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Tips for Writing LinkedIn Recommendations

tips for writing linkedin recommendationsNew year, new you. It’s not uncommon for people to evaluate certain aspects of their life as another year goes into the history books. For some, that means considering a job move or exploring a completely different career path. With most job transitions comes a lot of work – a refreshed resume, maybe a new work portfolio and of course an all-star list of professional references.

When it comes to references, more employers are looking at candidates’ social media profiles for some quick background research. That’s why more job seekers are updating their LinkedIn profiles, including their LinkedIn recommendation. In case you’re asked, here are some tips on how to write a LinkedIn recommendation. 

Cut to the Chase Intro
Get right to the point in your first sentence. Say (as powerful and as witty as you can) that you recommend the person, and why. Then support your statement with details in the following sentences.

Identify the Connection
Make sure you explain the relationship between you and the person – you worked with him, managed her, hired her as a freelancer for a specific project. If the relationship goes back several years and over different periods of your careers, mention that as well.

Mention the Biggest Skills and Accomplishments
Call attention to just 1-2 of the person’s biggest and best skills and accomplishments. Look at the language they use in their general LinkedIn profile in terms of their expertise and work history. Try to validate those skills and achievements in your recommendation.

Keep it Brief
If the person you’re writing a recommendation for is serious about getting her LinkedIn profile in tip-top shape, then your recommendation will probably be one of many that appear on the profile – so keep it brief. You want to have just enough detail without going on and on. A good target word count is around 100 words.

Follow these guidelines the next time you’re asked to write a LinkedIn recommendation, and you’ll be in good shape! The guidelines are also helpful for writing a general letter of reference if one is ever needed. A few differences, though, is that LinkedIn recommendations tend to be shorter, more casual and often show more personality than a traditional reference letter does.

Want more tips about using social media in the best way possible? Check out our blog post from last Dec about playing it safe with your social profiles.