Get Quality Recommendations on LinkedIn

Having recommendations on LinkedIn is an absolute must if you are self-employed or if you are looking to change jobs. They let people know more about you as a person as well as the quality of work you do. But sometimes when you ask for a recommendation you get something poorly or hastily written that says nothing useful about you. I have had clients receive recommendations that simply can’t be posted because they ramble on without going anywhere.

So how do you make sure you get a great recommendation every time?

  1. Don’t expect people to just “know” you want one. Somewhere along the way too many of us have come to believe if we do a good job people will notice and respond with pats on the back. The truth is most people are so wrapped up with what’s going on in their own life it is shocking they even thought to say “nice job.” Writing a recommendation on LinkedIn simply isn’t going to cross their mind. You are going to have to take ownership of your success and ask.
  2. Ask the right person. There is nothing worse than being asked to write a recommendation when you’ve never actually seen the person work. That is the equivalent of my having received a call about someone who had helped me when I called into a helpdesk. Yes I had interacted with him as a customer. No I couldn’t comment on his working style. I make up that the guy just wanted to put a doctor on his references and assumed they wouldn’t call. Make sure you ask for recommendations from people who have seen you in action.
  3. Ask in a timely fashion. Don’t wait until you’re changing jobs or in a crunch for new clients to ask for recommendations. Ask when an event happens. Did you get an “atta boy” award at work? Great time to ask your boss. Did a client just rave about working with you? Yep, ask now!
  4. Offer to write them some notes. Starting anything from scratch is harder than editing. When asking for a recommendation, offer to give them a first draft. If you need to, interview them about the characteristics you want included (leadership, teamwork, problem solving, etc) so you understand what they think of your work. Use the phrases they use. Write it so well they can just copy/paste it into LinkedIn if they want. You might feel like this is cheating. Believe me, it’s not. It’s making the request easy and guaranteeing you get a useful recommendation.
  5. Offer to have a discussion. Okay so maybe you just can’t get your head around writing your own recommendation. At least be willing to talk with the person about positive things they’ve said and topics you would like them to touch on. Don’t leave them hanging out in a vacuum grasping for nice things to say. It will make them resent that you asked and you’ll get a less then stellar result.
  6. Don’t ask if you aren’t willing to return the favor. If someone writes you a recommendation they are very likely going to ask you to write one for them. Think about that ahead of time and decide if you are willing to do so or not. If you’re not, don’t ask!
  7. Say thank you. When someone writes you a recommendation, even if they just copied and pasted what you wrote for them, they still took time out of their schedule to help you. Make sure you acknowledge that.

Did I miss a tip you swear by? Please share it in the comments!

As always, I wish you the MOST from your potential!

Doc Robyn

PS - I believe the space between people, how we communicate, deal with disagreement and motivate ourselves and others, is where the fine line between success and failure is drawn. What to learn more? Be on the look out for announcements for workshops and an intensive leadership development group.

Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka “Doc Robyn”) is internationally known motivational speaker, executive coach and corporate trainer. As CEO of Champion Performance Development, she works with executives, professionals, athletes, and coaches to help them achieve excellence by sharing active leadership, powerful teamwork, conscious communication, Productive Conflict™ and professional disagreement skills. She is the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the books Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams and The Ultimate Guide to Handling Every Disagreement Every Time. To work with her, have her present to your team, request a custom workshop or invite her to speak at your event, please call 302-307-3091 or email her at to discuss her availability.

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