One of my favorite aspects of LinkedIn, besides Answers, is Recommendations. I’m not shy about asking for Recommendations, and all the pundits will tell that waiting patiently for someone to take the initiative to recommend you is fruitless. You must make the request.
And if people are following that advice, chances are you’ll be asked to make recommendations for others at some point. I have! In “How to Write About Something Negative Without Negativity“, I discussed how to write a letter of recommendation that conveys when someone has done a terrible job without coming across like a complete troll.
When you’re asked to write a recommendation for someone you truly feel made a difference, providing high quality work, constantly offered creative and practical solutions and kept up a professional attitude all the while – how do you write a recommendation that person deserves without sounding cliche?
Give that person a STAR.
The STAR approach will help you be specific and really lay out the deserved kudos and endorsement.
- Situation – Lay out the scene. What was the environment or time frame? Were there unusual factors involved like it new product bugs, supply chain failures, staff shortages? Be specific and show you know the facts.
- Task – Talk about the job that needed to be done. Close a big deal with a customer? Implement a new process? Develop a new branding strategy? Again, be specific.
- Action – Highlight what the person did to successfully complete each task and how they did it. Include powerful, positive verbs!
- Result – Did the project come in under budget? Did the team seal the deal on a new account? Focus on the real outcomes and again, be as specific as possible. If you saw really great work, you don’t need fancy language. You just need to accurately and specifically