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How to write a LinkedIn recommendation

Recommend someone for a position and feel like a star.
By
January 11, 2023

With the international jobs market being so competitive, you need every edge that you can muster. This includes lining up as many people as possible to confirm what a hotshot star you are in your industry. In survey after survey, an average of 80% of hiring managers said that they read LinkedIn recommendations before making a hiring decision. So if you are lacking in LinkedIn recommendations, now is the time to start stacking them up. Here is how to ask for one, as well as how to write a LinkedIn recommendation if someone asks you. Reciprocity is how the world goes around, after all.

Read more: How much is LinkedIn Premium? Everything you need to know

QUICK ANSWER

To write a LinkedIn recommendation, you can either respond directly to someone's request by clicking on the provided link. Or you can initiate a recommendation yourself by going to the Recommendations section on their LinkedIn page and clicking the Recommend button. To ask for a LinkedIn recommendation, go to the person's page, click the More button, then Request a recommendation.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to write a LinkedIn recommendation

Businessman linkedin recommendation

There are two ways to write a LinkedIn recommendation.

  • Someone sends you a request. This will come in a LinkedIn chat message, along with an email notification. The request will contain a link to the box to write the recommendation.
  • You can initiate a recommendation yourself. To do this, you need to go to the person’s page, scroll down to Recommendations, and click the Recommend button on the right.

We will be focusing on the second method. Whichever method you do it by, it all leads to the same page. The method of travel there is just slightly different, that’s all.

Writing a LinkedIn recommendation

Go to the LinkedIn page of the person you want to recommend. Scroll down to Recommendations and click the blue Recommend button on the right.

linkedin recommend someone

The next page is also the page you would land on if you clicked on a request link from someone. First, choose your business relationship (past or present) with the person.

linkedin recommend someone relationship

Now select the company or school you both went to together. The company has to be on the person’s LinkedIn profile under the job experiences section. Otherwise, it won’t show up in this menu.

linkedin recommend someone company

Now write your recommendation. You have a maximum of 3,000 words to play with, but recommendations shouldn’t be that long. Which busy recruiter is going to have the time to read 3,000 words? I wrote 1,160 words here, but you should ideally keep it to a maximum of 1,000 words. I just got a bit carried away. Remember, brevity counts.

linkedin recommend someone recommendation

When you have finished writing the recommendation, click Send. It will now be sent to the other person for their review. Once they accept it, it will appear in their recommendations section and also in yours (under the Given sub-section.)

What makes a good LinkedIn recommendation?

businesswoman linkedin

When writing a LinkedIn recommendation, there are certain things you should bear in mind to ensure you nail it on the first go.

A short guide to writing the perfect LinkedIn recommendation

  • Keep it to a maximum of 1,000 words. Short, snappy, and to the point.
  • Stay classy and professional. No derogatory comments. And don’t stray into their personal life.
  • Say something bold in the first few sentences to get the reader’s attention.
  • What is your business relationship with them? Give some context to how you know one another.
  • Mention the person’s strengths and attributes. If you say they’re a great person, then explain why.
  • Explain why they would be a good fit for any prospective employer.
  • Share some insight into their personality.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a bit of humor. But be careful here. What you find funny may not be something that someone else finds hilarious.

How to request a LinkedIn recommendation

To request a LinkedIn recommendation, go to the other person’s LinkedIn page, and click the More button.

linkedin profile more button

In the drop-down menu, select Request a recommendation.

linkedin profile more menu options

For the other person to recommend you, you need to have some kind of professional connection with them. So you either need to have worked at the same company together or went to the same school together.

First, select the person’s relationship to you. Did they manage you? Did you manage them? Were they a client or a mentor? Select the one most appropriate.

linkedin recommendation work relationship

Next, select the company or school you both went to together. You need to have the company or school listed under your job experience section on your LinkedIn profile first. Otherwise, there’s no way to get it to appear in this menu.

linkedin recommendation work position

Then you have the option to write a customized message. By default, LinkedIn says, “Hi #name’, can you write me a recommendation, please?” But this is boring, unimaginative, and not likely to get someone’s attention. If you can’t make an effort with the message, why should the other person make an effort with your recommendation?

So as you can see, I gave my colleague a nice little motivational nudge in the right direction. Then click Send. The request will pop up in their LinkedIn chat box, and an email notification will be sent to them.

linkedin recommendation custom note

There’s no time limit on replying to recommendation requests, and the other person may very well ignore you. So all you can do is be patient and wait. LinkedIn bans multiple recommendation requests, so once you’ve sent the request, that’s it.

If the other person does write you a recommendation, you will get a LinkedIn chat message and email notification. Inside the chat message will be a link where you can preview the recommendation privately. At this stage, it hasn’t been published and will never be until you approve it.

After reading it, you can either:

  • Approve the recommendation (which publishes it on your LinkedIn page).
  • Decline it (which nukes it).
  • Or you can request that the other person makes changes if you disagree with something. Of course, it’s entirely up to them if they do it or not.

Read more: How to delete your LinkedIn account

FAQs

Yes, you can withdraw a recommendation at any time if circumstances have changed.

Yes, you both need to have worked at the same company or went to the same educational establishment. You need that professional connection.

No, they can only accept it as it is or ask you to make changes. Once they have accepted it, it cannot be altered in any way.

Yes, you can request changes. The other person is obviously not obligated to do it, though.

Yes, you can decline it if you want.

Yes, any recommendations you have given or received will disappear forever.

Yes. When you have accepted the recommendation, and it is live on your LinkedIn page, there is a toggle next to it which hides or unhides it from your network.

Not through LinkedIn. The site bans multiple requests to stop spam and harassment. You would have to ask the person another way (email, SMS, phone, etc.)

LinkedIn has confirmed that there is no limit. But you have to know the person and to have worked with them in some capacity.

No, you can only write plain text.

Yes, because they serve as social proof of what you are like. When you are promoting yourself to a future employer, having lots of glowing recommendations about you really do matter. After all, you should have more on your profile than a just an uploaded resume.

Many surveys over the years have put the number of hiring managers that make it a policy to read LinkedIn recommendations as high as 80%. So yes, they do read them.