WRITTEN BY: JACOB ROSS
We’ve talked about LinkedIn Basics and how to set up your account, find connections, and even apply for jobs. Now that your profile is up and running and your network is growing every day, I want to give some tips about writing AND receiving recommendations on LinkedIn to help your profile stand out.
Adrian Granzella Larssen, the editor-in-chief of The Daily Muse, wrote “Your 5-Minute Guide to Writing an Amazing LinkedIn Recommendation”.
Step 1: Start With a Knockout Line
Like a great headline in the news, you have to hook your audience quickly so they continue reading. All too often I see “Tim worked for me as a Sales Rep at ABC Corp” Not very enticing is it? That would be best saved for Step 2. This opening line needs to pack a punch. For example: “ ‘Ridiculously efficient’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about Tim.”
Step 2: Describe Your Relationship
Recommendations aren’t reserved for superiors describing their employees. Just as you look for the perfect job, you also want to work for the right boss! Consider writing recommendations for your supervisors, coworkers, vendors, and professors. Include your reporting relationship, what you worked on together, and the length of time you’ve known each other. Be sure to provide some context as to why you’re qualified to recommend this person. If it’s your boss, recommend them based on their management abilities and being a mentor/coach.
Step 3: Share a Standout Trait
LinkedIn recommendations aren’t novels. Save your characters for describing characteristics this individual has over everyone else…not the same ol’ same old. You want the person you’re recommending to appear better than the average Joe employers are used to seeing. Really take a minute to think about two traits that would set this individual apart from the rest.
Step 4: Add a Touch of Personality
Let’s face it: Everyone wants to hire someone who not only gets the job done, but who’s also great to work with. So, if you can share a tidbit about what it’s like to work with this person or some insight into their personality, do so!
Step 5: End With Your Solid Recommendation
Finally, it’s always nice to seal your recommendation with a final line that makes it clear that you give your contact an enthusiastic thumbs-up. You don’t need to do much here—think short, sweet, and solid.
Give it a Shot!
While I recommend mixing it up so all of your recommendations don’t look the same, here’s a template to give you an easy start. Rather than asking people for recommendations, write them one first. LinkedIn will prompt them to return the favor, it comes across as selfless, and it flatters the individual before they will think about all of the great things to say about you!
[Descriptive phrase] is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about [name]. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing [name] for [length of time], during which [description of your working relationship]. Above all, I was impressed with [name]’s ability to [description of what makes person really stand out]. And, of course, his/her [personality trait]. [Name] would be a true asset for any positions requiring [1-2 skills needed for position] and comes with my heartfelt recommendation.