Why asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn is absolutely essential for your career

Recommendations on LinkedIn and public endorsements for your work is an essential part of your LinkedIn profile, personal website and perhaps your resume as well.

I don’t have that many public recommendations on my LinkedIn. In fact, I only have 6, but those recommendations have helped me to get 3 jobs in the past without reference checks. These jobs also happened to be ideal jobs for me at the time and I’d even consider two of the three as my dream jobs.

Public recommendations help you get hired faster because they help you bypass reference checks. This is not “cheating” or hacking in any way because the level of trust a past employer shows towards you by willing to publicly endorse you is a big sign for a future employer that you are also trustworthy.

Bypassing the reference checks actually help your future employer out because it saves their time and the awkwardness of having to phone up another manager/founder/CEO and ask personal questions about a candidate.

You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn because people usually like saying nice things about others as long as they like them. It feels good to give complements when you genuinely mean it. The same goes for recommendations.

How to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn

Give one to get one

The most pleasant way to ask for a recommendation from someone is to give one first and then ask for one in return. Here’s an actual message from my LinkedIn inbox where someone asked me for a recommendation in exchange for one she wrote for me.

Hey Ritu,

I wrote this recommendation of your work that you can include on your profile. If you have a chance to write one back for me, that would be most appreciated!



Just ask politely

LinkedIn has a pre-written script for asking for recommendation. Choose wisely before sending requests off to anyone you worked with. Choose someone you had good rapport with; someone you felt comfortable asking things like, “How are your kids doing?” and someone you can be yourself with.

I’m writing to ask if you would write a brief recommendation of my work that I can include on my LinkedIn profile. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks in advance for your help.


Ask for a recommendation as an excuse to say Thank You

Sometimes it is important for your conscience as well as your career to say a heartfelt thank you to a former employer for taking a chance by hiring you. It may have been a risky bet for the employer because they may have hired you into a role that you hadn’t done in the past. Maybe they say potential in you that you didn’t see in yourself and by hiring you, they gave you a chance to live up to that potential.

If you have experienced this, say “Thank You.” It won’t cost you anything to show your gratitude and it will make a deep impact on your past employer and reinforce the positive feelings they had about you when they hired you way back when.

I took the opportunity once to say thank you to a former boss. We made a coffee appointment and I was able to say thanks for the opportunity to work with him, because I genuinely love him, and it gave him the opportunity to tell me that he appreciated what I did for his company.

There is nothing to lose by asking for a recommendation. The worst thing that can happen is that you won’t get a response from the person you’ve asked.

Here’s a challenge if you’ll accept it. Think of three people you absolutely loved with for or with in your career. Send them a quick message on LinkedIn to reconnect telling them that you’d like to give them a recommendation because you loved working with them in the past. If they would like to, they can also write a recommendation for you, but no pressure. Hit send.

Good luck!

With love,


P.s. I’d love if you give this a LIKE so others can find it too!

P.p.s. This was originally posted on my portfolio site rituashrafi.com

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