Guide to Recommendations—Writing LinkedIn Recommendations

adviceLinkedIn Recommendations are a way for you to segment your connections into an even smaller and more specific group. A Recommendation is a far stronger tie than a connection. You can also think of them as a way to reward your strongest connections. Carefully consider the people for whom you write Recommendations.

Here I will outline how you can combine the art and science of writing Recommendations to create credible, memorable ones. Just as important, when you ask someone to write a Recommendation for you, send them here first.. they will probably be grateful, and you will get a more lucid Recommendation.

The Components of an Effective Recommendation

recom-write1Effective Recommendations have three things in common:

  • Short—get to the point in ten sentences or less (with simple construction)
  • Specific—speak in specifics rather than generalities; they refer to how the recommendee made a difference
  • Sincere—are human and not too smooth; not synthetic PR massaging

Step by Step

recom-write2Note: mouse over screen shots to see titles; they are linked to larger versions.

  1. You have received a recommendation request or you feel moved to write a recommendation for someone. Click the “Recommend this person” button at the upper right of his/her profile.
  2. LinkedIn prompts you to select how you and the person know each other, as colleagues, partners or a client/provider relationship.
  3. Select up to three of the seven buttons.
  4. Write the recommendation using the three Ss (above). When you write, make sure you describe: a) the context in which you know the recommendee, b) the nature of your interaction and c) the results that your interaction had on you personally and/or your company. Don’t hesitate to describe more than one interaction or situation in which you collaborated.

Recommendation Makeover


“Charles helped me out with starting a new distribution channel for our network engineering practice. He was really hardworking and came up with incredible ideas and contacts of his own to drive deals and grow the revenue of those deals overtime so that we had a fantastic year and had to open another office which was a key factor in being acquired by one of our competitors. I highly recommend Charles for this kind of work.”


“I hired Charles Riviera as a Consultant to grow our relationships with IBM, SAP and Siebel systems integrators. Within six months, he had created, piloted and scaled a new alliance program that more than doubled our revenue. I hired him, and he continued to grow revenue and referrals very quickly. This is the best result I’ve ever seen for an alliance program, and it was clearly a factor in our acquisition by Chloraform Industries. I would jump at the chance to work with Charles again.”

Closing Thoughts

  • The recommender and recommendee roles are very important for setting the context for the Recommendation.
  • You will increase your cred for a role or position by asking people in a variety of roles to write recommendations for you. When people with different perspectives share their views, you give readers a richer view of your capabilities.
  • If you follow those guidelines, your Recommendations will be among the most prized. Remember, when you write a Recommendation for someone, it also reflects on you.
  • For more examples, I highly recommend Naina Redhu’s post on LinkedIn Recommendations.

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