How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation That Stands Out (Updated 2023)

As a small business consultant who assists entrepreneurs daily, I understand the immense value of a thoughtful LinkedIn recommendation. These endorsements from colleagues, managers, or clients offer invaluable social proof of one‘s abilities and accomplishments.

However, in today‘s competitive job market, it takes more than just a generic thumbs up to make an impact. You need to craft recommendations that tell a compelling story and spotlight the individual in the best possible light.

Here are my tips for writing outstanding LinkedIn recommendations in 2024:

The Growing Importance of LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn recommendations have rapidly grown in influence over recent years. According to LinkedIn‘s 2022 Global Talent Trends report, nearly 80% of hiring managers now consider recommendations on candidates‘ profiles as part of the vetting process.

Recommendations provide unfiltered testimonials about an individual‘s work ethic, skills, and cultural fit within an organization. As social proof carries more weight than self-promotion, a well-written recommendation can be the difference-maker that lands someone an interview or job offer.

Avoid Common Pitfalls

However, not all recommendations are created equal. Vague, overly generic praise like "John was a great employee" won‘t influence hiring managers.

Some common pitfalls to avoid include:

  • Lack of specifics – Failing to provide concrete examples or metrics
  • Exaggerated praise – Flowery language that sounds disingenuous
  • Spelling/grammatical errors – Typos and errors undermine professionalism
  • Limited perspective – Only highlighting a narrow view of skills

Aim for recommendations that showcase diverse, yet relevant strengths.

Customize for the Individual and Role

Understand the individual‘s current career goals and tailor your recommendation accordingly. Highlight achievements using metrics and KPIs common for that field.

For example, if they are applying for a sales role, note their ability to consistently exceed targets. Whereas someone looking for an engineering job would benefit from technical skills and collaboration being showcased.

Length and Formatting

An effective recommendation need not be long-winded. In most cases, 3-5 concise paragraphs or 4-6 bulleted highlights suffice to paint a detailed picture.

Strategic formatting like paragraph breaks, bullets, and bolding of key skills/accomplishments also improves readability.

Balanced Tone and Language

Write your recommendation in a warm, sincere tone. While professional, don‘t be afraid to add personal touches that capture the individual‘s essence.

Avoid overly formal or stiff language. Use simple, clear wording that flows well. Check for any spelling or grammar errors that may undermine your message.

Impactful Opening and Closing

Hook the reader from the start with an engaging opening statement on your relationship, like:

"I had the privilege of managing Amanda for over 3 years at XYZ Company. During that time, she consistently exceeded expectations and established herself as one of our top performers."

End with a strong recommendation summarizing why you‘d enthusiastically hire them again.

Requesting Recommendations as an Employee

Don‘t be shy about requesting recommendations from managers, colleagues, or clients you worked closely with. Give them plenty of background on your proudest achievements and strengths you hope they‘ll highlight.

The more context you provide, the easier it is for them to write an authentic, detailed recommendation.

Case Study Examples

To summarize, here are two example recommendations showcasing different industries and approaches:

For an engineer:

"As David‘s manager for 5 years, I saw firsthand his excellence in designing robust systems architecture. He excelled in collaborating cross-functionally to create scalable, high-performing solutions. David was our go-to problem-solver who could be depended on to troubleshoot complex issues. His code was impeccably documented and organized. I recommend him without reservation for any engineering leadership role."

For a marketing manager:

  • Drove 20% increase in website traffic within first 6 months by revamping SEO strategy
  • Consistently delivers high-quality email campaigns with above-average open rates
  • Created and led training on social media best practices that reduced engagement errors by 50%
  • Passionate team player with outstanding work ethic and commitment to results

In today‘s job market, an impactful LinkedIn recommendation can truly make or break your candidacy. By taking the time to provide thoughtful recommendations for colleagues, you pay it forward to deserving professionals.