May 7, 2021

How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation (samples and templates)

The LinkedIn network is a powerful business tool that allows you to connect with colleagues, look for jobs, and stay in touch with old friends. But what if one of these connections asks you for an endorsement? These recommendations can be tough to write! You need to make sure it's excellent and on-brand.

In this post, we'll show you how to recommend LinkedIn — one that will get your endorsement read and taken seriously by those who see it (including future hiring managers). We'll also include some LinkedIn recommendation samples and templates so that you never have trouble writing one again.

What is a LinkedIn Endorsement?

A LinkedIn endorsement is a recommendation that you make on behalf of one of your connections. You might be asked to endorse a former employee, a vendor, or a colleague. Or you may want to hand out kind words on your connections' profiles without being asked to build goodwill across your network.

Why are LinkedIn endorsements necessary?

LinkedIn endorsements are essential to the recipient. These recommendations help give a sense of who someone is on LinkedIn and what their reputation is. They also provide an opportunity to showcase the depth and breadth of a person's professional relationships, shown in studies to be necessary for career advancement.

But, giving endorsements is also essential.

A recommendation from someone with solid connections can make all the difference when it comes to advancing a candidate's career. People wouldn't ask for your endorsement if they didn't respect you and assume that others appreciate you as well. That's why it's an honor to be asked — and a compliment to be asked often.

Since people's professional networks often overlap, the endorsements you write will likely be seen by people in your industry, so you want them to be professional, kind, and reflect well on you.

Also, people you endorse are likely to return the favor. The fastest way to collect heartfelt professional endorsements is to start offering them to your colleagues and clients.

How to Write a Great LinkedIn Endorsement

Writing great recommendations doesn't have to take a lot of time; there's a simple formula you can follow to make it a quick and painless process:

  • Describe what kind of person you're recommending is (e.g., personable, intelligent, honest).
  • Talk about how you know the person and how they have impressed you professionally.
  • Express enthusiasm for them in a way that feels natural coming from you.
  • After writing your recommendation, proofread it with attention to sentence structure and grammar. 

Examples of Good and Bad Endorsements

Here are some LinkedIn recommendation examples. Note that a great endorsement is thorough, professional, and specific. The bad ones are too informal, vague, and either too weak or too effusive

A good endorsement:

"John is a very creative and reliable designer. I've worked with John on multiple projects in the last five years, and he is one of the most talented professionals I've known. He always comes through ahead of the deadline and has an eye for design that's very special. I would be thrilled to work with John again on any project."

A bad endorsement: 

"John seems like a cool dude to me!" or "John is a good designer."

A good endorsement:

"I've worked with Lisa for over a year now, and she has been an excellent leader. She is passionate about her work, always willing to help out in any way possible, and never misses deadlines. I've seen her guide her team through some difficult situations, and she's always kept her team excited about her vision."

A bad endorsement: 

"Lisa is the best person alive. She does good work and always has your back."

Professional Adjectives

If you're stuck on wording, this list of professional adjectives might get you jump-started:

  • Talented
  • Committed
  • Responsible
  • Productive
  • Problem-solver
  • Creative
  • Dedicated
  • Resourceful
  • Motivated  
  • Forthright
  • Passionate about the job
  • Strong work ethic
  • Friendly personality
  • Hardworking
  • High level of professional integrity

LinkedIn Recommendation Samples

‌Here are several LinkedIn recommendation templates you can use to create endorsements for different situations. Use these as a jumping-off point, but be sure to add a little of your flair:

  • I've had the pleasure of working with _______ on a few projects, and s/he was always great to work with—s/he's very [list two to four adjectives].
  • _____ is one of the most _____ people I know! He has done multiple jobs at my company, and we benefited from his [list two to four adjectives].
  • I recommend _____ as a person who has [list one to two traits] because of their [list one to three adjectives].
  • _____ has served as our [job role] for _____ years and has been consistently [list several adjectives]. We've come to depend on them, and they would be a fantastic addition to any team.
  • We've had the privilege of working with _____ as our employee, and their work speaks for itself. They are [list two to four traits] — I can't recommend them highly enough.
  • _____ has done a [job-related task] for us, and we've found them to be diligent, skilled in their craft, and responsive.
  • We were delighted with the work _____ did on our project. They showed up reliably every day and got things done without the need for constant supervision or feedback from others.

If you're asked for an endorsement by someone, you feel lukewarm about recommending, you might want to give a more cautious wording. Here is a template for that problematic situation:

  • "_____ has worked with our company for [time] in the role of _______ and served us well. We genuinely hope they find a good fit in their next employment and wish them well."

If you can't honestly say anything good about a colleague, contractor, or former employee, it's best to decline the invitation to endorse them.

Take It a Step Further

Templates give you a solid basis for your recommendation, but if you want to make it a "killer" recommendation, you'll need to personalize it a bit more.

If you can relate a very brief anecdote or career story that sums up the person's character, definitely add that. Here are some examples:

  • Linda once worked until midnight for three days in a row to make sure we'd be able to hit the milestones on a contract and still came in with a smile in the morning.
  • I've watched as Joe's role at our company grew from a junior position to that of the team lead in just 18 months. Over this short period, I have seen him handle many difficult situations and clients, always with a cool head.

Another way to take your endorsement further is to talk about how pleased you'd be to work with the person in the future. That puts you in the person's shoes reading the recommendation and speaks to them on a powerful level. Some examples include:

  • Dave is a permanent member of my dream team and is one of the first people I would call for this kind of work.
  • Our company would be thrilled to work with Beth again if the opportunity arose.
  • Jim is a standout leader, and I wish we had a permanent role for him on our team.

The Final Word

LinkedIn recommendations are no minor deal. You're not just vouching for someone's character; you're putting your reputation on the line as well. We hope these templates help get started with crafting killer recommendations that will make the recipient value your connection even more and reflect well on you as a professional.