The Why and How of Outstanding LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn Recommendations
February 18, 2017

LinkedIn recommendations are perhaps the most valuable, yet underrated tools on the professional networking spectrum.

First, let’s be clear on the distinction between a “Recommendation” and an “Endorsement.”

  • An “Endorsement” requires a click, to validate one’s competency in skills such as, “PowerPoint,” “Public Speaking” or “Social Media.”
  • A “Recommendation” necessitates actual words.

Another bonus of LinkedIn recommendations is the recommender has to approve the given recommendation, and it must come from a first-degree connection.

All in all, LinkedIn recommendations are a highly reliable and credible source of information, when evaluating a person’s profile.

Naturally, receiving a recommendation is a huge win, but there are also several benefits for the recommender.

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Why You Should Give LinkedIn Recommendations

    • They are more personal than skills “Endorsements.”
    • A recommendation adds a touch of human voice and warmth.
    • An online recommendation lasts longer than a traditional handwritten letter.
    • It has greater reach and is more accessible to the masses.
    • The recommendation can be linked back to your profile.
    • Writing a positive recommendation builds your credibility and others’ trust in you.
    • The recommended is likely to reciprocate the favor and thus boost your profile.
    • Doing something nice just feels good, and gives you good karma!

Now, down to the nitty, gritty…

How To Write An Outstanding LinkedIn Recommendation

1. Nail the Opening Line

Similar to diving into a good book, cinch the reader with a great opening line. Try something like this:

“It’s rare to find such exceptional work ethic, as that possessed by Jill.”

“You couldn’t dream of a more diligent, hardworking employee, as Sara.”

“What an absolute pleasure it’s been to work alongside, Ryan!”

2. Explain Your Connection/Relationship

It’s important to establish the context of your relationship with the recommendee, as it influences how potential employers or fellow networkers perceive them.

Give the details of how you worked together, reporting structure and how long you’ve known each other— the reader should be able to understand why you’re qualified to recommend said person.

3. Highlight a Unique Quality or Trait

It goes without saying, if you’re recommending a person, you think very highly of them and believe them to be competent, intelligent, organized, etc., so think of one or two qualities, truly unique to this person.

Think of a specific instance or example, where they went above and beyond– what actions did they take or qualities did they possess, which led to such success?

4. Make It Personal

Most want to enjoy the people they work with beyond a strictly professional basis. If you can, tie in a short snippet of how they contributed to the company culture or made your team a fun place to work.

Just remember, to keep it professional– LinkedIn isn’t the place to hear about your Happy Hour stories!

5. Reaffirm Your Recommendation

Once you’ve said your piece, tie it all in. End your recommendation on a strong final note, reaffirming your support of said person.

“Georgia would make it wonderful asset to any team.”

“Caroline has my utmost support in all her future endeavors.”

“I highly recommend Pauline for all future employment opportunities and wish her the absolute best.”

What’s the best LinkedIn recommendation you’ve ever read, and what made it so great? 

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The Why and How of Outstanding LinkedIn Recommendations
LinkedIn recommendations are perhaps the most valuable, yet underrated tools on the professional networking spectrum.

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