Don’t overlook the LinkedIn recommendation when updating your LinkedIn profile.

Often times people don’t know how important recommendations are, or even how to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn.

There are proper ways to write a LinkedIn recommendation request.

You are going to read about things to consider when sending your recommendation request, how to write the message, and some examples of what others have said to help you write your own.

Why Are LinkedIn Recommendations Important?

You might be sitting there thinking LinkedIn recommendations are not that important. Keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile is there to show off your accomplishments.

Without the recommendations, your profile is simply information you write about yourself.

Think of LinkedIn recommendations as a way for potential employers to get confirmation from others that you are as great as you claim to be.

Be sure to reach out to people that are familiar with the work you’ve done and your work ethic.

You may have more impressive people that can give you recommendations, like an executive. But if you never worked with them directly, it won’t be very meaningful.

It is crucial that the person can talk about specific things you’ve done.

Having recommendations on LinkedIn is especially important during a job search.

The job search process is competitive, you will need to stand out from other applicants. You want to paint a picture for hiring managers since they aren’t able to get to know the real you merely by reading your profile.

Providing detailed recommendations tells the employer what type of employee you are, and will give them an idea of what it is like to work with you.

Often times employers expect recommendations from your previous roles when you apply to new positions.

Steps to Request a Linkedin Recommendation

If you’re still not convinced, even LinkedIn states that hiring managers prefer to connect with people that have LinkedIn recommendations:

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Hiring managers and people searching for new customers and business partners prefer to work with people who come recommended by someone they know and trust.

So let’s get started.

Here is how to send a LinkedIn recommendation request: 

  1. Click the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Select the “View Profile” button under your name and title.
  3. Scroll down to the Recommendations section, click “Ask for a recommendation.”
  4. Type the name of the person you’d like to ask for a recommendation in “Who do you want to ask?”
  5. LinkedIn will prompt you to enter your relationship and your postition at the time you worked with the person you are asking.

We should also note that it’s best to space out your recommendation requests.

Recruiters know what you did if all your recommendations have the same or similar date stamp. It should look like the recommendations came naturally, not as the result of your bulk requests!

If you don’t have any recommendations, the Recommendations section will not display on your profile. You will need to request recommendations directly from your connections’ profiles until then.

What to Say When You’re Asking for a Recommendation

LinkedIn will provide you with a default message, never use this.

The default message is very generic and is not personal.

It is important to be yourself, let them know what it is you want, and how they can help you.

Tips for your LinkedIn recommendation request: 

  • Get to the point: tell the person what you want from them.
  • Show gratitude: thank them for taking the time to recommend you.
  • Reciprocate: let them know you’d be happy to return the favor of writing a recommendation.

Suggest your recommendation be based on a specific project. Think of an important project you worked on, and ask for the recommendation to be about the project.

It’s a great way to help the person know what to say, and it will make you stand out more, and impress potential employers.

Suggest that the person writing your recommendation mentions things like:

  • How you set goals along the way, to show that you work well independently.
  • How you exceeded expectations, to show you do more than just the basic requirements of your job.
  • How you met deadlines, to show that you have great time management.
  • How you worked well with your team, to show you’re a team player.

Now we’ll take a look at some ideas for what your request might look like.

Examples of LinkedIn Recommendation Requests

Here are some samples of what others have said in their recommendation requests.

These will provide you with some inspiration on how you might format your request.

Hi Ben, I hope everything’s going well in California! I’m writing to ask if you’d be willing to write a LinkedIn recommendation for me that highlights my crisis communications skills. Ideally, I’d love for you to outline the experience you had with me through the Def Con 5 initiative last year in Philadelphia. I’m working hard to transition into a senior communications role, and most of the employers I’m considering put a strong focus on crisis communications.

In this next sample, you’ll notice a specific mention of a project that they worked on. They also directly ask the person to talk about what it was like working together, and what their results were.

It is okay to tell the person what to include in the recommendation. This gives them an idea of what to talk about, and allows your recommendations to focus on what you want them to.

Hi Beth, I hope things are going well with you! I’m writing to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation to show off my ability to collaborate and manage my time well. I am really proud of the work we did on the Corp Inc. project. Could you write a bit about that initiative and what our collaboration and results were like? Please let me know if I can ever write a recommendation for you.

LinkedIn recommendations can set you apart from competitors and help your career in many ways. Add some to your profile and watch what they do for you.

If you need assistance writing or asking for a letter of recommendation outside of LinkedIn, check out Letter of Recommendation: How to Write [+Examples].