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  3. LinkedIn Recommendation: Definitive Tutorial

LinkedIn Recommendation: Definitive Tutorial

LinkedIn Recommendation are a great source of credibility building for your LinkedIn Profile.

Not only do you get your credentials backed by the community, it also brings a certain level of trust that your LinkedIn Profile just can’t on its own. 

In this tutorial by LinkedInPedia, we’re going to take a look at how you can use LinkedIn Recommendation in the following ways:

  1. How you can ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation, and some ways that you can reach out to others to ask for one the right way
  2. How you should respond to a LinkedIn Recommendation, once you receive one.
  3. We’ll also take a look at the lifecycle of a LinkedIn Recommendation, so that you understand exactly what happens to a LinkedIn Recommendation on the platform.

Let’s begin!

What are LinkedIn Recommendations?

LinkedIn Recommendations, according to LinkedIn, can be defined as the following: 

A recommendation is a statement that is written by a LinkedIn member to recognize or commend a connection, such as a colleague, business partner, or student. People who view your profile will often read the recommendations you’ve received from your connections to see what others have to say about your work.

In other words, LinkedIn Recommendation is a great way to show off your credibility on your professional front, since your LinkedIn Profile visitors have a chance to read what others say of you; before deciding whether or not to contact you.

What are the different ways that I can use LinkedIn Recommendation?

There are, broadly speaking,  2 ways that you can experience LinkedIn Recommendations:

  1. Requesting, and then receiving a LinkedIn Recommendation
  2. Giving a recommendation to a connection on LinkedIn

In this tutorial, we’ll cover how to do both.

Where can I find LinkedIn Recommendation?

You can find your LinkedIn Recommendations by first going to your LinkedIn Profile.

Go to your LinkedIn Profile

Access LinkedIn, and then go to your LinkedIn Profile by clicking on any of the 3 buttons as shown below:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 1
  1. Click on your Profile Image on the left hand sidebar
  2. Click on the “Me” icon on the top right hand corner of your LinkedIn Top bar, and a drop down menu will appear. Click on your Profile image inside this drop down menu
  3. Click on View profile in the Dropdown menu.

Either of these steps will bring you to your LinkedIn Profile.

Scroll Down To Recommendations

Next, once you’re inside your LinkedIn Profile, scroll down to find the section titled “Recommendations”:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 2

For more advanced users, you can always use CTRL + F or CMD + F to bring up your search bar, and enter the search term “Recommendations” to find the section.

Review your linkedIn recommendations

The first step to getting started in LinkedIn Recommendations is to look at your LinkedIn Recommendations.

Ask yourself this: 

  1. Are my LinkedIn Recommendations currently giving an accurate picture of what I do? 
  2. Are there any other areas of focus that I could improve my LinkedIn Recommendations on?

Asking yourself these questions give you an idea of what to ask for in your LinkedIn Recommendation when you do even reach out for one, which we will cover in the rest of this tutorial.

Let’s move on to the next part, which is actually asking for a LinkedIn Recommendation.

How to ask for a linkedIn Recommendation

Now, let’s cover the different steps you can take to ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation.

You’d generally ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation from someone that you already know. On LinkedIn, that someone that you already know is known as 1st degree connections.

We’ve covered this before, but 1st degree connections on LinkedIn is someone who you’re currently connected with on LinkedIn.

Here’s what LinkedIn has to say about asking for recommendations:

Request recommendations from your 1st-degree connections who value your work, services, or products, such as managers, colleagues, co-workers, customers, and clients.

That being said, it’s quite important that you ask from someone who actually knows you, since the quality control has to be there in your LinkedIn Recommendations.

Think about who to ask for a linkedIn recommendation

You can start thinking about who to ask a LinkedIn Recommendation from by using the following questions:

  1. Who have I worked closely with in the past?
  2. Who has had the opportunity to look closely into what I do, and what I have to give?
  3. Who are some people that I have worked with from various positions before? For example, working for someone is going to get very different LinkedIn Recommendations than working with someone.

Once you’ve got a good idea about who you want to ask a LinkedIn Recommendation, it’s time to drop them an invite to give a recommendation.

When it comes to requesting for a LinkedIn recommendation, there are basically 2 options that you can consider.

  1. Asking for a recommendation directly from your connection’s LinkedIn Profile
  2. Asking for a recommendation directly from your own LinkedIn Profile

Let’s go through both of them.

