The Best LinkedIn Recommendations Look Like This

Jun 23, 2020 | LinkedIn

A photo of two businesswomen — one of them is shaking hands with a person offscreen, representative of the social proof that the best LinkedIn recommendations provide.

LinkedIn recommendations matter, and the best way to get one is to give one. Here’s a guide to what the best LinkedIn recommendations include (featuring an example!)

By: Matt Dupee | Resume Writer for Let’s Eat, Grandma

Imagine you’re given the option to go on a date with one of two people. Who do you trust more — the person who introduces themself out of the blue and brags about themself or the person your friend introduces you to and 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.

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!

So, here’s a simple guide to writing LinkedIn recommendations, tailored especially for job seekers. We will cover why they’re important for a job search, how to write the best LinkedIn recommendation possible, and even provide an example recommendation.

What is a LinkedIn recommendation?

Straight from the fine folks over at LinkedIn:

“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 Endorsements.)

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Why do LinkedIn recommendations matter, especially 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. The best way to do this is to give a recommendation to someone you have worked with or, even better, worked for.

An example of a recommendation for a Let's Eat, Grandma employee, showcasing qualities that are common to the best LinkedIn profiles.

An example of a recommendation for a Let’s Eat, Grandma employee.

This is a form of networking that may result in a recommendation back. Just be aware that it will not always, 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.)

How to write a solid LinkedIn recommendation

The best LinkedIn recommendations include these elements:

—Make sure to 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.

—Provide praise on specific professional qualities. This can be a hard skill (“a master of Quickbooks”) or a soft skill (“a creative thinker”), in addition to general professionalism (“a dedicated, punctual, and responsive team member”).

—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.

—Avoid clichés or inane statements like “John is a great guy.” These are useless and can actually make you look bad.

—Keep it short. No one reads large paragraphs these days!

—Answer the question: “what is the value this person delivers?” Showing off your value as a professional is what LinkedIn is all about, right?

An example of a great LinkedIn recommendation

Logan is a big mind. She thinks about things that the rest of us overlook. As a result, she has led her team to discover deeper insights and ideas. Logan is a brand champion. Her business savvy is complemented by her creative acumen, worldliness, and mastery of storytelling.” – Ted Bramwell, CEO, XYZ Company 

What makes this great? It checks all of our boxes.

It’s short, to the point, demonstrates Logan’s value proposition, and tells a story about what she can do for the next company that hires her. It comes from a verifiable CEO 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 plan to give at least one recommendation per week for the next month — you will be surprised at how many people reciprocate!

Need some more help on your LinkedIn profile? We’re here to help.

Schedule a call with us to find out how our business writing experts can revamp your profile and land you your dream job.