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How to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation

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As of 2018, there were over 590 million registered LinkedIn users. If you’re one of those users you’ll know LinkedIn is a great platform to find career advice, jobs and for recruiters and employers to find you.

With almost 600 million users, each with a similar job hunting or career development goal, that’s a lot of competition. To make your profile stand out it’s important to not only have the right work experience information but to also include relevant and authentic recommendations.

In a Cpl survey over half of Irish workers stated they wouldn’t interview for a company with bad online reviews, and it’s no different for employers and recruiters. Employers like to see feedback and references about potential employees and a LinkedIn recommendation is a great way to provide this.

Just like a reference, a recommendation from a previous employer or professional connection can speak volumes and adds a layer of validity to a LinkedIn profile.

Here are some guidelines for getting quality recommendations on your LinkedIn profile:

Why do you want a recommendation?

First things first. Ask yourself why you want a LinkedIn recommendation?

Are you looking for a new job? Are you trying to attract new clients? Are you a freelancer who is looking for more work? Are you looking to develop a certain area of your career?

Once this is clear in your head you’ll be able to ask the right person for the right kind of recommendation quicker and better.

Who should you ask?

The best person to write a recommendation isn’t always the one with the most impressive title. Look for someone you have a good relationship and who has benefited from your work or skills.

Approach colleagues that have benefited from your work or someone who has experience with other professionals like you. It’s a big plus if they’re a good writer or used to giving references or recommendations.

How to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation?

To ask for a LinkedIn recommendation navigate to the person’s LinkedIn profile (they should be a connection of yous.)

  • Scroll down to the Recommendations section and click “Ask for a recommendation.”

Asking for a LinkedIn recommendation

  • You’ll then be asked to personalise your request by selecting how you know the person and what your position was when you were working or studying with that person

Asking for a LinkedIn recommendation

  • Once you’ve done this you’ll be directed to an empty text box where you can add a personal message


  • Once sent this message will appear in the person’s LinkedIn mailbox with a link that allows them to submit a recommendation for you

Make it easy for them

In your LinkedIn message, be specific with what you want them to write about.

For example, would you like them to highlight a skill you have or a platform you have experience in? Or are you looking for them to give an overall character reference?

Let them know the reason behind your request and it’ll be much easier for them to write the recommendation.

Don’t ask too many people at once

If you ask too many people at once, it will be obvious that you sent out a mass number of requests as the dates will all be similar.

It’s a good idea to try to make it look more natural. Do this by spreading out your requests.

Another good idea is to ask for recommendations when you’re not in the middle of a job search – for example after a successful project at work. This means your LinkedIn profile is always up to date and any recommendations are authentic and natural.

When asking for LinkedIn recommendations, or a reference, take the time to ask the right people and to do so in a courteous way. Never ask someone you have no relationship with and don’t spam all your connections at once.

The key with LinkedIn is to be consistent and to keep all aspects of your profile updated when you’re looking for jobs and when you’re happy in your current role. This way employers are more likely to find you and you save yourself the chore of having to all updates in one go.

Need more job search advice? Visit our Career Insights Centre or follow us on LinkedIn for regular updates.