Most of us have worked with colleagues we could easily recommend on LinkedIn—the problem is writing the actual recommendation.
It always takes more time than you thought. How can you write a recommendation that stands out and comes from the heart?
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Next time you’re asked to recommend someone, follow this template created by the Muse:
[Descriptive phrase] is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about[name]. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing [name] for [length of time], during which [description of your working relationship]. Above all, I was impressed with [name]‘s ability to [description of what makes person really stand out]. And, of course, his/her [personality trait]. [Name] would be a true asset for any positions requiring [1-2 skills needed for position] and comes with my heartfelt recommendation.
The template provides you with 10 areas to fill out or 5 key sections. Here’s how to flesh out these essential parts of your recommendation:
Section 1: Being boldly.
The first line is always so important when it comes to writing compelling copy. It should grab you into your story and encourage your audience to read on. To stand out, your recommendation needs to have a reason why you are spending time writing about this person.
Section 2: How do you know them?
It is important to tell others how you know the person, how you worked together, how long you have known each other and what kind of relationship did you have while working together. You don’t have to get every detail, but it is critical to the leaders know what kind of relationship you had and why can speak about that person’s qualifications, skills and personality.
Section 3: What makes them different and unique?
When you have agreed to recommend someone, it is because they have a lot of traits you like about them. You can’t list every skill and reason, so you need to state clearly and eloquently why you think he or she is smart and talented. What makes this person so enjoyable to work with that you want others to know?
Section 4: Why did you like working with them?
People want to hire superstars that are great to work with, but everything needs context. What did you like about working with them? What kind of personality did they have? What story can you tell that gives insight into that person and why they are such a good employee.
Section 5: Bring it all together.
Most people remember the beginning and the end of something so it is critical to make sure you closing line sums everything up. Why are you giving that person a recommendation? It should bring everything together in one nice sentence.
The next time you are writing a LinkedIn recommendation, you should remember to use this template. It will make your life easier and you can write more recommendations.
What tips do you have when it comes to writing LinkedIn recommendations?
Matthew Royse is the regional marketing director for Freudenberg IT, a global IT solutions provider. A version of this article originally appeared on his Knowledge Enthusiast blog.