How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Knowing how to write a LinkedIn recommendation is a helpful skill. Recommendations are endorsements of a LinkedIn connection’s traits, skills, or characteristics and can help improve their profile's professionalism.

[Featured Image] Man uses a smartphone outdoors learning how to write a LinkedIn recommendation.

A recommendation is a commendation written by one LinkedIn member to recognise the work of another. Think of it as an endorsement of sorts. Having these recommendations on your profile can be a way to enhance your credibility and qualifications. 

When you write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone in your network on LinkedIn, you can open with an engaging hook, followed by details on how you know this person. Then, add some of their top traits, skills, accomplishments, and work-related contributions. Close on a personal note, and keep it concise and easy to read. You may be asked to write recommendations for your connections on LinkedIn for various reasons. 

Why LinkedIn recommendations are important  

Recommendations act as proof of competency, qualifications, achievements, and more. You may receive a message on LinkedIn from someone you’ve worked with requesting a recommendation. If you’re wondering why it matters, consider the benefits of having recommendations published on a LinkedIn profile. 

Enhance credibility 

Another professional in your field recognises your achievements and gives you a little digital “thumbs up” or a “pat on the back”; your credibility within that industry or profession gets a boost. You can list skills, qualifications, and achievements for days, but that speaks volumes when you have written proof of your proficiency from a respected co-worker. 

Credibility is a big deal, particularly online and on social media channels. When people want to build a more professional LinkedIn profile, recommendations add first-hand accounts of their interactions with co-workers, supervisors, teachers, etc.

For example, if you apply for a job and complete an interview, your potential employer could search for your LinkedIn profile and read what others say about their experiences working with you. In this way, recommendations help employers improve network connections with added credibility. 

Support qualifications 

Listing skills, abilities, and traits are key to a professional LinkedIn page, but recommendations add proof to those qualifications. Being qualified for a position goes beyond education. Work experience and real-world applications are impactful as well. What LinkedIn recommendations can do is support the idea that this person is proficient in a particular skill. 

Recommendations are also helpful in validating not-so-quantifiable abilities like workplace skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork, and communication. These workplace or interpersonal skills matter immensely to employers. With a list of valid and credible recommendations, you’re showing proof of your abilities in a way that a resume or interview simply cannot.  

Improve hiring chances

If someone asks for a recommendation in hopes of acquiring a new job, your words have a significant impact. Recommendations speak to the qualifications of an individual and their work ethic. You can paint a bigger picture of the individual as an employee with a well-written recommendation.

Employers may also enjoy that recommendations serve as an extension of a resume or interview session, filling in the blanks with additional information about a person. Recommendations add a layer of trust and validity to a LinkedIn profile that may be helpful in the hiring process for specific industries. 

How to structure your LinkedIn recommendation 

To write a LinkedIn recommendation for a co-worker or someone you’ve worked with, structure your recommendation so that it is clear, informative, personal, and enjoyable to read.

Start strong

Your first sentence carries the most weight since it’s the first thing people will see. Like a good book, the beginning is what keeps you reading. Treat your opening sentence as a hook.

Instead of saying, “John Smith is a great guy,” use specific adjectives and tangible traits. Try this instead: 

“Jack of all trades doesn’t even begin to explain the competency of John Smith.”

Here, you’ve essentially conveyed the same idea: John Smith is a great guy, but you’ve painted a picture of this person that’s a bit more descriptive (in other words, he is a proficient multi-tasker). 

After your opening sentence, move quickly into the details. Keep it concise and informative. Explain how you know this person and why you’re recommending them, along with some of their contributions and a personal note to close it out. 

Explain your relationship

This is where you should give some context. You’ve said John Smith is a great guy; now let’s find out how you know that. Did you work together? Were you his boss? Mentor? 

Could you let the reader know your authority in recommending this person? A one- or two-sentence explanation should work. For example, you might say something like:

“I worked with John Smith at ABC Office for five years. We worked together on several projects during this time”.

Noting how long you’ve known the person is also a helpful detail. It’s appropriate to be informative at this stage in the recommendation. 

Note contributions 

Take the opportunity to point out some positive contributions they’ve made. This will depend on your working relationship, but think about how this person stands out and makes an impact. 

Maybe they acquired more new clients than anyone in the office or closed the most deals in one quarter.

Tossing in a few tidbits like this can help paint the picture of who this person is as a teammate. Our actions can say much more about who we are as people than what we say, so show that here. Focus on their actions as an employee or co-worker.

Highlight achievements and valuable traits 

Take time to add a person’s specific traits and achievements. An achievement is something that this person has accomplished. Try to be specific about their accomplishments in a way that shows who they are as an employee. Did they identify a problem and create a solution? Implement a new system? Briefly talk about it. 

Traits would be more like their characteristics as a person and employee. Consider ways that this person shows professionalism, integrity, or dependability. If you need help, ask yourself how you describe this person in five words or less. 

End on a personal note 

This is your chance to be more informal. Avoid ending on a sudden or 'robotic' note. Instead, give a little insight into something unique, fun, or memorable about the person. 

Were they the ones who always brought bagels to brighten every Monday? Were they the employee who always organised the office parties? These little nuances paint a more personal picture of this person for someone who doesn’t know them.

Publish your recommendation 

Once you’ve planned how to write your recommendation, go to the person’s profile to submit the recommendation for publication. You can only write recommendations for first-degree connections. If they have requested a recommendation, you’ll see the request via a message, which you can find by clicking the messaging icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. 

How to submit a recommendation for a connection on LinkedIn: 

1. Go to their profile. 

2. Tap “More” in the intro section. 

3. Tap “Recommend”.

4. Select relationship and position at the time from the dropdown menu and tap “Next”.

5. Write your recommendation in the message field. 

6. Tap “Send” when you’re finished.


You can edit or delete recommendations you've sent at any time. After you’ve sent the recommendation, the other person can see it by clicking the “Receive” link in their profile's “Recommendations” section. Click on the link in your profile's Recommendation section to view it. You can choose to hide the recommendation, as can the other person. 

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