Whether you need a new job ASAP or you're simply looking to network as you advance your professional career, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful platforms on the Web. With over 900 million total LinkedIn users worldwide (including 65 million decision makers, like hiring managers and industry leaders), there's no better place to create a professional relationship with people in your industry or area.
LinkedIn offers an impressive suite of features that are designed to help job seekers connect with potential employers and start the hiring process. One of these features? LinkedIn recommendations. Recommendations on LinkedIn show up on your profile. They're written by people you have worked with, and speak directly to your workplace skills and strengths.
While LinkedIn recommendations are extremely valuable, it can feel awkward to approach a current or former boss or colleague to ask them to write LinkedIn recommendations. In this post, we're breaking down exactly who to ask, and including the best LinkedIn recommendation examples to help you ask somebody to get a recommendation written for you.
Recommendations are a LinkedIn feature that let users publicly recommend their connections for their skills, work experience, or other good qualities. These recommendations live at the bottom of a user’s LinkedIn profile, and can serve as social proof of their abilities and expertise.
It’s a smart idea to ask people for recommendations on LinkedIn. LinkedIn recommendations are important because they’re a helpful feature to optimize your LinkedIn profile, further proving that you’re good at what you do. Recommendations are important because they can help boost your professional reputation and credibility. They talk about what you're good at, like your excellent communication skills, how you keep the team motivated, or the ongoing projects that your leadership skills and positive attitude have helped carry along.
Having positive recommendations from colleagues, managers, and other industry professionals with whom you have a working relationship can also help you stand out if you’re looking for a job. And LinkedIn recommendations give potential employers or clients an idea of what it’s like to work with you, helping them determine whether you're a good fit for their needs.
What’s more, this feature works two ways: Remember that you can write recommendations for others, too. You may be more likely to receive recommendations if you’re ready and willing to give them to someone else.
At the end of the day, it's important to optimize your LinkedIn profile as much as possible so you can network more effectively and ultimately land interviews and jobs. If you're unsure how a person's profile should look on LinkedIn, use Teal's LinkedIn review tool to help. Our free Chrome extension analyzes your profile and makes suggestions of areas to improve. You can tweak your profile and then run the analysis again to optimize your LinkedIn as much as possible.
Recommendations and endorsements on LinkedIn are two different features. If someone gives you an endorsement, they’re validating a skill that you’ve already listed on your profile. Their name and profile photo will appear under the skill (“Research — Endorsed by John Doe and two others”). This is different from a recommendation, which shows up in a different profile section and consists of multiple sentences written by someone you have worked with.
While both of these features are valuable for job seekers, LinkedIn recommendations go above and beyond. Recommendations give someone the opportunity to share in their own words about their experience working with you and your positive traits. They’re a more detailed, personalized assessment of who you are as a professional. And since 90% of customers will choose a product that comes with a person’s recommendation (even if they don’t know that person) over one lacking this endorsement this makes LinkedIn recommendations a powerful tool.
You don’t want to ask just anybody for a LinkedIn recommendation. You shouldn’t ask family or friends just to get a good review — and you should never send a request to a stranger or someone you’ve never talked to, even if they're first degree connections on LinkedIn.
Think of LinkedIn recommendations as similar to job references. If you’ve worked with somebody for a period of time and you’re on good terms with them, they are likely a good person to ask.
To help you narrow this down, think about the people in your professional life who have seen you perform at your best. This could include former or current colleagues, managers, coworkers, clients, or business partners.
It’s also helpful to consider the soft skills and experiences you want to highlight to potential employers or clients. Identify the people who have seen you demonstrate those skills in action.
And finally, prioritize quality over quantity. While it’s great to have multiple recommendations on your LinkedIn profile, it’s more important to have high-quality recommendations from people who know you well and can truly speak to your strengths and accomplishments. This is not the place for vague statements--you want hiring managers and other professionals who come across your profile to understand what valuable and positive things you specifically bring to the workplace.
You can request a LinkedIn recommendation directly on the LinkedIn website or app. However, some people prefer to use email as a more formal approach. Both are good options. If you are asking for a review from a well-respected leader, a professional email that highlights why you’d appreciate that person’s recommendation can go far.
