty working out how to write a LinkedIn recommendation? Maybe you’re not even sure why LinkedIn recommendations matter.

Don’t worry. You are not the only one. Many people struggle with writing effective LinkedIn recommendations or understanding why they should even write them at all.

If this is you, keep reading. We’re about to tell you everything you need to know about how to write a LinkedIn recommendation, why you should write them, and why they do matter.

What Is a LinkedIn Recommendation?

LinkedIn recommendations tend to be short statements and testimonials from those you have or have worked with who are your 1st-degree connections on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn recommendations function as an alternative to a letter of recommendation so a prospective employer viewing your LinkedIn profile can see evidence of your skills, experience, expertise, and character.

Why LinkedIn Recommendations Matter

Networking has always been important for starting and building a career. These recommendations are an essential and powerful tool for networking that connects you with co-workers, peers, and potentially hundreds of employers looking for someone just like you.

Here’s more about how writing LinkedIn recommendations for others is good for you.

Help Build a LinkedIn Profile

When you give a LinkedIn recommendation to a connection, you are helping to build out their profile. The more connections and evidence they have of their work experience and effectiveness, the better.

However, each review you give also shows up on your profile, so while you’re helping to build your colleague’s profile, you’re also building your own.

Help Someone’s Reputation

Highlighting someone’s professional ability positively is always helpful, no matter what phase or level they are in their career.

However, they are crucial for those starting their careers or at the beginning of a second career. If a colleague has little experience in their field, a recommendation can go a long way, speaking up for them when not much else on their LinkedIn profile does.

Often what a person is really like or is really capable of doesn’t come through on their resume. For instance, even if you don’t have professional experience in your field, you can ask a professor to recommend you on LinkedIn.

Contribute To Personal Growth

Personal growth is another reason to write a LinkedIn recommendation that is as good for the recommender as the recommended.

The colleague you’ve written a recommendation for will get a chance to see their strengths and accomplishments through someone else’s eyes. This allows them to reflect and see where they are shining and where they aren’t as effective as they might have thought.

But writing a LinkedIn recommendation is excellent for your personal growth as well. Not only does it build your writing skills, but it gives you a chance to notice what makes someone an effective or essential employee in their role. You may learn something from evaluating them that fuels your own growth.

Why Write a LinkedIn Recommendation for Someone?

But why should you take time out of your busy schedule to write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone else? There are many reasons we’ll go into below.

They Asked

Writing LinkedIn recommendations for your colleagues or managers shows, above all else, that you are gracious and thoughtful.

Ask yourself this – is there any reason you shouldn’t write them a recommendation? If the answer is about you – you don’t have time, you don’t like writing, you don’t like to be asked for favors, this is an opportunity to put yourself aside for a moment, be a team player and do something nice.

They Worked for or With You

The best LinkedIn recommendations come from those who know the candidate in a professional setting. If the person asking for your recommendation worked with or for you, you are one of the best people who can speak to their strengths, abilities, and what they bring to the table. You are their best shot.

Show Your Appreciation and Support

In a professional environment, we don’t often get the chance to show employees or co-workers how much they and their work mean to us.

A LinkedIn recommendation is a chance to show them that you have been paying attention to their skill and hard work and the difference it has made to the others working around them and the company. It is your way of thanking them and supporting them in their career growth.

How To Write a LinkedIn Recommendation

Now that you know what a LinkedIn recommendation is, why they matter, and why you should write one, the question is, how do you write one? They are similar to writing a letter of recommendation. Here are tips to get you started.

How Do You Start a Recommendation Sentence?

Always start your LinkedIn recommendation with a captivating, knockout line that grabs the reader’s attention right away, so they can’t help but be pulled into reading the entire recommendation.

Use your connection’s name in the first sentence. Often it is most powerful to start your recommendation with their name so that the recommendation shows personal connection and specificity.

Here are some examples:

  • “Marcia Mitchell is a rare manager—she leads with integrity and compassion.”
  • “You’d be hard-pressed to find a more passionate and organized project manager than Paul.”
  • “The years I spent working for Brent were the most productive three years of my working life.”
  • “Darlene Brown is the kind of person who has it all. She’s incredibly efficient, with a knack for getting things done quickly and smoothly.”

How Long Are LinkedIn Recommendations?

LinkedIn recommendations usually have a limit of 3,000 characters. The recommendations you write should not be that long. Most recommendations are one to two small paragraphs.

The goal is to make it short and sweet, more like a blurb than a review. Make your recommendation specific and concise. How do you know the requestor? Highlight their skills and strengths, but don’t gush.

An effective LinkedIn recommendation is comprised of these simple parts:

  1. A hook with a standout first sentence.
  2. Identify your relationship.
  3. Share a standout strength or characteristic.
  4. A sentence that captures their personality.
  5. A solid recommendation or call to action.

For example, here is a practical but short and to-the-point sample LinkedIn recommendation:

“Samantha Hall is the whole package—efficient, talented, tenacious, and effective. I hired Samantha to manage and run my coffee shop, The Coffee Couch, when I needed to step back three years ago.

Immediately, Samantha hit the ground running, adjusting policies and procedures that made the coffee shop a more welcoming and safe community store.

Profits soared, exceeding expectations and precedent. Samantha always has an ear to lend and is constantly celebrating employee and customer birthdays. Any company would be lucky to have Samantha as a manager.”

How To Write a LinkedIn Recommendation for Your Boss

It may seem intimidating to write a LinkedIn recommendation for your boss. Still, it is a good way to show appreciation and an excellent opportunity for prospective employers to get a holistic view of your boss’s work ethic and leadership style.

If you’re not sure where to start in writing a recommendation for your boss, take a few days to take notes on their interactions with you. Brainstorm other specific times they have led you, taught you, listened to you, etc.

After you have some ideas to work with, notice trends and traits. Now you can speak to specific skills they have, such as interest in employee development, and specific examples of it, such as when they took their own time to show you new software.

Be sure to end the recommendation with a sentence showing how your boss has affected you and made you a better professional career-wise.

How To Publish a LinkedIn Recommendation

You may be inspired to write a recommendation for a connection on your own, or you may have been sent a recommendation request from a connection.

Here is how to navigate LinkedIn in either case to write and submit your recommendation.

Recommend Your 1st-Degree Connections Through Their Profile

To recommend a contract through their LinkedIn profile

  1. Go to the profile of the 1st-degree connection you plan on recommending.
  2. In the intro, click the “More…” button.
  3. Select “Recommend.”
  4. Complete the “Relationship to” and “Position at time of work” fields, then select “Next.”
  5. Fill in your recommendation and hit “Send” to submit.

Respond to a Recommendation Request

To write a recommendation in response to a request:

  1. Go to your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click on “Messaging.”
  3. Select “Write (member name) a recommendation” message.
  4. Click the link in the message.
  5. Write the recommendation and click on “Send” to submit.

Wrapping Up

Whether you are new to LinkedIn or just new to LinkedIn recommendations, hopefully, you’re a little more comfortable with what LinkedIn recommendations can be used for, why they’re important, why to write them, and how to write and publish them.

Please comment if you have any further questions on how to write a LinkedIn recommendation.

Standing out in a LinkedIn recommendation is easy when you keep it short, specific, and enthusiastic. Writing these recommendations help others to stand out, but they show what you’re made of too!

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