Linkedin Recommendations: You need them. Here's how to ask for them.
- You want LinkedIn recommendations that stand out to potential employers.
- It's important to ask the right people.
- It's important to ask at the right time.
- It's important to ask in the right way.
Asking someone for a LinkedIn recommendation can feel a little bit like fishing for compliments: Awkward.
But you've got to do it – 85 of 88 hiring managers we spoke to said they take LinkedIn recommendations into consideration during the hiring process.
A powerful personal testimony can make a big difference, said Fig Loans co-founder and technical lead John Li: "A well-written recommendation that captures big successes may help push the manager to send a job offer."
That means you need to know how to ask for great recommendations.
Who Do I Ask for LinkedIn Recommendations?
Choose people who are familiar with your work and can give you powerful, specific, sincere endorsements. You want recommendations from a variety of people in a variety of roles, including:
- Past and present co-workers
- Industry leaders
If you're a recent graduate, you might also consider:
- Graduate directors
- University organization leaders
- Colleagues from volunteer work experiences
- Internship mentors
When Do I Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation?
Recommendations are time-stamped on your LinkedIn profile, so if you send out a slew of recommendation requests all at once, potential employers will be able to tell. That's not necessarily the end of the world — ultimately, a good recommendation is a good recommendation.
But if you are in a position to curate recommendations over time, ask at moments when you are likely to get strong, detailed feedback:
- When you've completed a major project
- When you've reached a career milestone
- When you've received praise for a professional achievement
- When you are leaving a position or organization
How Do I Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation?
- Go to your LinkedIn profile and scroll down to the Recommendations section.
- Click the + button and select Ask for a Recommendation.
- Search for the person you want to ask for a recommendation.
- Craft and send a personalized request.
According to hiring managers, there are five elements of a great recommendation:
- Diverse sources
- A catchy opener
- Examples of value added
- Character insight
Start by considering the recommendations you already have. Are any of these elements missing?
If so, don't be afraid to ask directly for a recommendation that will fill in the gaps. Here are some examples:
How to Ask a Manager for a LinkedIn Reference
Hi Chieu Anh,
Thanks so much for agreeing to write me a recommendation here on Linkedin!
I've learned so much from you about what it means to be a real teammate — how to connect with colleagues, lead with heart, and show up for the little things. Thanks to you, these have become professional strengths of mine as well.
Would you be willing to speak directly to those strengths in your recommendation and mention a time when you felt they added value to our organization?
I want potential employers in my new field to get a clear sense of who I am as an employee from someone who really knows me.
This request encourages the manager to showcase:
- Mark's character and personality
- A time when he added value
Pro tip: A request written with sincerity and feeling is more likely to inspire a recommendation written with sincerity and feeling.
How to Ask a Client for a LinkedIn Recommendation
I'm pleased you are so happy with the website I built for you! I am really proud of it.
Would you take a minute to write me a LinkedIn review? I want to build a professional reputation that makes future clients feel confident hiring me as a freelancer.
If you could say something about our collaboration, my communication with you, and how you feel about the final results, it would be a real help. Nothing speaks quite as powerfully as a satisfied customer.
Looking forward to the next time we get to work together,
This request provides the client with a writing prompt that highlights:
- Collaboration and communication
Pro tip: Lean into the power of suggestion. Here, Sasha asks Booker to write about how he feels after including positive feeling-words like "pleased," "proud," and "satisfied."
How to Ask a Co-Worker for a LinkedIn Recommendation
Hi, Sam! I enjoyed working with you on the LightHouse account — would you be willing to write me a LinkedIn recommendation while the success of that project is still fresh on our minds?
I really appreciated what you said in our last meeting about my contributions to LightHouse. Specifically, you mentioned:
- The depth of my UX design skills and industry knowledge
- How my curiosity about the user directed and focused our product goals
- How quickly I responded to and incorporated feedback
Would you be willing to include these points in your recommendation? They illustrate what I am like to work with on a product team in a way my CV can't quite convey.
Thanks so much,
Meera does a deft job of providing Sam with specific points she wants him to include in his recommendation by reminding him about positive feedback he has given her in the past. Those points capture:
- Technical skills
- Soft skills
- Character and personality
Pro tip: Keep a list of positive feedback to incorporate into your recommendation requests. If it's particularly attention-grabbing, ask recommenders to open with it.
How to Ask a Former Boss for a LinkedIn Recommendation
How are you? I miss our Friday cookie swaps.
As you know, I'm in the process of transitioning from administrative roles into content writing.
Will you write me a LinkedIn recommendation? You are better qualified than anyone I've worked for to speak to my abilities in that area.
If it helps jog your memory, here are three writing projects I did for you that illustrate my important transferable skills:
- I wrote website copy, edited department pages, and regularly updated our content for a company website that averaged 120,000 daily visits.
- I wrote a monthly newsletter that went out to 600+ members and stakeholders.
- I composed press releases and op-eds concerning company news and updates for publication in local papers.
As always, thanks for your help.
In his request, Edward makes his former manager's job easy by providing specific examples of:
- Value added
- Relevant supporting data
Pro-tip: If you want a recommendation powered by specifics instead of generalizations, do the heavy lifting of compiling information ahead of time so your recommender doesn't have to.
FAQ: LinkedIn Recommendations
Should I write LinkedIn recommendations for people? true
Yes! It's rarely a bad idea to speak well of others. Just remember that your endorsements are public. Make sure they are well-written, thoughtful, honest, and professional.
How many LinkedIn Recommendations should I have? true
There is no perfect number of LinkedIn recommendations. However, some managers have told us they ignore recommendations if there are too few of them (1-2) or too many of them (12+).
With that in mind, shoot for 5-8 really strong recommendations.
How do I ask someone to revise their LinkedIn recommendation? true
If someone has written you a recommendation that doesn't quite hit the mark, you can ask them to revise it directly through LinkedIn.
Make the process easier by providing whatever that person might need to respond to your request. Be specific about the changes you want, offer any relevant information or data, and express your gratitude!