Scoring The Right Recommendations – by Mike O’Neil

To make gathering recommendations more helpful, we developed a scoring system that allows you to focus your efforts and to build diversity in and more powerful recommendations.

This is an excerpt from our book: Rock The World with LinkedIn v2.1.

Scoring recommendations is a refreshing way to look at this key area of your LinkedIn profile that 1) has much promise 2) is often under-utilized and 3) can be easily improved.

In our system, recommendations are scored from 1 to 5. The more engagement the better. A “1-Pointer” has the least impact, whereas a “5-Pointer” describes excellent first hand experiences with you.


People who never met you but recommend you on the basis of some value you provided, however slight. Real examples are people who passed along an introduction for you and then asked you for a recommendation of their helpfulness. Really these recommendations are pointless, except that they quickly build your numbers. The only real value is someone being impressed with how many recommendations you have without looking deeper to see the lack of substance.


Friends that recommend one another on LinkedIn…character references. C’mon, “You’ve got a friend” (James Taylor, 1971) is a great song, but it is not a great premise for a LinkedIn Recommendation.

A few of these are OK to have: people want to know that someone is interesting and a good cultural fit, but not at the expense of more meaningful business references. Don’t let character reference hide “higher point” references.

References from school and education references. The most meaning comes from recent associations, executive MBA’s, or if the education carries more importance that normal in your field, these will have more meaning. Perhaps they are 3 or 4 pointers for you.


Co-workers and others you work with typically provide good recommendations. They paint a picture of what it was like to work with you. This might be as a peer at the same company, peers at different companies or perhaps a level or two up or down the corporate ladder from you.


Projects! Here people describe their experience with you on a specific project. They were there too; you both had skin in the game. Many of the things they say about you–such as might be true in reverse as well. We’ll come back to that in a moment. If you want people to BUY from you or HIRE you, these are especially powerful.


Are from the eye of the customer. What do the people who give you their money say about that experience? Sales professionals should focus the most attention here, especially for recent positions.

Rock The World with LinkedIn 2.1

This article is an excerpt from the Rock The World with LinkedIn v2.1 book. This break-thru book features a 50 song classic rock video soundtrack.


Mike O’Neil is the founder of Integrated Alliances, the world’s first LinkedIn training organization. Since 2004, Mike has amassed 30,000 LinkedIn connections, 80,000 Twitter Followers and has taught over 500 LinkedIn Training Sessions for B2B audiences.

Mike is a 15-year technology sales veteran in the systems, telecom and Internet industries working for VARs and Carriers. He is also the architect of Integrated Alliances U, the world’s first cloud-based LinkedIn E-Learning program for sales reps.

Enjoy more free LinkedIn training videos at

Reach out to Mike directly at 720-897-8254 or You can find out more about Mike at


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