How to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn

What is a recommendation on LinkedIn?

According to the kind folk at LinkedIn, 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.

Why is it good to have recommendations on LinkedIn?

A recommendation on LinkedIn is social proof that you are good at what you do.  They are more pertinent than a simple testimonial (which is a good thing to have, don’t get me wrong!).  

I go into this in more detail in my blog here, but today I’m talking about ‘how to’ rather than ‘why’.

When to ask someone for a recommendation

If you know you’ve done some cracking work for someone, you know that you have delivered exactly what they wanted and more OR you’ve taught them to do something amazing – then the correct protocol on LinkedIn is to ask for a recommendation.

Really.

Honestly.

Truly. 

It’s not spammy or weird, it’s normal. If you’ve changed someone’s life in a positive way, why should they not thank you for it? Yes they’ve paid you but a short recommendation won’t take them long.

Also, giving recommendations on LinkedIn has its advantages too as I talk about here.

As long as you both have LinkedIn profiles then ask away. The great thing about LinkedIn is that it makes the process really easy for both parties.

What is the process for asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn?

All you have to do to ask someone for a recommendation on LinkedIn is head to your profile, scroll down to ‘recommendations’ and click on ‘ask for a recommendation’.

Start typing the name of the person and their profile will appear in the menu.

Click on it and this will appear:

Click ‘select relationship’ and a menu will appear. It’s a bit limited but choose one which is the closest you can find:

Then you’ll need to choose the position you held at the time you worked with that person. LinkedIn chooses all your past, and your present, job positions:

Finally, you’ll be taken to a window with some rather cheesy text:

My advice is that if you’re asking someone to do something for you, you may wish to be a little more polite here! You may wish to ask them how they are for starters! You may also want to remind them when or how you worked together – some people have short memories! 

One thing you could do is ask them to say how you helped them, ask them to say what you did that made you so good at your job on that occasion. A bit of specifics can be good here. 

If you don’t feel comfortable asking them to write those things then just keep your fingers crossed that they deliver the goods. Most people are pretty polite and informative.

When you hit ‘send’, the recipient will get a notification that you’ve asked for a recommendation and will, hopefully respond pretty sharpish.

When they do write your recommendation and send it your way, you will get a notification of this and a link to what they’ve written.

What you do then is read the recommendation and, if you’re happy with it, post it up on your profile and send them a huge ‘thank you’ DM. A bunch of flowers is not necessary at this point, a polite ‘thank you’ will suffice.

If they’ve got some information wrong, you can ‘ask for a revision’. I’ve never had to do this thankfully as it does sound a bit like – ‘do your homework again will you?’. It’s your call.

If you don’t hear from them after a few days of sending the initial request there could be two reasons for this.

  1. They may not have been on LinkedIn and/or may not have seen that their notifications.
  2. They actually didn’t value your services highly enough to give you a recommendation – not good and hopefully that doesn’t happen!

You will only find out which one by sending them a polite email to ask them if they have your recommendation request. There is another work-around you can use which I can show you, but this is the easiest way for sure.

So, what are you waiting for? Get requesting those recommendations and start getting more clients! Oh, if you want to check out my latest recommendations you can head to my LinkedIn!

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