On your LinkedIn profile, Recommendations have a unique purpose. Recommendations can publicly praise your soft skills, authentic traits, and personal values. These insights and endorsements about your character create a favorable message about you as a person, which is impossible to do in any other section of your profile.

Consider that 85% of jobs come from personal referrals. Short of your best friend working as the hiring manager at your ideal employer or internship provider, LinkedIn Recommendations are the best word-of-mouth, personal reference you can have.

Unfortunately, most students believe they lack the connections to provide valuable LinkedIn Recommendations. That’s because they misunderstand what this section of a LinkedIn profile is really about. Keep in mind, Recommendations are not just for praising what you have done. Recommendations are meant to laud who you are.

Here’s the roadmap to getting the right LinkedIn Recommendations.

  1. Complete all the written sections you can on your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Include a photo that looks like you on a good day – not too fancy or too casual.
  3. On a separate document, create a list of people who know you and like you,

That might include professors, high school instructors, advisors, club leaders, friends from your community service, other students who have participated with you on class projects, and anyone who supervised or worked with you at part-time jobs.

  1. Write an email or text to each person, recollecting how you know each other, and asking if they would help you complete your LinkedIn profile by providing a Recommendation.
  2. In your email, include specific information about what you are hoping they might highlight, focusing on your personal traits.
  3. When you get each response, just send out your LinkedIn request for Recommendation. You may need to send a request to connect beforehand. And, make sure to thank each person who provides a Recommendation.

Here’s an example of a request.

Dear Mary, I hope you can help me complete my LinkedIn profile by providing a Recommendation for me. Specifically, it would be helpful if you could refer to the time I volunteered after school to tutor adults learning to read. I remember the comment from one learner who said, “Jack was patient and kind during our sessions. I was worried about how long it took me to learn to read, and he always encouraged me to keep going.”  

Mary, would you let me know if you could provide a LinkedIn Recommendation? If so, I will send you a request on LinkedIn.

In advance, I very much appreciate your consideration of this request.  

Thank you! Jack