Posted April 07, 2015 by

Top 4 Practices for Requesting LinkedIn Recommendations

Thumb up seal illustration design over a white background

Thumb up seal illustration design over a white background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

With LinkedIn currently being the most popular social networking site (second to Facebook), you’d want to make good use of that“300 million active users”. Since LinkedIn is increasingly being used for online recruitment, the “recommendations” feature is one that deserves considerable attention and care dealing with. Just because someone likes your idea of business, doesn’t make them a passable recommender.

According to LinkedIn, “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.”

Someone “they know and trust” has to be someone you have worked with for a considerable amount of time and who can honestly pass a comment stating a few qualities he remembers about you.

So, what do you need to make sure your recommendation (and recommender) is “passable” or let’s hope above that level: remarkably convincing?

Let’s observe the top four practices for requesting LinkedIn recommendations that ensure an authentic, genuine and noteworthy piece of praise.

1) Pick the Right People: As we mentioned earlier, don’t go for someone vague who you haven’t personally met and who doesn’t know you well enough to recommend you. The person might be someone “big” you want on your profile, but if your relationship with this person isn’t plausible enough, the recommendation may look forced and unconvincing. (This person could, however, be an endorser instead).

As per LinkedIn’s own guidelines, the best recommendations come from “people who value your work, services or products, such as managers, colleagues, co-workers, customers, and clients.” This is obviously a list of people you have worked with, and who have a thing or two to say about your professional credibility.

2) Ask Personally: It’s best to make your recommendation message a bit personal instead of the auto-generated “someone has recommended you”. Let the person know why you want to be recommended and include a “thank you” at the end. The personalized touch will make your potential recommender feel like you have gone through the trouble of writing a message targeted towards them and need their help in particular for your cause. The auto-generated message, on the other hand, feels like an all-in-one invitation that you may have passed on to several different people just to “give it a shot” and see who replies.

3) Guide Them On What To Write: If they know you have recommended them, they might feel great about it. But at the time, they probably either don’t remember a lot or even if they do, they won’t know where to start, where to end, and what to write in the middle. Adding a comment about your smile and your great personality may impress a potential spouse, but not an employer!

Guide them on what they need to mention (i.e. skills, abilities, unusual qualities in work, etc.) For instance, If you were an assignment writer who helped a friend to do her project, they’re going to have a lot to say about you. You can also remind the person of a specific time you worked together and request for details about that project (i.e., how was my ability to meet the deadline, manage my assigned work, my designing skills, etc.) A template can help an awfully busy recommender, but don’t get carried away with those and make them something you’ve written for yourself, not the recommender.

4) The More the Merrier: Try to build on your list of recommendations from commendable people. If you have a LinkedIn account and are ready to use it for professional use, then you probably already have several teachers, professors, ex-classmates, and maybe even a manager, co-worker, fellow internee, volunteer organization you worked for, and a regular client (Phew that’s plenty!). Try to include a variety of people as listed above to let recruiters know how you worked under different environments and in playing different roles.


James Thompson is an experienced writer having a diversified expertise in education, career and technology based writing. He provides consulting for Instant Essay which provides a rapid and reliable solution to all academic worries.

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