Option #1: Ask for a recommendation directly from your connection’s LinkedIn Profile

The first option that you can use to request for a LinkedIn recommendation is to request for a LinkedIn Recommendation directly from your connection’s LinkedIn Profile.

Go To Your Connection’s LinkedIn Profile

The first step is to head over to the connection that you’ve identified to request a LinkedIn Recommendation from.

Say for example, I wanted to request for a recommendation from Dr. AJ Minai. I’d go to his LinkedIn profile first.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 3
Click on more

Next, it’s time to locate the Request for Recommendation option. 

Click on the More button and click the “Request a Recommendation” button.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 4

You’d be redirected to a pop up window that begins the “Request for a Recommendation” Process:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 5

Later on in this tutorial, we’ll cover exactly how you can complete the LinkedIn Recommendation Process.

For now, let’s go through option number 2 to request for a LinkedIn Profile Recommendation.

Option #2: Ask for A recommendation from Your LinkedIn Profile

Another way that you can request for a LinkedIn Recommendation is actually through your own LinkedIn Profile.

Go back to the Recommendations section on your LinkedIn Profile, click on the “Ask for a recommendation” button:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 6

This will lead to a popup window appearing that starts off the request recommendation process. It looks something like this: 

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 7

Great! Now, let’s move on with the process.

Select the individual that you’ve identified

Now, we want to add in the names of the 1st degree connections that we’ve identified in our earlier exercise.

For example, in my case, let’s say I want to request for a LinkedIn Recommendation from Shermaine Tan, who is my colleague at LinkedInPedia:

Note: Because Shermaine Tan is my 1st degree connection, I am able to request for a LinkedIn Recommendation from her. Make sure that you’re connected to the person you’re asking a recommendation from on LinkedIn.

Now, in the search field in the popup window, I’d start typing Shermaine’s name:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 8

LinkedIn’s Type Ahead autosuggest feature will suggest Shermaine’s name out, and I can click on it, which triggers the next step. 

Now, LinkedIn will redirect me to the next segment, which asks about our relationship at the workplace.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 9

Customising your linkedIn Recommendation Request

Now it’s time to customise our LinkedIn Recommendation request to Shermaine.

As you can see from the image above, the next step is asking about a few more things that help me to customise my request for a LinkedIn recommendation.

Let’s go through each of them in greater detail:

Choose your Relationship

In the first field, LinkedIn is primarily interested in understanding our relationship with our connection.

To start off, click on the drop down menu that says “select relationship”, and the following option will pop up:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 10

Let’s go through each of these in detail:

  • Your connection managed you directly: Choose this option if your connection was your boss, manager etc.
  • Your connection reported directly to you: Choose this option if your connection was working for you, or under your department’s care, of which you were in charge
  • Your connection was senior to you, but didn’t manage directly: Choose this option if you were the junior in the organisation, but you weren’t managed under him/her
  • You were senior to your connection, but didn’t manage directly: Choose this option if you were in different departments, but you were the senior in your own department
  • You worked with your connection in the same group: Choose this option if you had the opportunity to work with your connection 
  • Your connection worked with you but in different groups (perhaps in cross functional teams)
  • Your connection worked with you but in different companies: choose this option if your connection was your client, etc, or if the converse is true
  • You were a client of your connection’s: A more direct option to the one just mentioned.
  • Your connection was a client of yours: Self explanatory
  • Your connection taught you: Perhaps in school, or through a course? Choose this option if it applies
  • Your connection mentored you: Choose this option if you were coached by your connection. Can be powerful if your connection is a coach or well known leader by occupation
  • You were students together: Choose this option if you were in the same class in school together

In my example, since Shermaine is a colleague of mine, i’ll choose “You worked with Shermaine in the same group”.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 11
Your Position at the time

Next, we’d want to fill in your position at the time that the relationship (that we earlier filled up) occured.

Depending on how completed your LinkedIn Profile is, LinkedIn automatically generates positions from your LinkedIn profile.

For my case, LinkedIn spits out all my prior positions listed in my LinkedIn Profile:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 12

Now, all I have to do is select the right one from the list.

In my example, since Shermaine is a colleague of mine at LinkedInPedia, I’d want to select “Founder | Head Of Digital | LinkedInPedia” since that is my current position in LinkedInPedia.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 13

Once you’re done, click on the Next button, and move on.

