How to Write Good LinkedIn Recommendations
2 of 7 in Series: The Essentials of LinkedIn Recommendations
When you know how to write a good LinkedIn Recommendation, you’re in a better position to help others write good Recommendations for you. And the easiest way to get LinkedIn Recommendations is to give them. Every time you make a Recommendation and the recipient accepts it, she is prompted to give you a Recommendation. Thanks to the basic desire that most people want to be fair when dealing with their network, many people will go ahead and endorse you in return.
Recommend only those people whose performance with which you’re actually happy. Your reputation is on the line. Recommending a real doofus just to get one Recommendation in return isn’t worth it!
Here’s a great question to ask yourself when deciding whether to recommend someone: Would you feel comfortable recommending this person to a best friend or family member? If you say no, well, then, you have your answer.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to make your Recommendation stand out from the rest of the crowd:
*Be specific. Don’t just say the person whom you’re recommending is great: Talk about her specific strengths and skills.
*Talk about results. Adjectives and descriptions are fluff. Clichés are also pretty useless. Tell what the person actually did and the effect it had on you and your business. It’s one thing to say, She has a great eye, and another to say, The logo she designed for us has been instrumental in building our brand and received numerous positive comments from customers.
Tell how you know the person. LinkedIn offers only the very basic categories like colleague, service provider, student, and business partner. If you’ve known this person for 10 years, say so. If she’s your cousin, say so. If you’ve never met her in person, say so. Save it for the end, though. Open with the positive results this person provided, or the positive qualities the person exhibited in your interaction; then qualify the type of interaction.
*Reinforce the requestor's major skills or goals. Look at her profile. How is she trying to position herself now? What can you say in your Recommendation that will support that? That will be far more appreciated by the recipient.
For example, if you read her profile and see that she’s really focusing on her project management skills as opposed to her earlier software development skills, your Recommendation should reinforce that message because that’s what she’s trying to convey on her profile.
*Don’t gush. By all means, if you think someone is fantastic, exceptional, extraordinary, or the best at what she does, say so. Just don’t go on and on about it.
*Be concise. Although LinkedIn has a 3,000-character limit on the length of Recommendations, you shouldn’t reach that limit. That should be more than enough to get your point across. Make it as long as it needs to be to say what you have to say, and no longer.