Following are the recommendations on my LinkedIn profile. Graded from the most effective to the least [ with apologies to people who gave me the recommendations that I have classified as least effective – this post is intended to be an “average” or “what works for the majority” and while I totally love all the recommendations on my LinkedIn profile, all of them might not work for most people who have profiles on LinkedIn ].

Category I : Most effective

Naina did an exceptional job on the LinkedIn India logo. Her conception, wonderful work flow, creativity and understanding of change requests made the project a dream. I would highly recommend her to anyone anywhere in the world. She knows how to work from a distance. [ Direct client. Emphasizes my niche : working remotely with clients from all over the globe and still delivering top-notch quality. ]

I recently asked Naina to design a logo for LinkedIn Socially on Yahoo Groups. Naina not only exceeded the brief, but gave group members a valuable insight to her thinking & methodology by blogging the evolution. I found Naina to be friendly, articulate & a great person to work with & would recommend her to anyone looking for web design briefs to be delivered on time with the minimum of fuss. [ Direct client. Talks about me as a person as well as service/product qualities. ]

Naina is a joy to work with. She handled our Web page assignment with aplomb and diligence, displaying the ability to follow creative direction while adding her own creative input in a diplomatic and useful way. Her work led to an increase in click-throughs. I recommend her to anyone who needs design and Website work. [ Direct client. ]

Naina is one of the brightest and most talented people I’ve had the pleasure of working with and has an amazing ability to work virtually. She is an accomplished writer, a talented graphic designer and has great depth of understanding of innovation and what it takes for organizations to create an environment that supports innovation. She is truly an amazing resource. [ Direct Client. Talks about all my skills and services and more. ]

Category II : Effective

Naina is highly creative and a very easy-going person to work with. Within the LinkedIn community, I have seen many examples of her work. As an Independent Contractor or as an employee, you will find Naina makes a great addition to your team! It is an honor for me to recommend and endorse her. [ Worked together on pro bono projects, not direct client. Very confident language, crisp and concise. ]

After just a brief discussion with Naina about a new networking concept she pulled together the branding and identity and delivered a result that blew us all away. A very innovative and savvy business woman and a first-class networker. Thanks, Naina! [ Direct client. But does not talk about exact project worked on. ]

Category III : Least effective

-She is Better than the Best for -Logo- designing & Creativity.- . [ Met a couple of times, had fantastic business-related conversations, loved my portfolio, never worked together. ]

I haven’t really worked with Naina. But I had no other way of telling you to check out her site. If the LOGO’s were potato chips I would have eaten every one of them. They are AMAZING!! [ Never met, never spoken, never worked together. Very impressed with my portfolio, lots of praise – but no REAL basis and starts with a negative of “haven’t really worked…” ]

The following is NOT a recommendation:

To the best of my knowledge Naina is a Management Consultant providing her services at name-of-company. I take this opportunity to wish her all the success. [ B-School classmate, never worked together, didn’t know what I was doing at this particular company – not displayed on LinkedIn profile. ]

Factors that make or break a LinkedIn recommendation are as follows :

  • Whether you have actually WORKED with the person?
  • Whether they have actually DELIVERED a product / service to you?
  • Were you truly HAPPY with their product / service / dealings?
  • Whether you have actually MET this person?
  • Whether you would be comfortable recommending this persons’ services to your own company / family / best friend?
  • Punctuation / language and spellings.
  • Why are you making the recommendation in the first place?
  • If the person had a fall-out with you tomorrow, what would you do?

The best tip I can offer about writing a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn is to Talk about specifics : imagine you are reading someone’s recommendation and figure out what you would want to know about them as a prospective client / prospective business partner / prospective employer / prospective employee and then write your recommendation.

Tell the third person what you like about this person you are recommending, support it with a reason [ because they were nice to you / because they delivered fantastic quality / because they delivered with fantastic speed / because they delivered with fantastic analysis ], and give additional support by sharing your relationship with them [ if you haven’t met them – say so, if the person being recommended is your wife/husband – say so, if you have worked with the person for 15 years – say so ]. If you haven’t met them and are still making the recommendation, DO NOT start the recommendation with “I have never met/worked with so-and-so…” – leave it for the end.

Of course each case is different, each person’s writing style as well the job profile of the person being recommended are all varied – the above is only meant to create some semblance.

When I ask my clients from endorsements/testimonials – and those clients are not on LinkedIn, I send them a PDF file, which has all LinkedIn recommendations and ask them to formulate something similar.