Customise your LinkedIn Recommendation Message

Now comes the time to write your customised LinkedIn Recommendation message:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 14

While there is really no hard and fast rule for writing a LinkedIn recommendation message, I’d suggest that you keep it short, personal and succinct.

Pro Tip: Customising your message to someone, especially someone whom you’ve had some personal touches with before, can mean the difference between a response, and a nonreply.

In my example, since Shermaine and I have worked together on many occasions before, I can put in a personal touch like so:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 15

Here’s what was included in the text:

Hi Shermaine,

We’ve been working for a long time now on LinkedInPedia, and I just want to say what an honor it is to be constantly learning from you.

Now, if it isn’t too much to ask, i’d like to request for a recommendation from you if you don’t mind. Thanks in advance!

John

Send over your LinkedIn Recommendation

Once you’re happy with your personalised message, click on the Send button.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 16

You should see a notification popup on LinkedIn: 

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 17

And there you have it! Your LinkedIn Recommendation was successfully sent.

Receiving a LinkedIn Request for Recommendation

Now that we’ve understood the process of crafting and sending a LinkedIn Recommendation, let’s talk about the receiving end of the story.

When will I get a LinkedIn Request for Recommendation?

Generally, we receive a LinkedIn request for Recommendations when someone sends a request to us.

Your Connection will get a recommendation notification on LinkedIn via the message box

In our example, Shermaine has received a request asking for a LinkedIn Recommendation from me.

On her LinkedIn Dashboard, she’ll receive a LinkedIn Notification via the Message Box like so:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 18

Does this message look familiar? That’s because it’s the very same message that we just sent over from my (John Chen)’s account!

Decide what to do with the recommendation request

Now, at the receiving end of the request for a LinkedIn recommendation, Shermaine has total control over what she would like to do with the LinkedIn recommendation.

In this case, she can decide to write a recommendation.

For obvious purposes, we’re not going to cover what happens when your connection doesn’t write a connection (nothing happens, by the way).

What happens if your connection decides to write a LinkedIn Recommendation

Assuming your connection would like to write a recommendation for you, he/she would click on the link that LinkedIn automatically generates at the bottom of your message to them. In Shermaine’s case, the link has also been automatically generated like so:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 19

Confirm that it is the right individual asking for a Linkedin Recommendation

Now, for obvious security issues, you’d want to make sure that you briefly screen through the Requester’s LinkedIn Profile to ensure that it is actually the person that you know who is asking for a recommendation.

Click on the profile picture in the Message, and you will be redirected to his/her profile.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 20

Now, double confirm the identity of the sender by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you remember working with this person?
  2. Does his / her profile history strike correct with what you remember?
  3. Does the request seem dubious?

If everything checks out right, you’re green to go ahead and write your LinkedIn Recommendation!

Now, Shermaine will then click on that link, and she’ll be redirected to a page where she can write the LinkedIn Recommendation:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 21

This is known as the Recommendation Requests window. In this window, you’ll be able to see your Requests for a Recommendation, as well as who requested for that recommendation.

Ignore Recommendation

By clicking on Ignore Recommendations, you’re essentially closing the window and nothing will happen.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 22

Write Recommendation

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 23

Suppose Shermaine wanted to write the Recommendation based on the request that I sent her, she’d then click on the “Write Recommendation” button on the right hand corner.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 24

You’d then be redirected to a window where you can write a Recommendation for the Requester.

Now, in order to write a recommendation, go to the editor field, and then start typing a LinkedIn Recommedation.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 25

Now, since this is a demo recommendation, i’m not going to write a full recommendation (and Shermaine has kindly given us access to her account for the purposes of this tutorial)

Once you’re done with writing your LinkedIn Recommendation, click on the Send button. 

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 26

Once the recommendation is sent, LinkedIn will send a notification saying that the Recommendation has been sent.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 27

Congratulations! You’ve just learnt how to write a LinkedIn Recommendation the correct way.

Now, let’s see what happens on the Requester’s side, in this case, John Chen’s profile.

In other words, we are interested to see how we react once we have successfully received a LinkedIn Recommendation.

Accepting A LinkedIn Recommendation

Now, on the side of the Requester (John Chen), let’s see what happens when you’ve been given a LinkedIn Recommendation.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 28

Once you receive a LinkedIn Recommendation, you’ll receive a Message notification as shown above.

We’re going to go into it, and see what we find.

