LinkedIn Recommendations: How to Request One and Get It!


There’s nothing better than seeing a long list of glowing recommendations to convince potential employers that you are the freelancer for them.

If you’ve been using LinkedIn to network with other freelancers and businesses in your field for some time now, you may have noticed the ‘Recommendations’ feature - but have you actually used it?

Having recommendations on your LinkedIn profile can really help when applying for new jobs, showing that you’re experienced in your field and making a strong impression on those you work with.

LinkedIn Branding Specialist Richard Lowe already mentioned how important recommendations were in his article “LinkedIn for freelancers,” so now we’re going to cover how to request a recommendation from your LinkedIn connections, and how to get it!


Recommendations vs Endorsements – what’s the difference?

If you don’t have recommendations on your LinkedIn profile yet, you probably have endorsements. There are where your LinkedIn connections can authenticate your experience by giving one of your listed skills a “thumbs-up.”

You’ll likely have been asked to endorse some of your connection’s skills automatically by LinkedIn when you sign in, with a box saying something like:

Does John Smith know about web design?

If you’ve worked with John Smith on a web design project, you’ll click Yes, and this will be taken as an endorsement of that skill on his profile.

Right now, LinkedIn shows the skills which were more often validated on the top and then organize the Skills & Endorsement per type:

  1. Industry knowledge
  2. Tools & technologies
  3. Interpersonal skills
  4. Other skills

Recommendations, however, are written by your LinkedIn connections to provide testimonials on how you work and the skills you offer.

Recommendations therefore are far more specific and hold a lot more weight when potential employers are looking at your profile. However, it doesn’t mean endorsements have no value, quite the opposite!

On one hand, having many people who have endorse you for a skill give potential users the perception that you’re great on it and also that you have an amazing network (e.g. think about having UI design 99+). On the other hand, it adds keywords to your profile that can help you to be found on LinkedIn.


How to Request a LinkedIn Recommendation

To request a recommendation from one of your LinkedIn connections, simply follow these steps:

  1. Hover over your profile photo in the top right corner of your LinkedIn page

  2. Select “View profile” from the menu

  3. If you don’t have any recommendations, go to the “Add profile” section, and on the drop down select “Additional information” – “Request a recommendation” on the “Profile” tab under the “Settings” section, click “Manage Your Recommendations.

  4. Then a prompt to “Ask for Recommendations” pops up. Follow the prompts to ask a specific person for a recommendation.

Not all recommendations are equal, and requesting a recommendation from anyone and everyone could actually damage your LinkedIn profile rather than elevate it.


Tips to Getting the Right Kind of Recommendations for Your LinkedIn Profile

1. Only Ask People You Know

Asking someone that you don’t know and have never worked with for a recommendation is a waste of your time - not to mention theirs!

Only ask people that:

  1. you have worked with and
  2. you know in a professional manner.

After all, LinkedIn is a networking platform for professionalsn - the last thing you want is your mum giving you a review for all your future employers to see!


2. Let Them Know What You Are Looking For

Many people using LinkedIn will not have used the recommendation feature before and may not reply to you because they are unsure what is expected and how long their recommendation should be.

Send a personalised message to the person you are asking for a recommendation, and include a brief note about what you expect. Your message could look something like this:


Hi John,

I really enjoyed working with you on {Project/Job} last week. I was wondering if you could write a brief recommendation of my work, touching on X and Y skills specifically? 3 - 5 sentences would be more than enough.

Many thanks,

{Your Name}


3. Request for a Variety of different Skills

Recommendations are a great way of showcasing your skills and experience as a freelancer, not to mention your ability to create lasting relationships with your clients or ex-colleagues. 

Be sure to request recommendations from a variety of people to ensure a wide range of your skills and working relationships are displayed on your LinkedIn profile.

This could include more than just professional colleagues, too. Are you connected with anyone you have worked with via a volunteer committee or an independent project? These are also great connections to ask for a recommendation to show a real breadth in your experience.


4. Recommend Your Connections

Would you appreciate the recommendation from a particular colleague? Then write a recommendation for him or her in the first place! Generally, if you write a great recommendation for someone on LinkedIn they will reciprocate and recommend you as well.

It’s a way to say thank you and show old connections that you enjoyed working with them and learning both from and with them.


5. Show Your Appreciation

People take time out of their day to write a recommendation for you, so it’s only right to show your appreciation when they come back to you with a great testimonial.

Be sure to personalise your thank-you note and perhaps even offer to write them a recommendation in return if you haven’t done so.


The next time you log into LinkedIn, find a few colleagues and work associates from whom you would really appreciate a recommendation, and follow the tips above to ensure you get the best possible testimonials.

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