The Best LinkedIn Recommendations Look Like This (Featuring Examples)
LinkedIn recommendations matter, and the best way to get one is to give one. Here’s an example of what a LinkedIn recommendation looks like and a guide for how to write one.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2020; it has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
By: Matt Dupee | Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma
Giving a LinkedIn recommendation can be intimidating, but it’s an important strategy for getting recommendations of your own.
If you’re not sure of the importance of LinkedIn recommendations, let’s look at this dating example to see how powerful social proof is.
Imagine you’re given the option to go on a date with one of two people.
One is a stranger who matched with you on Tinder and said, “I couldn’t help but notice how stunning you are, and I thought I would introduce myself. I must say that I have been very successful in my life. I am the CEO of a large company, and I also volunteer every week. I’m not trying to brag, but I just want you to know that I’m a catch.”
The other person works with your best friend. You’ve never met him, but your friend describes him as someone who consistently demonstrates kindness, empathy, honesty, and integrity in their words and actions. She says he’s not only a good person, he has a positive attitude and outlook on life.
Who do you trust more — the person who introduces themself out of the blue and brags about themself or the person your friend vouches for?
Probably the person your friend introduced instead of the total stranger, right?
Social proof works – not only in your personal life, but in your job search too.
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What is a LinkedIn recommendation?
If only there was a way you could get social proof to validate your skills and help you find a job … oh wait, there is, and it’s called the recommendation feature on LinkedIn!
Let’s go straight to the fine folks at LinkedIn for a simple definition of a Linkedin recommendation:
“You can write a recommendation for anyone whose work you’d like to recognize, like a colleague, co-worker, or student. The recommendation recipient can choose to display it on their profile.”
Basically, recommendations serve as social proof of the qualifications that you claim on your profile. Note: these are different from the plus signs and numbers next to your skills – those are Linkedin endorsements.)
Recommendations can help your job search, that much is clear.
So, now, let’s explore why giving a recommendation is important.
Then we’ll break down the components of the best LinkedIn recommendations, followed by an example recommendation.
Why does giving LinkedIn recommendations matter for my job search?
Both giving and receiving LinkedIn recommendations enhance the credibility of your LinkedIn profile.
Think about it — we have all seen generic testimonials or recommendations on web sites with questionable authenticity. I have even seen some less observant folks use website builder templates and forget to change testimonial names (we all know what Elon Musk looks like!)
To avoid this and gain real credibility for your personal brand, I suggest focusing some of your job search efforts on getting recommendations from your LinkedIn network.
And what’s the best way to get a LinkedIn recommendation? Give one! When you reach out to someone and give them a recommendation, you are indicating that you value their opinion and expertise. This can be a flattering gesture that prompts the person to write a positive review of your skills and work.
Additionally, by giving someone a recommendation, you are also demonstrating your commitment to building a strong network on LinkedIn. People are more likely to reciprocate and write you a recommendation if they feel that you are invested in cultivating a mutually beneficial professional relationship.
How to write the best LinkedIn recommendation
The best LinkedIn recommendations include these elements:
1. Explain how you know the person and how your relationship was meaningful. LinkedIn makes you choose from one of plenty of options of how you know the person, but if those don’t cover the importance of your relationship, make it clear in the text.
2. Provide praise on specific professional qualities. This can be a hard skill (Quickbooks expert or a soft skill (creativity), in addition to general professionalism (a dedicated, punctual, and responsive team member).
3. Provide examples of those qualities that show why this person stands out from others. Don’t just say “Jenny is a creative thinker.” Give an example of how she used that creative thinking to advance a major project while you worked together.
4. Add a personal touch, and avoid clichés. Vague statements like “John is a great guy” don’t convey anything to the reader. Plus, you run the risk of offending the person you’re recommending with a recommendation that looks rushed and unthoughtful! Take some time to insert some genuine praise based on real experiences.
It always amazed me how fast John could identify the core issue we were trying to solve.
Jennifer has a knack for explaining things clearly and succinctly.
5. Keep it short. Linkedin has a 3,000-character limit on recommendations, but you shouldn’t need that many. Keep it to 2-3 short sentences.
6. Answer the question “What is the value this person delivers?” Showing off your value as a professional is what LinkedIn is all about, right?
A LinkedIn recommendation example
Logan is a big mind. She thinks about things that the rest of us overlook, and as a result, she inspires her team to discover deeper insights and ideas. She is also a brand champion. Her business savvy is complemented by her creative acumen, worldliness, and mastery of storytelling
This LinkedIn recommendation example is short, to the point, demonstrates Logan’s value proposition, tells a story about what she can do for the next company that hires her, and does not include any “fluff.” Every word contributes to the overall message.
Whether you are just starting out in your career or a seasoned professional, Linkedin recommendations will add value to your personal brand. Start reviewing your network and use this example to give at least one LinkedIn recommendation per week for the next month – you will be surprised at how many people reciprocate.
This method is a proactive form of networking and is a great way to cultivate a strong network of engaged LinkedIn connections. Just be aware that you may not always get a return recommendation right away, as writing one does require some effort and time, a luxury we don’t all have. If you really want a recommendation from someone, it may be wise to follow up with them.
Have you given someone a recommendation, but they haven’t returned the favor? Here are some best practices for asking for a LinkedIn recommendation.
Moving on to the rest of your profile? Check out these 5 tried-and-true LinkedIn profile hacks for getting noticed by recruiters.
Ready for more job search help?
Sign up for a free Senior Writer Resume Critique to see what’s holding you back from landing interviews. One of our top professional resume writers will give you personalized feedback on the top 3 items you can improve based on our expert practices!