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With over 300 million members, LinkedIn is the top business-oriented social networking service dedicated to connecting professionals. Among its many features is the ability to write and receive recommendations to and from anyone you may have come across in a professional environment. This might include friends, colleagues, ex-managers and customers.

A recommendation is an endorsement of your work, services or products. Recommendations add a personal touch to your profile and can help you stand out to employers. It can also increase the likeliness that professionals in your industry will want to connect with you.

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courtesy of Esther Vargas

In the realm of recommendations, the Golden Rule applies:

Write unto others as you would have written unto you!

Want to receive awesome recommendations? First, you must learn to write them yourself.

Step 1: Make it Catchy

Begin the recommendation with a concise and compelling opening statement. The key to writing successful recommendations lies in your ability to sell the person. Make the opening catchy so it grabs the reader’s attention. Mention their outstanding work performance or the skills that make them a unique employee.

In his time with us, Bob used his analytic skills and personal drive to become one of the top producers at our firm.

Janet is a motivated, creative individual who brings success to any project she takes on. 

Step 2: Establish Your Relationship

Once you have the reader’s attention, you want to describe your professional relationship. This includes:

• Shared projects
• How long you’ve known each other
• Reporting relationship (i.e. She was my supervisor; he was my secretary)

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I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Bob on several projects during our three years together at XYZ Firm.

As my supervisor at ABC Agency for 5 years, Janet taught me a lot and guided me through the early stages of my career.

Step 3: Make it Unique

Avoid using easy, non-specific character traits. It almost goes without saying that anyone receiving a recommendation is organized, intelligent, or hard-working. Be specific; what are one or two things this person could do and what were the circumstances?

I was always impressed by Bob’s ability to coordinate and motivate the efforts of multiple teams to have projects completed by rigorous deadlines.

I fully trusted Janet’s attention to detail; I had the highest confidence in her ability to complete delicate tasks with little to no supervision.

Step 4: Personal Insight

Simply put: what’s it like working with this person?

Share something that makes this person nice to work with.

While never losing sight of the goal, Bob is always able to add some comic relief when things get tough.

Janet is a team player; she was always willing to lend a helping hand when your plate was full. 

Step 5: Add Your Ringing Endorsement

Summarize your recommendation with why you think this person would be a welcomed addition to any workplace.

It’s a shame to see Bob go, but I know he will find success wherever he goes.

Janet would be an invaluable addition to any team.  

Victoria is a writer, editor and the Content Manager. She loves blogging and just contributing amazing content online that can help people. She believes it can all happen one post at a time.

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