5 Tips For Asking For A LinkedIn Recommendation

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile, building your number of contacts, and participating in groups are all actions to contribute to raising your LinkedIn visibility. But visibility and credibility go hand-in-hand. Credibility is key so those who view your profile see immediate social proof of your expertise. Compiling LinkedIn recommendations is among the best strategies for raising credibility. Related: 3 Things Your LinkedIn Summary MUST Say Here are five tips to ask for – and get – a quality LinkedIn recommendation.


1. Identify ideal endorsers.

Instead of approaching all 3,000 members of your network with a mass email that says, “Will you endorse me?” be strategic about issuing your requests. Settle on a number: 10, 25, 50, or 100 people with whom you had a positive professional relationship. Arrive upon as high a number as possible, but then reduce the overwhelm. Tackle this number in bite-sized chunks. For example, make contact with five people each week until you’ve reached your goal.

2. List your greatest hits.

Because the best recommendations are specific, it benefits you to zero in on the greatest achievements to highlight in your professional history. Doing so will contribute to you controlling the message and cultivating a theme across all your LinkedIn recommendations that reinforces your brand. Review your resume, performance evaluations, and accolades from customers or superiors. Use these to compile your list of key accomplishments, which will provide the substantive material for the recommendations you request.

3. Give before you receive.

Show your social media savvy in the LinkedIn land of reciprocity. Don’t demonstrate the bad form of asking for a recommendation – or anything else – without offering something that you can do for the other person. Identify people to whom you can give recommendations, then do so proactively. Allow your act of giving to speak for itself. Some people will automatically reciprocate. For those who don’t, gently nudge in the form of an inbox message after a week or so. Say, “You were on my mind and it occurred to me to write you a recommendation about our work together. Have you had a chance to see it?” Your inquiry should prompt a positive response, and likely a recommendation in return.

4. Request early and often.

Best practices call for requesting your LinkedIn recommendation either while you’re still employed with the company where you worked with the prospective endorser, or soon after you leave. Your request will land in more open arms when you are fresh on the endorser’s mind. If the endorser doesn’t respond right away, do not take it personally. Everyone is busy. Repeat your request, but this time, graduate to a quick phone call to make sure your request is heard.

5. Do ask AND do tell.

Most people will want to give you a recommendation, but they simply may not know how. The solution, then, is to ask for the recommendation and tell them what to say all at the same time. Here’s how this works best: recall a particular project you both worked on and mention it in your request. For example, “When we needed to roll up our sleeves and change our sales strategy with the ABC account, you said the idea I came up with was the one that sealed the deal. Perhaps you could mention that in your recommendation, and of course discuss any other point you find appropriate.” Your LinkedIn recommendations can prove critical to providing the potential employer with the exact information he needs to decide whether to call you. Structure your approach strategically, ask your ideal prospective endorsers, and guide them in saying something substantive that reinforces your brand. That’s how to build a list of LinkedIn recommendations that serves you well. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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About the author

Jewel Bracy DeMaio finds out who you are, what you do, and the value you bring, and articulates that in a way that invites the employers and recruiters to call you. Ms. DeMaio is a triple-certified, nationally-recognized executive resume writer and job search coach. Learn more at www.APerfectResume.com or call 855-JOB-FOUND.   Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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