Is it ever OK to write a recommendation for yourself?
Why Someone Might Ask You to Write Your Own Recommendation
If what you write is accurate and appropriate, then I think it can be OK to write your own recommendation.
To be clear, I generally like to quiet my inner cynic and try to think the best of people. If I were in your shoes, I think I would give my co-worker the benefit of the doubt. I would take his request to write a self-recommendation as a compliment.
I’d think he trusts me. He is offering to help. That’s a good thing. Maybe he gets a ton of requests and he sincerely just wants to help?
The bottom line is this… if what you write is accurate and appropriate then I don’t have a problem with this approach. In fact, when I request a recommendation for a specific purpose, I generally ask the person if they want me to create a draft for them to work from. Since many recommendations have deadlines associated with them, creating a draft speeds the process. But I always secretly hope they say “no thanks” mostly because some of the best recommendations that I’ve ever received were written without guidance from me. They included things that never would have occurred to me.
When to Write Your Own Recommendation
Scott, even if you don’t feel comfortable writing a draft, it’s always a good idea to at least briefly highlight what you would like the recommender to emphasize. (That also applies to verbal recommendations too. A person asked to provide a recommendation should never be caught off guard.)
And writing your own recommendation doesn’t just have to be limited to LinkedIn. I often suggest to students, especially those who are trying to get a recommendation from a very busy person, to go ahead and write their own glowing recommendation. Additionally, when people are in job search mode and in need of a specific type of recommendation to help bolster their application, writing a draft can make it easier for the recommender.