How to Get Recommendations on your LinkedIn Profile

According to Forbes one of the top 8 things you do wrong on LinkedIn, is not having recommendations.

In order to make sure we understand what recommendations are all about, let us explore the following questions –

 What are Recommendations?

Recommendations provide social proof of what you are saying on your LinkedIn profile is, in fact, true. People feel better when they are conducting business with someone when other people, they know or within their extended network, are happy with that person’s work. Your first-degree LinkedIn connections are the only connections who can give you recommendations.

Who would You Ask for a Recommendation?

First of all, you have to be a first-degree connection on LinkedIn with the person whom you want to ask to recommend you. It is best to request recommendations from the same people you might write them for. This would typically be someone you know well enough to have a coffee with, have worked or done business with. In general, business connections are preferred over personal connections. You want to make sure that your recommendations are authentic. The most important aspect of asking someone for a recommendation is that they should know HOW this aspect of LinkedIn works. It may be helpful to forward the link to this post to them.


When is the Best Time to Ask for a Recommendation?

The best time to request a recommendation is immediately after you have successfully completed an assignment, project or job. Include this on your to-do list for finalisation of a project or task.

How Many Recommendations Should One Have?

I do not believe that one can have too many recommendations, especially when they are authentic, of good quality and from recommendations who knows you well. The only negative here may be when your profile reflects that you have given 50 recommendations and only received 10. Keep a balance!

Let’s get really practical – below I explain step by step how to get a recommendation to reflect on your LinkedIn profile.


Click on the PROFILE link from the top of the navigation bar to bring up your profile. Click on the triangle next to the box “View profile as” – next a list of options will appear.


Click on the option “Ask to be recommended”

The following appears under “Ask your connections to recommend you”


Click on the option Number 1 “What do you want to be recommended for”

Make sure that you select the appropriate Position from the drop-down box that appears. The person you ask the recommendation from should relate to the Position you select.

Number 2 relates to “Who do you want to ask”?

Here you can select up to 3 of your 1st Degree Connections. Just start typing their name and a list of similar names appear. Select the correct name from the list.

Number 3 appears – for each of the 3 people you selected to ask for a recommendation

– you need to select your (the most appropriate at the time) relationship. Be mindful here to preferably ask recommendations from someone whom you reported to, rather than someone who worked for you.



Another option to select is the person’s position at the time.


…You are almost done

The Last, but MOST important part of Asking for a recommendation appears now…

Number 4Write your message

Please tailor this message, customise it to create a personal touch. Customise both the subject line and body of the text. Be specific about the position and time you worked together. Giving people context as to WHY you are making the request helps motivate them to give you the recommendation. Let them know that you are available for technical back up and if in doubt you can always send them the link to this Post to help them! Thank the person for the time and effort on leaving you a recommendation! Remember that there is no obligation, so do not expect anything – remember that you are asking a favour.



Very important note – Have you noticed the link which appears at the bottom of the message? This is the link which needs to be clicked on to correctly reply to the request for the recommendation. Read …..below “What to do when you receive a recommendation request” for further advice.

…..Most important step ….. Do not forget to HIT the SEND button.


What to do when you receive a recommendation request…

You will receive a message in your LinkedIn message

Pro Tip – Note the hyperlink in blue at the bottom of the message



In order to ensure the recommendation will appear on the Requestor’s LinkedIn Profile – you need to click on the hyperlink in blue.

Follow the steps 1 to 3 Keep in mind the notes mentioned earlier with regards to choosing the appropriate selection.




Tips to write a recommendation that stands out from the crowd

  • Confirm the requestor’s specific strengths and skills as you experienced these.
  • Share what the person did and the outcome/effect it had on you and your business.  Be specific by giving an example and adding detail.
  • Be authentic with your praise, avoid repeating yourself and be concise
  • Lastly, make a connection by telling the reader how long you know the person 




HIT the SEND button.


Every time you get a recommendation, you see a message in your LinkedIn inbox……


Again….you need to click on the hyperlink in blue to take action.

The following screen will appear and here you can click on +Add to profile


Mission accomplished! unless you would like changes, but these I will explain in a follow-up post.

Should you need assistance in setting up your LinkedIn profile or would like to receive personal coaching in knowing how to use LinkedIn to achieve your LinkedIn objective, you can contact me at or via LinkedIn message.

© Chaleen Botha – All rights reserved

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