How to Turn Down a LinkedIn Recommendation Request


Recently I have received a slew of LinkedIn recommendation requests from individuals that I don’t know very well or have never met. I found it rather surprising that these strangers would ask me for a recommendation, especially since we have never worked together. Here’s something to remember: If you wouldn’t recommend a person in the real world, there’s no need to recommend them in the cyber world.

Do not be afraid to say NO!

This is how I gently turned down the one request:

Dear Donna,

I’m sending this to ask you for a brief recommendation of my work that I can include in my LinkedIn profile. If you have any questions, let me know.

Thanks in advance for helping me out.

-Larry X


Hi Larry!

Once we do some business together and I am satisfied with your services, then I would be more than happy to recommend you. I hope to visit your studio soon!


Now just in case you are one of those people who isn’t quite certain when to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation, here are my guidelines:

When to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation

1. The person has recommended you in person or via email.
When a person either says, “Hey you did a great job on that project!” it is entirely acceptable to reply, “Thanks so much! Would you mind if I send you a LinkedIn recommendation request? It would mean a lot to me to have a recommendation from you on my LinkedIn profile!”

Don’t rely on them to be proactive and just do it for you! Send them the request from within LinkedIn’s recommendation request screen. You want to make it as easy for them as possible!

If a person has emailed you with kind words, copy the email and paste it into a LinkedIn recommendation request. Tweak it a bit and send it off to them. You’ll be surprised at how fast they respond to your request.

Here’s an example:

Hi Donna!!!!

I love how you created my email newsletter! It really is getting people to my website!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!




Dear Christine,

Thanks so much for your kind words– would you mind adding it as a recommendation on LinkedIn for me?

“As a Holistic Health Coach helping people eat healthy and feel great, I had Donna design my Website and she suggested including an email newsletter that draws from my blog feed. She recently set it up and I love the way it gets people to my website and keeps my clients involved.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Donna !!!! You are BRILLIANT!!”

Please feel free to edit or change completely.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Thanks in advance for helping me out.

-Donna Serdula

2. After you completed a project/deal/service/etc… and your customer is HAPPY.
It’s always best to give a call and make sure your customer is happy BEFORE you request the LinkedIn recommendation. Once you are certain that everything is hunky dory, send them a LinkedIn recommendation request. Respect their time and write the recommendation for them. Make sure they know they can deviate from your words if they are so inclined.

Here’s an example:

Dear Christine,

I thoroughly enjoyed delivering your project on time and under budget! Would you mind providing me with a recommendation on LinkedIn for me?

If you are looking for something to write, might I suggest something along these lines:

“Our CEO wanted every salesperson in our company to have a POWERFUL LinkedIn profile. I went online and researched to find an expert on LinkedIn profile optimization. I found Donna and she was amazing. She worked with our entire sales force to craft optimized LinkedIn profiles AND she trained them on how to more effectively use LinkedIn for prospecting. She brought the project in on time AND under budget! Already we are seeing positive changes taking place! I highly recommend working with Donna!

Please feel free to edit or change completely.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Thanks in advance for helping me out.

-Donna Serdula

3. Lastly, feel free to reach out to employers, current or past, that you have served well. In fact, a great time to ask is after a performance review, as long as the performance review went swimmingly. In fact, you can always use wording from the performance review so the recommendation is in your boss’s own authentic voice.


If you have any questions or are interested in having me write your LinkedIn profile, contact me TODAY!

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1 Comment

  1. Hello,

    My question is I have an email recommendation that someone sent to me who isn’t on Linkedin. How do I get that recommendation letter on my profile. Please advice.


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