Of all of your LinkedIn notifications, getting a request to write a recommendation can be the most daunting. With LinkedIn being such an important tool for hiring managers, you know that your recommendation could impact your connection’s job search. However, many LinkedIn recommendations fall into the trap of being overly simplistic, describing very little about the person or what they did. To a hiring manager, a short, regurgitated paragraph ultimately says nothing. If you worked well with the person asking for your recommendation and you want to see them succeed, you want to be sure that your recommendation describes a detailed perspective. If you aren’t sure where to start in your writing, follow these steps:
1. Explain your relationship
Luckily, LinkedIn is a step ahead of you. You’ll see on the recommendation form that you can select how you know your contact, as well as your respective positions at the time you worked together. This will be helpful to the reader, who likely knows nothing about your relationship. If you’d like to add additional context, you can start your recommendation by answering the following questions:
- How long have you known this person?
- What were their job responsibilities?
2. Describe their work
After you’ve laid the groundwork, be sure that the reader understands what your connection actually did on the job beyond their responsibilities. To paint a better picture of this person’s skillset and how they can contribute to an organization, answer these questions:
- Were they able to complete their duties, or even do more than what was necessary?
- What did they accomplish?
3. Add some detail
At this point, you’ve established the foundation for a good recommendation. However, the reader may require information beyond the fact that your contact can perform well. In addition to understanding their work, hiring managers want to be sure that a candidate is a cultural fit who will get along well with other team members. In order to establish a more well-rounded view of your contact, add some details about how they operate in the workplace that highlights their best qualities. If something doesn’t come to mind, ask yourself these questions:
- Was there a time that they really went above and beyond the call of duty?
- How would you describe their overall disposition or attitude?
- Did their attitude yield a more positive environment?