Throughout your career, you have had the chance to work with great colleagues, supervisors, and employees that you would be happy to recommend for a job. LinkedIn offers you the chance to do something like that by leaving a “Recommendation” on your former colleagues’ profiles. But the last thing you want to do is leave a recommendation such as:
“I love working with this guy!”
Although maybe heartfelt, the recommendation says nothing to help your colleague’s profile. So, we offer these tips on how to write an incredible LinkedIn Recommendation that will stand out from the rest. Next time you are asked to leave a recommendation, follow these tips:
1. Start With an Attractive Headline
Being a good writer is such an important skill today. You want to write a headline that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to read more. Think of all the blog titles out there that are specifically written to grab an audience’s attention so they will continue reading. Think of a unique way of saying something that is both heartfelt and sincere. Some examples:
- “I consider myself lucky to work for a supervisor like Stephen.”
- “An expert in time management who taught me all I need to know.”
- “I have never seen someone juggle so many tasks like Mike.”
The phrase is professional, sincere, and avoids sounding like a Facebook comment. As you can guess, a headline like, “Best boss EVA!” is not professional and may not come across as sincere.
2. Explain Your Relationship
Give the reader some details behind your relationship to the profile, including who reported to who, why, and how long you have known each other. Even though LinkedIn will show some of this information, it helps to see your interpretation of it as a way of backing up the profile. You are also going deeper into details to qualify the relationship. For example:
"Stephen has been my main point of contact over the last few years when I need assistance with IT development at my company. He is always attentive, prompt, professional and has a real 'can do' attitude when presented with IT problems and quality assurance issues."
The explanation goes into the details of the relationship and who reported to who and why. You also get a sense of the level of satisfaction that led to the recommendation.
3. Share What Makes the Person Stand out From Others
You are not leaving a recommendation because you believe the employee does not deserve it (and you should not be). The reason you are is because you know something about this person makes them stand out for a specific reason. So, talk about it.
Mention those one or two things that she can do better than anyone else. Focus your recommendation on it. And to do that, it may be a good idea to ask the person who requested the recommendation, “What would you like me talk about in your recommendation?”
You can shape your recommendation based on what they tell you. For example:
“I am forever in awe of Mike’s ability to command a room and get people on board with idea, even those who were initially on completely different pages.”
You can tell how this is the one thing that makes the person stand out.
4. Add Some Personality
Be honest. You know “boring” never works and usually looks like some carbon copy answer taken from someone else. Showing personality tells readers that a human being is behind the creation of the recommendation.
So, share a small bit about what it is like to work with the person and share some insight into the person’s personality. This means sharing the positive and safe side of a person’s personality, not the “TMI” side. (ie. “He pounds shots like no other boss I had ever seen at office parties!!”)
Talk about something that is motivating and positive. For example:
“No matter how many tasks I see Stephen juggle, he always keeps a smile on his face even when he is breaking a sweat.”
There is a great deal of personality mentioned in the above statement. The employee reads like a fun-loving, hard worker with a positive personality.
5. Top It off With a Solid Recommendation
It is time to seal the deal. Leave it with a final line wraps everything up. You do not need to say much here:
“As a colleague, co-worker, and team leader Stephen earns my highest recommendation and I would gladly endorse him for any company interested in hiring him. Any employee would be lucky to have Stephen as a manager.”
Try It Yourself
Here is a quick how-to borrowed from The Muse:
[Descriptive phrase] is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about [name]. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing [name] for [length of time], during which [description of your working relationship]. Above all, I was impressed with [name]’s ability to [description of what makes person really stand out]. And, of course, his/her [personality trait]. [Name] would be a true asset for any positions requiring [1-2 skills needed for position] and comes with my heartfelt recommendation.
We hope you get to use this many times while using LinkedIn!
If you need assistance writing a Letter of Recommendation outside of LinkedIn, check out this article.