• Hillary Hufford-Tucker

The Secret to Writing and Receiving LinkedIn Recommendations (with samples)

Gone are the days of submitting references to prospective employers (except traditionalists). Now, you can share your LinkedIn profile, and recruiters will have all the recommendations they need – provided you’ve asked your connections to write one. Thinking strategically, you might curate your references to highlight specific areas of expertise or projects that promote your brand.

With over 87 percent of recruiters using LinkedIn to evaluate candidates, their skills, and others' recommendations (Jobvite Report 2016), positive references can help you achieve your professional goals. But how do you get someone to write one for you? The best practice is to give a recommendation to get one. It will better your relationships and increase your connection's likelihood of reciprocating.


Using the following formula will help you write an excellent recommendation. As you write, remember to make it personal, use the recipient’s name, and consider their goals. The shorter the endorsement, the better.

  1. Start with a catchy hook line that grabs attention

  2. Define your relationship, so the reader knows you have a valid work association

  3. Share a unique quality that links to the recipient’s work

  4. Add something fun or highlights their personality

  5. End with a strong endorsement


It’s not as hard as you think to write a recommendation. Using the list above, you can formulate a quick and straightforward testimonial for a connection, like the following:

“I enjoyed [name’s] laser-focus on outcomes! We first worked together when we [define relationship] at [Organization]. She continually identified new ways to build her skills while ensuring the team excelled at [x], [y], and [z]. While [name] enjoys the occasional [positive but funny activity], she is a strategic performer and would be an asset to an organization’s [type] team.


After you’ve posted your recommendation, you can ask your connection to write one for you using the “Ask for a recommendation” button [+] in the recommendation section of your LinkedIn profile. Your request might sound like this:

Hi [name], I hope you are well! I’m doing a bit of work on my LinkedIn profile, so that [your why]. I just posted a recommendation to your LinkedIn profile and was hoping you would write one for me. Please let me know if you have any questions.


If you take the time to write a recommendation and your connection does the same for you, please thank them. LinkedIn also allows you to accept their post, so be sure it meets your needs. If not, find an appropriate way to request a change.


Hillary Hufford-Tucker is a "Career Solutionista," a fun way of saying that she helps growth-minded professionals discover their unique worth to craft a brand, find new employment, pivot industries, or move toward cause-oriented work. She believes there's no professional dilemma that curiosity, commitment, and courage can't overcome. Hillary supports clients' career success with resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, career coaching, job search tactics, organizational strategies, and more. Hillary holds a level two certificate in wine from the industry educator, WSET. When she's not coaching amazing clients, Hillary rides bikes, enjoys adventurous travel with her family, volunteers with her Lighthouse Rotary club, and appreciates wine and food with friends.

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