LinkedIn Recommendations On Resumes???

Dear RSL,

I use LinkedIn for my professional networking and have a number of colleagues both current and past that have written recommendations that are visible on my profile.  Now that I am out job searching I would like to share those recommendations with potential employers.  Is it okay to add my LinkedIn recommendations on my resume?

First of all, congratulations on the recommendations!  I know it can sometimes be difficult to get co-workers and managers to write recommendations so you must be doing such a great job that they want to shout it from the rooftops.  After all, I received 3 requests for recommendations in the last week.  Of course they were from people I didn’t know and I will never ever write a recommendation for someone I have never worked with and do not personally know.  But I digress.  You asked about including LinkedIn recommendations on your resume.  You can probably ascertain by my introduction that I do not recommend it.

While there might be some out there that do not agree with me and I’d like to hear your reasons if you do disagree; I don’t think that a resume is the place for these recommendations.  As I mentioned above, I have received requests for recommendations  from people who I have never met.  How many other people have received the same requests?  As a recruiter or hiring manager, while I might look at the recommendations, they would not sway me one way or the other as to if I was going to move forward with the candidate. I would still require a list of professional references that I could call and talk to regarding the candidate’s qualifications, previous work history, etc.  Perhaps I’m “old school” but I like to talk to the references and see what information I can pull out of them to make sure I am making the best hiring decision.

So, back to the LinkedIn recommendations and what should you do with them.  I have two recommendations for you.  The first recommendation would be to include your LinkedIn address on your resume.  This allows the potential employer to go to your profile and look at not only your recommendations that you have listed, but also see who you’ve recommended, what groups you belong to and compare the work history on your resume to what you have listed in your profile.   The second recommendation that I have is if you absolutely feel a need to share your recommendations with your potential employer, put them together in an attractive format separate from your resume and if the occasion arises during an on-site interview you can pull out the list and share some of the recommendations with your interviewer.

LinkedIn is a great networking tool that should provide a synopsis of your professional history.  Having recommendations on your LinkedIn profile can help to build credibility.  I utilize it extensively to network and recruit candidates.  But while I look at the recommendations occasionally, I always have in the back of my mind the emails from those requesting that I write a recommendation for them without ever having met them.  Bottom line; leave the recommendations on LinkedIn where they belong, leave the resume to showcase your talents and successes to land you an interview.

Resume Survis Lady is written by Billye Survis. To have your resume or job search questions answered by Resume Survis Lady, send your questions to:
Feel free to also connect with Resume Survis Lady through twitter:  @resumesurvisldy her LinkedIn group: Resume Survis Lady and on Facebook


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. avantgaard
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 20:38:46

    I enjoyed this post very much. I agree with you reference not using the LI information directly on your resume. Best, C


  2. Samantha Bangayan
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 22:04:40

    Interesting question! I’ve actually never thought about this before, but I don’t think a resume is the place for any recommendations, whether they are from LinkedIn or other sources.

    As an afterthought, another place you can display your recommendations is on your business website!


  3. Jeannette Paladino
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 22:19:04

    For years, before the advent of social media, I believed it was a mistake to list references on a resume, because a reference might be blind-sided by a phone call from a company or recruiter asking about a candidate. However, recommendations are public and the people who give them should, as the blog states, only give them to people they know and respect. They need to be authentic. So I don’t think it would be out of line to add a link to your LinkedIn profile where a potential employer could read your recommendations. They’re public.


    • resumesurvislady
      Mar 23, 2011 @ 22:23:06

      I agree with you Jeannette, I don’t think references should be listed at all on a resume, and all references should be contacted by the candidate prior to providing their name and number to a potential employer. It always amazes me when I am calling references that they had no idea I would be calling. Thank you for your insight!


  4. Keyuri Joshi (on the ball parent coach)
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 07:43:56

    If I was hiring someone, nothing would turn me off any more than suggestions of insincerity such as undeserving recommendations. I like your suggestions that they not be included in a resume and that the more sincere and powerful ones be prepared as a separate submission for when it is requested.
    You make great points that also imply less ego.


