How To Get LinkedIn Recommendations (And Why It’s The Best Way To Boost Your Profile)

How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile: The #1 Best LinkedIn Tip

There are 450 million users on LinkedIn. If you’re looking for a new job or trying to get noticed, you need a way to stand out.

In this article you’ll learn my #1 LinkedIn profile tip for job seekers (and anyone else who wants to make their LinkedIn grab the viewer’s attention)- How to quickly and easily get great LinkedIn recommendations.

Why Recommendations Are The Best Way To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

So, here’s the most powerful thing you can do to improve your LinkedIn…

You need to get great recommendations written on your profile. There is no better way to stand out and impress viewers on LinkedIn. (I’ll explain why in a second).

If you use my method it will be easy and should take less than 15 minutes total. It just takes a tiny bit more effort than most quick-fixes on LinkedIn. Which is why most people don’t do it, and why you’ll look great if you do.

I think most people don’t do this because it’s intimidating if you’ve never done it. Or if you’re not sure how to ask friends and colleagues.

So I’ll walk you through exactly what to do and I’ll reveal the exact word-for-word message you can send to get results.

First, what are LinkedIn Recommendation? And why do we want recommendations instead of endorsements?

LinkedIn Recommendations vs. Endorsements

Endorsements are associated with the skills you list on LinkedIn. Someone can endorse you for a skill, and a tiny box with their photo appears next to it.

linkedin difference between recommendations and endorsements

When LinkedIn introduced this a few years ago, everyone loved it. It was great to have those boxes filled out. It gave you credibility.

Unfortunately they’ve become somewhat meaningless. You can endorse someone for any skill, without even knowing the work they do. I get endorsed for “contract recruiting” all the time and I’ve never been a contract recruiter in my life. It’s just junk at this point.

Recommendations are completely different. Recommendations are a note that someone took the time to write, not just a button they click. They’re written by people who know your work. Each recommendation will show up under a specific job, and in a “recommendations” section lower down on your profile.

Here’s an example of how it looks:

how to get linkedin recommendations

Which do you think is more impressive? Which one will get read (and not just skimmed). I can tell you that recruiters will stop and look if you have recommendations. It’s one of the few things that will stop someone from skimming and turn them into a reader.

Now that you’re hopefully convinced, let’s talk about how you can get great recommendations for yourself in under 15 minutes.

How To Ask For LinkedIn Recommendations (And Who You Can Ask)

Step 1:

Write down a list of 10 people who know your work somewhat well. It can be previous bosses and managers. It can also be other colleagues you worked with, or even someone you trained, managed or supervised. If you’re a freelancer it can be a client.

If you’re a recent graduate or entry level job seeker, you can use professors, classmates you worked with on a project, people from internships, or from groups/organizations you were a part of.

Think for a bit. I know it’s not easy to come up with the names but sit down with a pen and try. You’ll be surprised what you come up with.

Step 2:

Take that list and contact them through LinkedIn or email. If you’re already connected on LinkedIn, that’s probably easiest.

Here’s the word-for-word message I use (and have had great results with)…

“Hi ____. I’m working on improving my LinkedIn profile and one of my goals is to get a couple of recommendations from colleagues that know my work well. Would you be able to write me a LinkedIn recommendation in the next couple of days to help me improve my profile? I could do the same for you if you’d like, just let me know.”

Will This Work Every Time?

No. But it’ll get you a good response rate (it should be over 50-75% if you ask the right people). And the best part is that it’s risk-free. You’re asking in a friendly way while staying professional, and won’t ruin any business relationships. It’s a win-win and the payoff is huge

Even getting one or two recommendations on your LinkedIn profile will grab the reader’s attention and stop them from scrolling past. Which means recruiters will spend more time on your profile and will be more likely to get in touch.

Or if you message them, they’ll be a lot more likely to respond.

The only other snag you might run into: Not everyone knows how to leave a recommendation.

So if you email someone and they aren’t sure how to do it, tell them to go to the top section of your profile, hover their mouse over the little downward arrow, and then click “recommend.”

If you want to see how it looks, check out the YouTube video I created about the subject. This link will start the video at the exact spot where I show it (3:08).

What To Do Next:

So your job now is to go build your list of 10 people and get started. Coming up with the list and sending out messages should only take 10-15 minutes and you will have these recommendations on your profile forever.

I have six recommendations on my profile and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself on LinkedIn.

Go try it now, and if you have a question leave a comment below.


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Leave a Comment:

Martin Reuter says November 3, 2016

Hello Biron,
I am looking for help in the previous Post – Avoid Age Discrimination. What should I do with my LinkedIn profile regarding job experience – it requires that I put dates on employment history. Should I just have job experience for ten years in LinkedIn?
I appreciate your time and knowledge.

Best regards,

    Biron Clark says November 3, 2016

    Hi Martin,

    Yes, I’d absolutely cut it off at 10 years, that’s a very good idea and something I recommend.

    In your education history, make sure the dates that you completed your degree are hidden too. I’m pretty sure you can choose whether to show or hide this.

Cameron J Knapek says November 3, 2016

I can’t tell you what a revelation your article was. Like all really amazing ideas it is the simplest things that work the best. I think I can go back to looking for a job again.

    Biron Clark says November 3, 2016

    Hey Cameron,

    Awesome, I’m glad it helped. Comments like this make me want to keep writing tips and articles!

    Good luck in the job search. Also, just FYI, I think this tip is most effective for impressing somebody once they’re already viewing your profile…. whether they found you in a search, or you applied for a job and then they looked you up on LinkedIn.

    If your goal is to get people onto your LinkedIn page in the first place, I’m writing a new article on that. Should be done within 1 week. But here’s the basic idea for things that’ll get you more clicks and views:

    1. Have a great photo and headline (the words just below your name). These are the two things that stand out to someone in the search results BEFORE they click your profile. They’re viewing 10 people in the search results page, and you need to make sure they click yours, not someone else’s.

    2. Put keywords in your “skills” section. These count as search terms and can help people find you. Without looking spammy at all. LinkedIn lets you put up to 50 skills, not bad!

    I’ll leave another comment with a link to the new article when it’s done.

    Biron Clark says November 3, 2016

    Update: here’s the article I mentioned with tips on how to get more clicks & views:

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