Your Guide to LinkedIn Recommendations: Why They Matter, How to Write One & How to Get Them
In today’s evolving economy, one career booster you should focus on is LinkedIn recommendations. LinkedIn recommendations are endorsements from people you’ve worked with and who are connected with on LinkedIn. According to Undercover Recruiter, recruiters look at LinkedIn recommendations when looking for and comparing candidates.
Like a Testimonials section on a personal website, or a former manager putting in a good word for you on the phone to a potential employer, LinkedIn recommendations are professional proof you’re worth working with. They may be able to help you get a better job or stand out when you’re applying for new roles. Here’s what you should know about LinkedIn recommendations.
How Do LinkedIn Recommendations Work?
LinkedIn recommendations are a section of a LinkedIn profile toward the bottom of the page. Visitors to a profile can see recommendations a person has received, as well as given.
With each person who is making a recommendation, their title and their relationship to the person in the profile is displayed. So, someone can see if the person recommending you was your manager, worked with you, was your client, etc., along with their current title.
To give a recommendation, you go to the profile of the person you want to recommend and click “Recommend [Name].” You’ll be prompted to explain your relationship to the person you’re recommending and then are given space to write your recommendation.
Sometimes, someone will ask you for a recommendation. You can also ask recommendations from others by going to a profile and clicking “Ask for a recommendation” in the recommendations section. Doing so will prompt you to click your relationship to the person, then to send them a personalized message with your request.
Why Do LinkedIn Recommendations Matter?
LinkedIn recommendations matter for a variety of reasons. These include:
- They factor in to how prominently your profile gets seen in LinkedIn search. Recruiters who are looking for talent like you may find your profile due to algorithmic factors like recommendations.
- They’re a way to vet candidates. When hirers are considering candidates, great recommendations at a high volume may give candidates an edge.
- They can expedite the hiring process. Hiring managers are busy people. When they can see that a LinkedIn profile already has credible recommendations to display, they can use those as ways to follow up if needed. There might not be a need to personally reach out to references when LinkedIn recommendations provide that public proof, which may help candidates get hired more quickly.
- They may provide powerful proof linked to personal ties. LinkedIn recommendations are a visual way for recruiters and hirers to see connections they have in common with candidates. For example, if a hiring manager sees that someone they know and respect recommended you, you may get a leg up in the hiring process.
- They can expand your personal network. One benefit of writing LinkedIn recommendations for others is that your profile can get seen by more people who are checking out the profiles of those you’ve recommended. This can increase the professional connections you make and expand your network.
Whether you’re a contractor looking for new clients or you’re competing for a high-profile full-time position, recommendations can give you the benefit of public endorsements from other professionals or clients in your industry.
How to Get LinkedIn Recommendations
If you don’t yet have LinkedIn recommendations or you want to increase your number to stay competitive, aim to get a good mix of recommendations from both supervisors and peers you respect in your industry. You might also look for recommendations for people you worked with indirectly, like clients of your firm. You want to ask people you’d be proud of having a recommendation from on your profile based on their professionalism and regard in your industry.
You can do the asking online on the person’s LinkedIn profile. You could also reach out to someone in person, via chat or over personal email.
If you have recently been praised by a supervisor, coworker or client, that may be a good time to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation while you’re at top of mind and have just wowed them. Another good opportunity for asking for LinkedIn recommendations is when you’re leaving a position on good terms.
In your ask, include:
- Why you value the person you’re approaching: You need to convey that you respect the time of the person you’re asking and your relationship with them. Introduce an ask with something like, “It has been great working with you over the past year, and I’ve enjoyed the success we’ve had collaborating.” Or, “Thank you so much for your recent praise on our latest project. It was a pleasure to work on that for you.”
- Why you’re asking: Explain the reasoning behind asking for a LinkedIn recommendation so the person will pay attention, take you seriously and deliver. The person you’re asking may not be familiar with how important LinkedIn recommendations are, so explain your approach. Say something like: “I was wondering if you’d be willing to write me a recommendation for LinkedIn. Testimonials from outstanding professionals like yourself add credibility to my profile, and I’d be so appreciative if you would recommend me.”
- Ways to make writing the recommendation easier: You want the recommendation to be honest and genuine from the person, but you can still provide some details that will help them when writing. Set them (and yourself) up for success with an effective LinkedIn recommendation by suggesting any pertinent details to include. For example: “You’ve mentioned my enthusiasm and organization have been the key to success for several team projects we’ve worked on together. I appreciate that and would be grateful if you highlighted that in your recommendation.”
- An offer to return the favor: This is up to you, but if you’d be willing to reciprocate with a LinkedIn recommendation for the person you’re asking one from, mention that. That may help motivate them to write one for you sooner, too.
If you’re unsure where to start with LinkedIn recommendations, think back to past coworkers and managers you’ve gotten along with and worked effectively with. It might help to first approach those you’d like to write a recommendation for. That way, you’re asking for one yourself but are willing to help them out, as well.
If you’re asking people for recommendations but wouldn’t be willing to recommend them yourself, be prepared for how you’d react if they ask for one back. It might be better to save the trouble and only approach people you’ve had a mutually beneficial working relationship with.
How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation
You may be asked to write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone else. Follow these tips.
- Be selective with those you recommend. Before writing one, be sure that you are enthusiastic about recommending the person. Your name, photo, title and relationship with the person will be displayed on the recommendation you write. Make sure you’re only giving recommendations to those you feel truly deserve them from you, since your reputation is on the line.
- Ask for suggestions. When you want to give a recommendation to someone, ask them if they’d like you to highlight anything. They may suggest something about your personal relationship that wasn’t at the top of your mind but that would make for a better recommendation. Their suggestions can help inspire you and write a more effective recommendation.
- Be specific. Recommendations gain credibility and grab attention with specific examples. You might choose to highlight an experience or add some numbers demonstrating specific contributions to the recommendation you’re offering.
- Be honest and genuine. Write from the heart. Portray the person you’re recommending realistically and positively so your recommendation provides an accurate portrayal to recruiters and hiring managers.
Even though your relationship will be displayed under your name and photo, it can also help to explain your relationship in the recommendation. That way, the reader gets a better understanding of how you are or were connected.
The Muse has a template for how to write a LinkedIn recommendation. The site recommends to:
- Start with an attention-grabbing line.
- Describe your relationship.
- Share a standout trait of the person you’re recommending.
- Add insight into the person’s personality.
- Conclude with a solid recommendation.
Before the person adds your recommendation to their LinkedIn profile, they’ll be able to read it. After you’ve recommended them, ask for their feedback. They may ask that you highlight something different or remove something you recommended. You can edit the recommendation until it’s one you and the person you’re recommending are both happy.
Need Help with LinkedIn? Contact HiConsulting
Recommendations are one important part of LinkedIn profiles. Complete LinkedIn profiles should also have keywords relating to your professional experience and complete job descriptions that include quantitative accomplishments. With 90% of recruiters using LinkedIn, according to Kinsta, a complete profile on the social network can help you stay competitive in your industry and help you get a meaningful job.
If you’d like help optimizing your LinkedIn profile for hirers and recruiters, contact HiConsulting for a free consultation.