How To Best Ask For LinkedIn Recommendations: 4 Steps

by | Finding A Job, Resumes & LinkedIn

With almost a billion users, LinkedIn is a powerful tool when looking for a new job. As a LinkedIn Top Voice for Job Search & Careers, I’m a proponent of using as many of the platform’s free features as possible to accelerate your job search, and one valuable feature is asking for recommendations from fellow LinkedIn users.

How do you ask someone for a recommendation on LinkedIn, and are there any best practices when requesting one? In this article, I explain why collecting recommendations is important and how to best ask for them.

Why You Want LinkedIn Recommendations When Job Searching

Before diving into how to effectively ask for LinkedIn recommendations, here are some of the reasons to collect them if you’re updating your profile and searching for a job:

For starters, recommendations are an opportunity to communicate your soft skills in a compelling manner, which can sometimes be difficult on your profile or resume. Moreover, recommendations can provide employers with a glimpse into your personality and what it’s like to work with you.

If you have a particularly powerful testimonial, you can strategically incorporate a brief (1 to 3 sentences) excerpt of it into your resume and cover letter to help you stand out from other applicants. Speaking of which, you can also use your recommendations to “back up” your claims, especially if they lack tangible results yet still had a major impact on the team or organization.

Since a job hunt can take a toll on your mental health and self-esteem, it also doesn’t hurt to collect kind words from colleagues who know you well before diving into the search process, referring back to them when you need a confidence boost.

4 Steps To Ask For A LinkedIn Recommendation

Now that I’ve covered how endorsements can benefit you when looking for a new job, let’s discuss how to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation:

1. Choose your recommender wisely.

To begin, you want to be intentional about who you ask for LinkedIn recommendations. While there’s currently no limit to the number of testimonials you can collect*, you want to prioritize recommendations from people who can speak to your work ethic and accomplishments, not friends or acquaintances, so their words have relevance to them. Here are some individuals to consider asking for recommendations:

  • Managers
  • Colleagues
  • Cross-functional partners
  • Direct/indirect reports
  • Vendors
  • Clients

*Personally speaking, I’ve amassed more than 250 LinkedIn testimonials, primarily from former colleagues and coaching clients, as of writing this article.

2. Craft your ask with intention.

How To Request A LinkedIn Recommendation

When you request a testimonial, consider whether there is a certain strength or quality you want the recommender to highlight, then mention it in your request to them. I share a sample script for how to request a LinkedIn recommendation in this article for Forbes.

Additionally, if the recommender already wrote you a letter of recommendation or contributed to your performance review, you can point them to these materials to make it as easy as possible for them to generate your testimonial.

3. Don’t be afraid to follow up with your recommender.

Beyond the LinkedIn platform, it can be helpful to connect with your recommender via email, text message, or whatever other method you use to communicate with them, as many people aren’t regularly checking their LinkedIn inboxes.

Also, if it’s been a week or two since you requested the LinkedIn recommendation and you haven’t seen it posted, don’t be afraid to follow up and check for an update. In today’s busy world, people often forget small tasks, and a friendly nudge can be helpful and appreciated. At the same time, if the person doesn’t write a recommendation after a reminder or two, know that it may be a sign they’re not comfortable providing you with one.

4. Develop a practice of requesting LinkedIn recommendations.

Finally, consider developing a regular cadence for requesting LinkedIn recommendations. You might find it helpful to set a monthly or quarterly calendar reminder to reach out to your network and request their kind words.

Avoid waiting until the last minute to ask for a recommendation, since it can take time for people to craft a thoughtful and impactful testimonial. Instead, ask for LinkedIn recommendations well before you need them.

Final Thoughts

While requesting a LinkedIn recommendation is only one part of an optimized LinkedIn profile, it can help take your job search — and confidence — to the next level. You’ve got this!

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).

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