  5. Jack Rupert
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 14:36:02

    Great post! The one thing I would add is that if somebody does decide to use the LI recommendations in another format (printed or another website) they should get permission from the person writing the recommendation to use in in the other format. With LinkedIn, you always maintain control of the recommendations you write. Some people may have issues with their name being in an uncontrolled manner.

    P.S. Good idea linking your blog post in your LinkedIn status. That’s how I found it.


  6. Boschii
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 18:32:15

    I basically agree with you with one exception. I do, from time to time, include excerpts from my recommendations that supports some point I am trying to make about myself in my cover letter. But these are strategic and I use them sparingly because basically I don’t think LinkedIn recommendations should be included in the resume : )


    • resumesurvislady
      Mar 24, 2011 @ 18:38:05

      Cover letters….now that’s a whole different topic! 🙂 I could see where a recommendation could be used in a cover letter. As long as 1. The person giving the recommendation is okay with sharing what they wrote outside of LinkedIn and 2. The recommendations are used sparingly. I would not use more than 1 or 2.

      Thanks Boschii! Very good point.


  7. Brenda Bernstein
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 20:16:08

    I’m going to put in a dissenting opinion. I almost always include a short testimonial/recommendation on the Executive level resumes I write. A consortium of resume writers and career experts recently put together a report on current trends in the resume industry. You can read it at Here’s what it says:

    “Testimonials add power. One of the strongest elements you can add to a resume today is a testimonial in which someone else extols a job seeker’s skills, talents, achievements, and value. Professional resume writers use testimonials quite often – in resume headers and footers, in shaded boxes, in summary sections, under job descriptions, and in other places where most appropriate. Many of us believe that these give job seekers a truly competitive edge and a lot of credibility to substantiate their value.”


    • resumesurvislady
      Mar 24, 2011 @ 21:09:45

      I appreciate your point of view Brenda. But I stand by my position of leaving LinkedIn recommendations off of the resume. I took the time to read through the link you provided and agree with most of what is written there, including that job seekers should include recommendations on their LinkedIn profile, striving for at least 10 and that recruiters use LinkedIn daily. As a recruiter I use it religiously. I’ve also been a hiring manager and I work with other hiring managers and HR managers on a daily basis. As someone who is part of the hiring process, when I look at a resume I don’t want to see references or recommendations. On the resume I want to see experience, qualifications, things that a candidate has done to set themselves apart from others with a similar skill set. I want to see numbers, facts, bottom line results. Is there a place for recommendations? Absolutely, but leave them on LinkedIn or if you absolutely MUST include them with an initial submission, add them to the cover letter.


  8. Catarina Alexon
    Mar 25, 2011 @ 12:47:44

    Agree with you about not including Linkedin recommendations. Get requsts from strangers to recommend them on a regular basis.

    By the way, you should never leave a list of referenses or write referenses upon request. Wait until if and when you are asked.


  9. Jill Tooley
    Mar 25, 2011 @ 14:58:39

    I seem to be agreeing with the majority here, but I’d also discourage against putting LinkedIn recommendations on a resume. In fact, I wouldn’t mention anything about references on the resume or cover letter at all. Most employers/hiring managers know that they have the right to ask for references if they’d like, so typing “references available upon request” is a bit redundant. I love your idea about putting the LinkedIn URL on the resume, though! That way employers could visit the link if they wanted to but they could also ignore it if they chose to. 🙂


  10. Donna
    May 27, 2011 @ 21:01:14

    I did as was suggested in the blog. I put my LI address on my resume and then created a separate page with my recommendations. I did include who it was from and how I had worked with them. I then shared it with a portfolio created specifically for the position I interviewed for – the interviewer appreciated the information and commented that it would be helpful in their decision making process.

    I don’t have recommendations from invdividuals that I have not worked with nor do I provide recommendations to individuals that I haven’t worked with…it is my reputation and I don’t believe that putting my integrity on the line for someone I don’t know doesn’t make sense


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