5 Tips for Writing a Great LinkedIn Recommendation

LinkedIn’s Recommendation feature is one of the best ways to publicly show support for your business contacts. With 187 million users as of November 2012, LinkedIn is the most successful professional social network. Because it is fee and open to web searches, 93% of recruiters say they use LinkedIn as one of the top ways to find talent. Also, many business decision makers state that they look at a vendor’s social profiles during the buying process. Due to these facts, it is critical that we think of our profiles as online resumes.

LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn Recommendations

Professional recommendations have been and will always be seen as votes of confidence from colleagues and coworkers. Hiring managers frequently speak with a candidate’s references, but this is most often done after submitting a resume and frequently after the first successful interview. With LinkedIn’s Recommendation feature, you can help your contacts during the recruiting process and well before they walk in the door for their first interview.

To truly support your colleagues, it has become increasingly important to craft a well written recommendation that will grab the attention of vendors, hiring managers and recruiters. Here are some tips on how to write a great LinkedIn recommendation that will help your contacts differentiate themselves from other candidates with similar experiences.

Recommendations are different than Endorsements. Recently LinkedIn added a feature to allow contacts to endorse each other without providing written detail. You can endorse an individual’s skills with a single click. Because a real recommendation takes effort and provides detail, it shows that you feel strongly about backing your contact.

LinkedIn Endorsements

LinkedIn Endorsements

Only recommend contacts that you have worked with in the past. This is not an outside sales tactic. Writing recommendations should not be used as a way to get your foot in the door. Your goal should be to reward your contacts for their experiences and successes.

Save them for those who deserve it. Do not offer recommendations to everyone you know professionally. You are publicly stating that you feel strongly about your contact. Others will be influenced by the detail you provide.

Keep it brief. Cleary state the value your contact provides to an organization. You must get the point across quickly. Doing so may also increase the likelihood that the reader will view other recommendations your colleague has earned.

Be specific about skills and accomplishments. The reader understands that you are recommending your contact. Explain why. Make sure your examples support the skills and experiences listed on your contact’s profile.

LinkedIn Recommendations have significant influence on the way other users view your colleagues’ profile. Make an effort to write one that gets noticed and they may even return the favor.