The Best Way to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation

Oct 22, 2021 | Job Search Strategy

How to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation

Recommendations are an impactful element of your LinkedIn profile, but it can be intimidating to ask for them. Here’s an easy guide on how to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation from your network.

By: Katelyn Skye Bennett | Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma

LinkedIn is the networking tool of champions, and its capabilities go far beyond acting as an online resume. It offers an all-in-one look at your person within your career field: there are plenty of supplemental sections for languages, skills, and yes, recommendations.

LinkedIn recommendations operate similarly to reference letters, but they are available on your profile for recruiters to see at any time when they’re looking for candidates, which boosts your chances of them contacting you for a job opportunity.

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LinkedIn Recommendation Logistics

To request a LinkedIn recommendation or to give one, you simply go to the “More” tab under the headline on the person’s profile, right next to the Message button.

When you get one, it appears at the bottom of your profile, beneath Skills and Endorsements.

recommendations on linkedin

Who to Ask for a Recommendation 

There are a couple drawbacks of the recommendation function, however. At this time, you can only recommend somebody whom you have worked or studied with. The prompt pulls up your work experience and requires you to choose a position through which you know the person. It can be a direct staff-to-supervisor relationship, a coworker from another team, or a fellow classmate. 

While it’s helpful that the education option is now available, the recommendation function is still limited for those whose relevant experience has primarily been within volunteer work.

Therefore, you’ll want to determine the best person to ask from a non-volunteer position you have listed on your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Recommendation Request Strategy — Choosing the Right Person

two people high-fiving: ask colleagues who have praised you for linkedin recommendations. Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

When thinking about people to ask for LinkedIn recommendations from, think about colleagues who you work well with, and who have praised your work. Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

As with all networking, your relationships are what will take you far.

When seeking a recommendation, ask somebody who knows you well – someone with whom you have rapport. They’re more likely to agree if they already know and value you.

Secondly, consider the types of work your coworkers have seen you do and what strengths they can help you showcase. Then ask the person whose words will help develop your profile in the career direction of your choice.

It’s also in your own interest to extend the same goodwill to the person you’re asking. One of the best ways to secure a recommendation from someone is to write a recommendation for them first, as it makes it easier for them to say yes!

Making the Ask

When you do ask, consider your approach. Remember, keep your relationship central and personalize the inquiry rather than relying on the template LinkedIn provides. Even better, if you get the chance to meet in person, you can ask them face-to-face.

Now it’s your time to ask for specifics — what strengths you’d like them to highlight, what projects you’ve completed together, perhaps other communications or interactions you’ve had that would relate to your career trajectory. These details will make their job easier as you are jogging their memory and clearly expressing your hopes. This will ensure you get a quality recommendation.

Of course, remember to give them ample time to write it and preemptively let them know what date you need it by. Life can get away from all of us, so don’t be afraid to send a gentle follow-up reminder if it’s been a week or two.

Above all, remember to thank the person for taking time out of their schedule to do this. As you continue to network with them through this recommendation request, let them know you value their opinion and want to make strides in your career.

To recap, you’ve considered the person or people who can best speak to your strengths, those whom you know and who want to see you succeed. You’ve clicked over to their LinkedIn profile page and found the “more” button next to the messaging one, and you’ve selected “request recommendation.”

Conclude with your personalized message and expression of gratitude, and continue to stay in relationships with those whom you value in your network!

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