Go into your message box

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 29

As you can see, we’ve successfully received a message from Shermaine telling us that she has sent us a Recommendation.

To view the Recommendation, we can click on the link that LinkedIn automatically generates from Shermaine’s action:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 30

Let’s click on the link and see what happens:

Review the given linkedIn recommendation

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 31

Again this link redirects us to the Review LinkedIn Recommendation window, where we can review the recommendation that Shermaine gave me.

Here, you’ll find 3 options that we can do with the given recommendation.

Dismiss

This option does nothing – the Recommendation will simply be put aside, and nothing happens. Choose this option if you don’t wish to do anything with the recommendation.

Ask for revision

This option allows you to ask your Recommendation writer (in this case, Shermaine) to review and add edits to her Recommendation.

Let’s click on this button and see what happens:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 32

LinkedIn redirects us to the Revise Recommendation window, where we can send our Recommendation giver a note asking for some revisions.

Let’s say I were to request Shermaine to write specifically about working with me on Marketing, since I would like to position my profile towards marketing.

LinkedIn by default generates a message as follows: 

Hi {connection name}, can you please revise your recommendation for me? Specifically could you change…

But you can either add on to the message, or change it completely.

In my case, I would opt to add on to the message.

I would most probably write something like:

Hi Shermaine, can you please revise your recommendation for me? Specifically could you change the recommendation to talk more about marketing in it? Thanks!

Once i’m done, i’d send it over to Shermaine to complete my request for an edit of my LinkedIn Recommendation.

Pro Tip: It’s not rude to ask for an edit. But do it nicely!

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 33

Once you’re done, click on the Send button.

LinkedIn will send you a notifcation telling you that your request has been sent.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 34

See what happens on Your Recommendation Giver’s Side

In order to fully understand what happens, let’s now take a look at our Recommendation Giver’s side (in this case, Shermaine).

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 35

Now, as you can see from Shermaine’s side, she received a notification on her LinkedIn Dashboard with a message.

Click on Messaging

Once she clicks on the Messenging button, she’d be redirected to her LinkedIn Inbox:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 36

As you can see, Shermaine has successfully received a notification with our request for an edit of her LinkedIn Recommendation.

Make Revisions to LinkedIn Recomendations

Now, if Shermaine wants to make changes to the LinkedIn Recommendation, she’d click on the link shown in orange above.

This will once again redirect her to the LinkedIn Recommendation window:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 37

Now, Shermaine can choose to either ignore our request for a revision, or to Revise her Recommendation.

In this case, let’s assume Shermaine revises her Recommendation.

She’d click on the Revise Recommendation button.

Again, this brings us to the Recommendation Writing window, which is similar to the window that we covered earlier in this tutorial.

Now, Shermaine can easily go into the editor field and add changes to the recommendation that she’d given earlier.

Now, that’s where the note that the LinkedIn Requester comes in. 

Since earlier we sent a request for edits to the Recommendation, we’d also added a note specifying exactly what we’re looking for:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 38

That gives the LinkedIn Recommendation giver an idea of the kind of revision that we are looking for, and is a great way of getting the right results that you’re looking for as a LinkedIn Recommendation requester.

Now, let’s assume Shermaine makes the changes that we’re looking for:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 39

This is the revised LinkedIn Recommendation that we got: 

John is a great colleague who is great at what he does. I remember when we worked closely together on marketing projects – he really showed his expertise in storytelling and LinkedIn marketing.

Do you see how much more personal and credible we just made our LinkedIn recommendation?

That’s why it’s very important to specify the type of changes that you’re looking at, for the sake of better results.

Now that our LinkedIn Recommendation giver has completed the edits, he / she would click on the Send button to complete the Revise Recommendation process.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 40

Again, LinkedIn will send you a notifcation telling you that the Revised Recommendation has been sent:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 41

What happens on the LinkedIn Recommendation Requester’s Side once LinkedIn Recommendation has been revised

Let’s go back and see what things look like from the LinkedIn Recommendation requester’s page, now that the revised LinkedIn Recommnedation has been sent.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 42

As you might have guessed, the LinkedIn Recommendation requester (John Chen) will receive a notification in his / her Messenging dashboard button.

Let’s click on it, and see what happens:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 43

We got a message from our LinkedIn Recommendation giver’s account (automatically generated by LinkedIn) that we’ve received a revised LinkedIn Recommendation.

