Are your LinkedIn recommendations reading like slogans for a pep rally?

 

Toby is great!

Sangeeta is super!

  Male and female comedy actors dressed as cheerleaders perform exaggerated cheer.

Unfortunately, sweeping superlatives won’t best serve Toby or Sangeeta on their LinkedIn profiles. Your recommendations will read like hundreds of others. They won’t separate Toby or Sangeeta from the pack.

Make every word count for those employees, coworkers, or bosses you appreciate by including specific details about what they did and what makes them unique.

1. Explain Your Working Relationship

How do you know this person?

  • What's your reporting relationship? (Is this person your employee, coworker, or boss?)

  • How long have you worked together?

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This information provides the context for your recommendation and demonstrates why you're qualified to give it.

2. Explain What You Worked On Together

What duties did the person perform?

Instead of just listing duties, frame them positively.

Someone who...

monitored budget and planned events

...doesn't sound as impressive as someone who

kept the department on budget and planned five successful cross-campus events.

Think of this section as a list of measurable achievements, rather than duties, to help set the right tone.

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Quiz

Which phrase demonstrates the most effective way to frame a duty positively?

3. Pinpoint Unique Personality Traits

What do the duties or achievements you listed say about this person?

  Man wearing white coat and glasses stands behind desk and holds up sign reading

Maybe this person is...

meticulous

motivated to achieve results

passionate about the cause

Remember, be creative and specific. Avoid bland and general words like “great” or “super.”

4. Sum Up Your Recommendation

End with a sentence making it clear that you endorse this person’s work.

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You might include a prediction about how well they will perform future roles or be an asset to future teams.

I heartily endorse Sangeeta as someone who will become a champion of efficiency for any team she is on.

Quiz

Describing someone only as “the best” in a recommendation...

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After you agree to write someone a LinkedIn recommendation:

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This Byte has been authored by

CB

Carolyn Black

Freelance writer and editor for education