When writing your message, explain your why. Share why you respect their experience and why you’re asking for a recommendation. Will you be seeking out jobs soon, or are you simply working on building a more robust profile? Share this information with your connection so they can understand your purpose and goals behind the request.
It’s also okay to ask people to include specific examples of how you’ve provided value. Or mention a project you’ve worked on together to jog their memory, letting them know the kinds of things you want them to mention. Again, you don’t want a vague, generic recommendation that sounds like it could apply to anybody — you want one that specifically highlights your unique skills and abilities.
Once you’re ready to send a LinkedIn recommendation request, here’s what you need to do:
You can view the recommendation requests you’ve sent by editing the Recommendations section of your profile (click the pencil next to the plus sign on the right-hand upper side). From here, you can view requests by clicking the “Pending” column. This shows a list of all requests you’ve sent. The requests will also show up in your LinkedIn message history with each person.
When somebody gives you a recommendation, you will be notified via a LinkedIn message, and you’ll be able to review the recommendation before choosing whether to add it to your profile.
If you need a little more guidance on how to request a recommendation on LinkedIn, take a look at these great LinkedIn recommendation examples for different situations.
Dear [coworker’s name],
I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to reach out and request a recommendation for my LinkedIn profile. I've worked closely with you on many projects, and I believe your perspective would provide valuable insight into my skills and abilities.
Specifically, I’m looking to highlight my skills in [skill you want to highlight]. I’d really appreciate it if you have the time to leave a recommendation that shares your input on my abilities in this area.
Please let me know if you need any additional information or context to write the recommendation. And of course, if you’d like, I’m happy to return the favor and provide a recommendation for you as well.
Dear [manager’s name],
I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to reach out and request a recommendation for my LinkedIn profile. It’s been a pleasure working under your guidance and leadership, and I think a recommendation from you would help showcase my skills and abilities to create a stronger profile.
I’d like to highlight my skills in [skill you want to highlight], and I think your perspective would provide valuable insight into my contributions to the team. If you have the time and feel comfortable doing so, I would be lucky to get a recommendation from you on LinkedIn.
Please let me know if you need any additional information or context to write the recommendation. Thank you for considering my request, and I look forward to continuing to work together.
Dear [boss’s name],
I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to reach out and request a recommendation for my LinkedIn profile. It's been a privilege working under your leadership at our company, and I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished with your mentorship; I think a recommendation from you would be a valuable asset in helping me achieve my career goals.
Specifically, I’d like to highlight my skills in [skill you want to highlight]. If you have the time and feel comfortable doing so, I’d appreciate a short paragraph from you on LinkedIn that focuses on these areas.
Please let me know if you need any additional information or context to write the recommendation. Thank you for considering my request!
Dear [client’s name],
I hope this message finds you well. It was a pleasure working with you on [project or task] recently, and I wanted to reach out and request a recommendation for my LinkedIn profile.
I’m looking to add more recommendations to my profile that highlight my skills and expertise, and I believe your perspective as a client would provide valuable insight into my abilities. If you have the time and feel comfortable doing so, I’d greatly appreciate a recommendation from you on LinkedIn. Your input would help demonstrate my expertise and could be valuable in helping me achieve my career goals.
Of course, I’m happy to reciprocate and provide a recommendation for you as well. Thank you for considering my request, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again in the future.
To get started asking for LinkedIn recommendations, use the communication templates found in the Teal Job Tracker. You can use these templates as a starting point. Tweak and personalize each one you send. Then copy and paste into LinkedIn.
Remember, you can also use Teal’s Free Chrome Extension, which includes an automated LinkedIn Review. Once you install the extension, just go to your profile page and click on the Teal logo. You’ll see a list of recommendations on how best to optimize your profile and can make updates as needed.
And finally, once you've received some good LinkedIn recommendations, don't forget to say thanks! Send an email or message to each person with a quick thank-you for their time and endorsement. Located within Teal's Job Tracker are additional templates to use as a starting point when crafting a thank you email.