How to Get the Right LinkedIn Recommendations in Four Steps

Okay! Here we go! Last week we talked about the importance of having LinkedIn recommendations on your profile that are from individuals who previously hired you, purchased from you, or supervised you in some capacity. However at the conclusion, most of you were left hanging with the basic question: “If I am lacking enough of these recommendations, what must I do to get them?”

I have boiled the process down to four basic steps…with one caveat: I am assuming that you have already completed the very first and most important step when it comes to recommendations: you must earn them!

Assuming that is done (and always in progress), then let’s move forward, shall we?

1. From your LinkedIn connections, list out clients, customers, supervisor and/or employers.

Obviously, they can be current or previous. Has it been a while since you have connected with them? No problem! Add them to the list anyway. They can be people from the same organization, if they can genuinely speak from the perspective of a client, customer, supervisor or employer.

2. Contact each of them to ask if they would be willing to post a recommendation for you on LinkedIn.

This begs the question: how do you contact them? Phone or email? My answer is “Yes.”

If you are in regular touch with this individual, and email is a means of this communication, then by all means, send them a note via email. It needn’t be complex.

However, if there has been little or no personal communication between you in the past year or so (or more), then a phone call might be the stronger route. It also is more personal, since this is indeed a personal favor you are asking, is it not?

Whether it is phone or email, your question is simple:

“I’m updating my information on LinkedIn, and one of the most important factors in developing a strong profile is a good set of strong recommendations from employers / supervisors / customers / clients. Naturally, I thought of you. Would you be so willing? If so, at this time all I’m seeking is your affirmative, and if so I will follow up accordingly as I know you are busy.”

Easy enough? Great! On to the next step…

3. Send the contact a follow up email, with no more than four key questions.

Once you have an affirmative response, then follow up with a message with something like this:

Dear Susan,

Thank you so much for your willingness to add to my existing LinkedIn recommendations on my behalf! But I know you’re busy, so if it’s okay with you, I will write the testimonial–I just need a little help. If you can reply to this message with very simple answers (or elaborate if so inspired) to a few key questions below, I will write it up and send it back to you for your review. When completed and approved, I will also be asking you to post it on LinkedIn as a “Recommendation” under the relevant work position (with specific instructions accordingly).  Thank you in advance!


  • What qualities about Keith led you to engaging his services? They can be personal, professional or both.
  • What can you say about the benefits of Keith’s work or engagement with you?  (Note: you may specify a product or service you provided if applicable)
  • You have obviously hired Keith more than once. Why is that?
  • Most important: What measurable results has his work and services had on your business?

Thank you again Susan! Looking forward to talking with you soon.


Note: Depending on the relatioship and frequency of communication, you could combine steps two and three (I have) into a single email. I might open with something like:

Dear Susan:

I need a favor from you…an important one. So please review this when you have a few moments.

I am way behind in updating my marketing with more recent testimonials, so I am hoping I can get one from you… [and then lead into the body content above]

4. When their responses are received, write up their recommendation using their words, expressions, and facts.

Once you receive your contact’s answers, write them up into a brief paragraph, using their words (as closely as possible) and most importantly, their facts! For example, if they say your work lead to a 47 percent savings in time or production costs, STATE THAT! Get my drift?

In the return email for their approval, here is what you will say:


Thank you again for this in-depth testimonial. Here it is written up per your initial feedback, for your approval:


“[Insert your written testimonial here, and keep emphasis on measurable, positive outcomes.]”


If this meets your approval, great! If you wish to tweak or edit, feel free to do so accordingly.

To add this to my LinkedIn Recommendations:

  1. Please log in to LinkedIn
  2. Visit my profile, and click the down arrow on the blue button labeled “Send a Message.”
  3. From that drop down menu, choose “Recommend” and it will go from there.
  4. Please be sure to connect your Recommendation with the relevant work position.

Thank you! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me!

That’s it! And if YOU have any questions, feel free to contact me as well. You may also connect with me on LinkedIn. In fact, you can contact me there as well.

Most importantly, however…if you found this helpful…SHARE THIS POST!

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