The Kaizen Blog

Attempts to continually improve in all walks of life

LinkedIn : How not to write a recommendation

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xxxxx is a detail-oriented manager who watches the balance sheet like a hawk without ever losing sight of the strategic objective

Have you received a recommendation as above, or have you sent a recommendation like this to someone ? If answer to either of this is affirmative, read on.

Unfortunately, I have seen at least one instance of this exact recommendation given on LinkedIn.To make the matter worse, the sender and receiver were college buddies, and never worked together. (I know one of them personally)

As most of you would have figured out, this is a canned recommendation text LinkedIn provides you, to begin writing your recommendation. Never ever, just hit Send after removing the word “Example” from the canned response.

It is important that you spend enough time when you recommend someone. Do not hurry. If you hold the person in high esteem, he/she deserves your thoughtful recommendation, not something from the template. If you are not sure what text to write, check with your senior colleagues/mentors. They’ll be more than happy to help you.

Oh, by the way, keep the recommendation short and simple.  If you start writing long recommendation, probably people will skip it, and it won’t benefit the receiver.

If you have received such recommendation :

  • You have an option to ask for change in wording
  • Or at least you have an option not to display this on your profile.

After all, people looking at your profile to hire you, or to give you contract work, are smart people. They are going to instantly recognize this text as template. So they are either going to discount this recommendation, or worse they are going to create negative impression about you (thinking you are too desperate to get recommendation, irrespective of whether they apply to you or not)

On Tuesdays I publish Tips on How to use LinkedIn effectively for your career. There are several articles that talk about this topic on the net. I present several common sense tips, based on my own experience.


Written by Mandar Vaze

December 23, 2008 at 7:15 am

Posted in Professional

Tagged with , ,

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