How to Decline a LinkedIn Recommendation
Unfortunately, not everyone naturally writes good recommendations, and all your LinkedIn connections may not be experts, so it’s bound to happen eventually: Someone will write a recommendation that you don’t want to show on your profile.
No problem. Just politely request a replacement when you receive it. Thank him for thinking of you, and give him the context of what you’re trying to accomplish:
Thank you so much for your gracious recommendation. I’d like to ask a small favor, though. I’m really trying to position myself more as a public speaker in the widget industry, rather than as a gadget trainer. Since you’ve heard me speak on the topic, if you could gear your recommendation more toward that, I’d greatly appreciate it.
If he’s sincerely trying to be of service to you, he should have no problem changing it. Just make sure you ask him for something based on your actual experience with him.
You may also receive a request for a recommendation from someone you don’t feel comfortable recommending. If it’s because she gave you poor service or was less than competent, you have to consider whether you should even be connected to her at all because, after all, LinkedIn is a business referral system.
Perhaps you don’t have sufficient experience with her services to provide her a recommendation. If that’s the case, just reply to her request with an explanation:
I received your request for a recommendation. While I’m happy to be connected to you on LinkedIn, and look forward to getting to know you better, or even work together in the future, at this point in time I just don’t feel like I have enough basis to give you a really substantive recommendation.
Once we’ve actually worked together on something successfully, I’ll be more than happy to provide a recommendation.