We can click on the link spit out by LinkedIn to see the revised LinkedIn Recommendation.

Reviewing the revised linkedIn recommendation

Again, we are redirected to the Pending Recommendations window, where we can review the revised LinkedIn Recommendation.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 44

Let’s see what happens when we Add it to the profile (assuming we are happy with this revised Recommendation)

Pro Tip: You can ask for as many Revisions as you want, but don’t get overboard!

Add LinkedIn Recommendation To Your Profile

Now, let’s click on the Add To Profile button.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 45

LinkedIn will give you the following notification:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 46

Congratulations! Your LinkedIn Recommendation has been successfully added into your LinkedIn Profile.

You should now be able to see it on your LinkedIn profile, under the Recommendations section:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 47

Brilliant!

Now that you’ve successfully gotten your LinkedIn Recommendation, let’s talk about some settings that you can tweak your LinkedIn Recommendations around.

LinkedIn Recommendation Settings

LinkedIn gives you a few settings that you can tweak and adjust to craft your Recommendations just the way you like it.

How to edit your LinkedIn Recommendation Settings

Making changes to your LinkedIn Recommendations settings is really easy.

You’d have to click on the Pen icon on the right hand side of your Recommendations section:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 48

Clicking on this icon will redirect you to the Recommendation Settings window:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 49

As you can see, LinkedIn Recommendations comes with some options that you can use to customise the layout of your LinkedIn Recommendations.

Let’s take a look at each of these settings.

Ask for Revision

The Ask For Revision button is located on the right hand side of each LinkedIn Recommendation in your Manage Recommendations window:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 50

This is the same button as before – it allows us to request for revisions from the people who gave us the LinkedIn Recommendations.

Show / Hide Recommendations

The second option that the Manage Recommendations window gives us is the Show / Hide option.

This option allows us to hide a Recommendation, or show it on our LinkedIn Profile.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 51

Those LinkedIn Recommendations that has the Show button enabled in blue will be displayed on your LinkedIn Profile.

Hidden LinkedIn Recommendations
LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 52

On the other hand, LinkedIn Recommendations that has the Show button disabled into a Hide button in grey will be hidden from your profile.

You can also view your hidden LinkedIn Profile Recommendations from the bottom left hand side of your Manage Recommendations window:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 53
See Given LinkedIn Recommendations

You can also see the LinkedIn Recommendations that you’ve given others by clicking on the Given tab in the Manage Recommendations window:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 54

Giving Someone A LinkedIn Recommendation

Besides requesting for a LinkedIn Recommendation, you can also give your 1st degree connections a LinkedIn Recommendation directly:

In this case, say for example I wanted to give Dr. AJ Minai a recommendation on LinkedIn:

Go To Your Connection’s LinkedIn Profile

The first thing that you would do is to head over to your connection’s LinkedIn Profile.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 55

Click on more

Next, you’d want to click on the more button on your connection’s LinkedIn Profile.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 56

Click on The recommend button

Click on the “Recommend” button.

LinkedIn will then prompt you to go through the very similar “Write Your Connection A Recommendation” process that we’ve covered earlier in this tutorial!

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 57


Let’s run through each setting and see what we get.

Relationship

This is similar to the questions that LinkedIn asked us earlier when we were in the Request for Recommendation series.

Click on the dropdown and select the right relationship for this recommendation.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 58

Position at the time

Now, take note that when we say Position at the time, LinkedIn is specifically asking for your connection’s Work Position at the time of your relationship with them.

Click on the dropdown menu and choose the right Work Position.

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 59

Once you’re done, click on the next button:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 60

Write Your Recommendation

Now, you’d be redirected to the “Write Your Recommendation” window:

LinkedIn Recommendation | LinkedInPedia | 61

We’re not going to actually send a recommendation here, but the process is similar to the process that we just discussed earlier.

Once you’re done, just hit the Send button and you’ve successfully sent a Recommendation!

Conclusion

We’ve come to the end of yet another EPIC tutorial on LinkedIn, this time on LinkedIn Recommendations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it, as much as I did writing it! 

Now, over to you.

What do you think was the most important tip shared about LinkedIn Recommendations?

How do you use LinkedIn Recommendations yourself?

What are some tips that you’d give everyone else about how to use LinkedIn Recommendations for greater LinkedIn visibility?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here

Either way, leave a comment down below, and give it a thumbs up if you found it helpful.

Updated on November 10, 2018

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