How to Give — and Receive — LinkedIn Recommendations


linkedin recommendations

With all the changes to LinkedIn, one thing that never goes out of style is having people say nice things about you on your LinkedIn profile — even if LinkedIn puts different emphasis on the role of Recommendations in the profile. For recruiters and hiring managers who take the time to read them, great Recommendations can be the difference in getting the job offer. So don’t miss out on any opportunity to “get yours.”

LinkedIn Recommendations are a natural evolution of references and letters of recommendation. However, they often are more credible than these traditional documents, because it is harder to fake a Recommendation on LinkedIn than it is to forge a letter. Since many companies are restricting reference checks to verification of title and dates of employment, a LinkedIn Recommendation from a supervisor — and/or coworkers — does carry some weight.

LinkedIn has been described as a “reputation engine.” That’s an apt description, because your reputation does precede you online — not just in your work history, but also in your LinkedIn Recommendations. At we recommend that our clients also utilize the web scraping software known as BrandYourself. This software is priced reasonably, you can pay about $35 quarterly, although this figure could have slightly changed, to more easily scan for any negative posts online.

Remember that someone looking at your Recommendations wants to know two things:

  • What are you like?
  • Are you good at what you do?

LinkedIn used to require a minimum for three Recommendations for your profile to be considered “complete,” but that is no longer part of the profile strength measurement system. However, according to LinkedIn, “Users with Recommendations in their profiles are three times more likely to receive relevant offers and inquiries through searches on LinkedIn.”

In addition, you can enhance your own reputation by providing Recommendations, because people viewing your profile can see (and read) the Recommendations you make. People can see the Recommendations you’ve received (click on “Received”) as well as the Recommendations you’ve given (click on “Given”).

Recommendations can also provide Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results — meaning, they will help you get found — both on LinkedIn as well as on search engines. Use industry-specific terminology in your Recommendations. Keywords included in LinkedIn Recommendations also receive emphasis in search engine results — especially searches within LinkedIn. When conducting a keyword search, all the keywords in a profile are indexed, and profiles with a high match of relevant keywords come up higher in the results listings. Although LinkedIn’s specific algorithms are secret, some experts suggest that keywords in Recommendations receive double the rankings of keywords provided in the profile itself.

How many Recommendations you should have on your profile depends on how many contacts you have. A good guideline is 1-2 Recommendations for every 50 connections. Ideally, these will be a variety of individuals — not just supervisors, but co-workers, people you supervise, and clients/customers. Choose quality over quantity.

Recommendations should be built up over time. Because Recommendations have a date attached to them, don’t try to solicit all of your Recommendations at once. Don’t write and send your Recommendations all at once either. Recommendations are date-stamped, so the reader will be able to see when they were added to your page. It’s best if they are added gradually, over time.

Follow us here or on our main JobSearchSuperhero blog, and we’ll start with what to write in a Recommendation you give, and then show you how to actually make a Recommendation on LinkedIn. Finally, you’ll learn how to request your own Recommendations on LinkedIn. In the next post we will show you the actual formula for writing a good LinkedIn Recommendation, but here is a preview below.

Formula for Writing a LinkedIn Recommendation

Before you write anything, take a look at your contact’s LinkedIn profile. Align your Recommendation with the individual’s LinkedIn profile. Tie in what you write with their LinkedIn Headline, Summary, and/or experience — reinforce the qualities they want to emphasize in the Recommendation you write. Look at the existing Recommendations they’ve received too.

Some things to consider include:

  • What are they good at?
  • What did they do better than anyone else?
  • What impact did they have on me? (How did they make my life better/easier?)
  • What made them stand out?
  • Is there a specific result they delivered in this position?
  • What surprised you about the individual?

Choose the qualities you want to emphasize in the person you are recommending. You may choose to use what author and speaker Lisa B. Marshall calls “The Rule of Threes.” Simply stated, concepts or ideas presented in groups of three are more interesting, more enjoyable, and more memorable. (See how that works?)

In general, you will want to showcase transferable skills, because these will be the most relevant for your contacts when they are using LinkedIn for a job search or business development.

The top 10 skills employers are looking for in employees are:

  • Communication Skills (verbal and written)
  • Integrity and Honesty
  • Teamwork Skills (works well with others)
  • Interpersonal Skills (relates well to others)
  • Motivation/Initiative
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Analytical Skills
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Computer Skills
  • Organizational Skills

Stay tuned to our blog and our social profiles as we will be adding more #JobSearchSuperhero #CareerTips and resources frequently.


