How to Request LinkedIn Recommendations

 In Networking & LinkedIn

A LinkedIn profile is incomplete without recommendations that validate your skills and allow your readers to gain insight into how you communicate and deliver value at work. Consider adding recommendations to your profile on a regular basis.

1. Think about the skills you would like the recommendation to reflect and why.

  • Are you applying for a new position soon?
  • Are you targeting a specific group of clients as a consultant?
  • Would you like to have a record of successful project completion?
  • Have you worked recently with someone who was very satisfied with your services?
  • Are you building your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis?

2. Identify the people who can recommend you.

Think of several industry leaders, executives, clients, partners, mentees, or colleagues with whom you have a positive relationship and who are able to provide specific details in the recommendation.

3. Contact them after finishing a project or when you see fit.

Optional (depending on your professional relationships and your knowledge of the recommender): include work details that you would like to see reflected in the recommendation as a way of helping your recommender phrase their comment. This can include your measurable results and the skills that drove the success of the project.

4. Send the recommendation request by email.

Not all people check their LinkedIn messages often or know how to post a recommendation. LinkedIn functionality changes, and something that worked in the past may no longer work. In your email, include a link to your profile and the instructions on how to post a recommendation to your profile.

Explain that to post a recommendation, the person would need to click on “More” on your profile.

5. Use recommendation letters or feedback from past emails.

If you have recommendation letters or emails with positive feedback from your clients, corporate leaders, or colleagues, consider asking if they would be open to including this feedback in a LinkedIn recommendation.  You can paste a quote from their writing in your email to facilitate the recommendation.

6. Choose which recommendations to allow on your profile and thank your recommenders.

You control your profile’s privacy settings and you can publish or hide some recommendations from your profile. Sending a thank you note to someone who recommended you is always a great idea, to continue the relationship.

7. Give recommendations or suggest drafting one yourself.

Use these two options if the context is appropriate. You may choose to recommend someone first, and the person could reciprocate the comment. As always, be authentic. The recommendations you give are also visible on your profile.

Very occasionally, you can offer (or may be asked) to draft the recommendation that you will then ask the recommender to edit (or ignore): “I know how busy you are, and I’ll be glad to send some of my notes for a draft recommendation, which you can amend or disregard entirely.”

This approach can be used if you know that the person is willing to recommend you but may appreciate a few reminders on the work you did. Be authentic and provide specific examples of your skills and accomplishments.


About the author:

Tanya Mykhaylychenko provides resume writing and career strategy services. Connect with her on LinkedIn for networking tips and ideas on career development.

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