How to Write a Great LinkedIn Recommendation | Tips and an Example - ZipJob

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ZipJob Team

6 min read

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You know how important it is for you to have great LinkedIn recommendations when you’re applying for a new job. Employers often rely in part on these recommendations to better assess your potential value and previous work performance. Of course, if you’re ever been asked to write one of these recommendations for someone else, you know how time-consuming it can be.  Fortunately, there are to help you write great LinkedIn recommendations quicker and easier than you ever thought possible.

What Do You Need To Write Great LinkedIn Recommendations?

First, it’s important to understand your goals. When you write great LinkedIn recommendations, it's  similar to writing other types of job recommendations. You want to create a recommendation that will help that job candidate win an interview and land a job. To do that, you need to be able to convey certain information to that employer that will help in the hiring decision. You should be as specific as possible, and focus on the candidate’s strengths – while still offering personal insight that any hiring manager will find useful. The good news is that there is a basic formula that you can use to accomplish those objectives:

  1. Use an attention-grabbing opening line

  2. Explain your working relationship with the candidate

  3. Provide details about the value that he or she provided to that company

  4. Offer a bit of personal insight

  5. Be clear in your recommendation

Example of a Good LinkedIn Recommendation

Here’s an example of what great LinkedIn recommendations should look like when you follow our recipe for success. You can use this as a template and adjust it as needed to provide that lucky job candidate with the type of recommendation employers need to see.

Working with Susan was a true joy, and one of the highlights of my career. I’ve known her for a little over ten years now, and am proud to have her as a professional colleague. As her direct supervisor at ABC Corporation, I was always impressed with her ability to motivate her colleagues and help maintain the team’s focus on our shared mission. Her attention to detail and team-building skills directly benefited the company, increasing productivity and profitability. Her dedication to excellence and ability to elevate the performance of everyone around her will benefit the firm that’s fortunate enough to hire her. I highly recommend her to any employer committed to building an elite team of professionals.

Be sure to check out our great post explaining why LinkedIn is so critical to the modern job search process.

Write Great LinkedIn Recommendations 23

The Opening Line

To write great LinkedIn recommendations, you  need a powerful opening line to draw in the reader. This is true of all writing, of course, but especially important when someone’s career prospects are on the line. If you want to help that professional acquaintance, it is not enough to simply write a good recommendation. You need to make sure that your recommendation gets read. Dull, lackluster presentations can cause readers to lose interest and move on to something else. And if your reader never makes it to the end, he or she might miss the actual recommendation!

There are a lot of different approaches that you can take with your opening line. Just remember to start with something interesting and positive, but avoid being too superlative in your praise. You shouldn’t write things like, “Logan is, quite simply, the best software engineer in the universe.” That sounds great, but skeptical hiring managers are going to see that as too over-the-top to be taken seriously. Instead, use phrases like:

  • “Working with Jason was one of the biggest highlights of my career.”

  • “Sarah has the unique ability to improve everything and everyone around her.”

  • “I’ve had few colleagues who taught me more than I learned while working with Thomas.”

Just remember one thing, though. You will need to provide some type of example to back up whatever claims you make in your opener. That shouldn’t be difficult, however, since you will be sharing personal insight later in the recommendation. Just be sure to include a brief story that serves to demonstrate or explain your initial praise of the candidate.

Explain Your Working Relationship

With your opener out of the way, you can lead directly into your working relationship. When you're trying to write great LinkedIn recommendations, this is where you explain how you know the job candidate. This is critical, since it helps the hiring manager to better understand your perspective. Naturally, close working relationships tend to carry more weight. Most hiring managers also emphasize recommendations from supervisors, and give them greater weight than a recommendation from other types of co-workers. Check out our example later in the post to see how great LinkedIn recommendations handle this the right way.

(Remember not to include recommendations on a resume)

Emphasize Value

You then move on to the meat of the recommendation. You need to explain what the job candidate’s responsibilities were while you worked together. However, you don’t want to simply list job duties that the two of you performed. You should instead place that work into better context by explaining how his or her contributions added real value to the company’s bottom line. This can be either monetary value in terms of increased profitability, or intangible value. For example, if your former co-worked was critical to fostering teamwork and a more focused work environment, mention it here.

Personal Insight

One thing that all great LinkedIn recommendations have in common is that they all help to personalize the job candidate. Yours can accomplish that goal by adding your own personal insights. Was your former co-worked enjoyable to work around? Was she an inspiration to others on the team? Did his thoughtful attention to detail help to keep the office more organized? Has the office been less cheerful since she moved on to the next stage in her career journey? Share those insights with the world by including them in your recommendation.

Offer a Clear Recommendation

Finally, offer your recommendation. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail, but don't offer a halfhearted endorsement either. Simply give your stamp of approval to the job candidate in a direct and clear way. In fact, you typically only need one sentence to sum everything up. For example: “I highly recommend Jason and am confident that he can provide real value to any firm lucky enough to have him as a member of its team.”

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Written by

ZipJob Team

The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers and career experts located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.

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