The Uphill Climb To a Job


uphill climb thumbnail

The Uphill Climb To a Job

Think looking for a job these days is like climbing Mt. Everest?  You are not far from the truth!  Check out our job search tips slideshow at the link or image above and turn up the sound.  🙂

Get Seen & Get Hired Today!


Happy Friday all! It’s a gorgeous one in the Northeast after a week of sporadic clouds and rain I for one welcome the beautiful blue skies. Pool setup later since the painting to the rear wall of the house is finally complete. I enjoy my backyard oasis immensely in the summer months. With a small Cape Cod humble home in Clifton, NJ the backyard is the largest room in our house. So I make it a point to try to do something to beautify it every year. Which brings me to another topic about beautifying your online presence.

Lots of people nowadays are so scared to be public online for fear of it backfiring in their job search, home search, car purchase…well that last one is a stretch. I haven’t met a car dealer who wouldn’t take your money LOL! But seriously folks, if you want to be discovered online by a potential employer you have to be online. And if they search for your name and find nothing, it can be almost as detrimental to your career as them finding negative stuff about you. They might wonder “is this person so out of touch with the tech world that they cannot embrace Web 2.0 concepts, Cloud sharing, Team collaborating across the globe via online webinars, Skyping, IM, Twitter, Facebook, etc? You get the picture…it makes you look like a dinosaur.

Sure we all want to hang onto some semblance of privacy in this rapidly evolving, public world. But you should focus on learning to improve and optimize your online presence weekly. Google yourself monthly, see what comes up. Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques which are based around keywords and meta tags to get your positive search results to the 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd pages of Google thereby burying the negative ones if there are any. Don’t think you can just write Google and they will immediately remove any unsavory content about you. They usually will not and will err on the side of caution and leave it up there. They also came up with a new “Penguin” update which makes optimizing and SEO all that more unpredictable for webmasters and all that more accurate results for the rest of us. However it is still possible to work within the constraints that Google has put in place to optimize your search results. Whether it be for your personal or career Blog you write (which is a good idea if you are unemployed to keep writing and staying in contact with industry contacts in your field), your resume online page (for example on, and most importantly your LinkedIn profile.

Do you need a LinkedIn profile? Absolutely and positively YES! LinkedIn is the professional network that can potentially connect you to decision makers at companies you want to work for! DO NO PASS UP the chance at meeting the person that can help launch your next idea, or career! Below are the steps you need to take to start building your LinkedIn profile and Career Brand today:

1. Create or optimize your LinkedIn profile
Go to and install the Signal app (this helps you in searching out companies you want to target)
2. Let LinkedIn get you started with contacts by searching your email addresses to see if any of your contacts are on LinkedIn and connect with them
3. Those connections could have additional connections
Once you connect with them, you are now connected to all of their connections
4. Connect with Super Connectors (those with 500+ or more Connections)
I you are not connected you miss out on all of that persons connections seeing your profile
5. You want to be seen by your Connections connections….sounds funny….believe me it’s not. You will be amazed at how even you might be connected to a big shot at Apple, Microsoft, or an HR person at Disney, Facebook, or a recruiter at Hewlett Packard. You name the company you want to work for next and chances are you can at the very least get a phone interview (the standard way for you to be ruled out or move ahead in the process these days), and potentially a live interview.
6. Then comes the interview coaching and practice. Don’t just take a phone interview when they call you or find you online, as you rush out the door to the market! This might be a quick call to you but to the recruiter it is a real interview and they could rule you out just for the mere fact that you weren’t hip enough to realize you were being interviewed and ruled out. Instead call or email them and arrange a time where you will have no distractions, your notes and resume in front of you, and can put your best foot forward. This could mean the difference in moving ahead to a live interview or into the trash pile.

For more tips and info on getting seen and getting hired online stay tuned to this Blog as well as our sister Blog The Talent Mill or follow our Facebook pages and

*I also offer great rates on Get Seen Get Hired SEO LinkedIn Optimization Packages where I do all the work for you while you wait for your phone to start ringing from recruiters finding you online instead of you sending your resume and risking it not even being seen because it’s not optimized therefore not making it into the top of the pile. Don’t let Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) systems rule you out because your resume was not optimized with the right keywords in the right places! Get Seen & Get Hired today!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the weekend! ~Dr Mill