Ugh. The dreaded typo that you notice AFTER you’ve gone to press (or in the case of LinkedIn, hit the Save button.)
For most of LinkedIn, including posts and articles that you have created, you can easily edit your work. But Recommendations are in a league of their own.
Remember that Recommendations must be created through the LinkedIn platform itself, and reviewed and accepted by the Recommendee. If they disagree with something that you offered in your Rec, they can send it back to you for changing. Then you may edit as you wish, send it to them again, and once they accept it, you may tell LinkedIn to publish it.
Why would someone send back a well-meaning Recommendation that you wrote for them?
Reasons vary, but these are top ones. They:
- don’t want to be associated with you (but in that case, they would be more likely to simply ignore the Recommendation),
- didn’t agree with the facts as you wrote them,
- preferred to de-emphasize particulars that you wrote about, maybe due to confidentiality or change in business focus, or they
- found typing, spelling, grammar, or language errors in what you wrote.
Since the published Recommendations must be approved by the Recommendee, it serves them well to have proper grammar, spelling, and typing on each one. So if they send it back to you to correct any of those, consider it a favor. The goal is to have it reflect well on the professionalism of both parties.
By the same token, when you are on the receiving end of a Recommendation, please review it for those elements and don’t be afraid to send it back. I always send it back with “there’s a typo, I think you meant xyz.”
In the case of a writer whose first language is not English and the grammar or word usage may be non-traditional, be kind or respectful and say something like “there’s a few typos, I hope you don’t mind the way I rewrote this.”
How to avoid publishing Recommendations with errors?
Simply ask a colleague or relative to review it before you send it. Fresh eyes are more likely to spot any errors, especially in a piece that you may have been stressing over.
What to do if you notice an error after it has been published?
The mechanical answer is to delete the Recommendation (copy & save it first!!!) and copy & paste a new one, correct any errors, then send it to your Recommendee again. You might send them a separate message alerting them to this, making a weak joke about your typo, depending upon the relationship you share.
What to do if that would be too awkward?
Make your decision based upon:
- how old the Recommendation is,
- how far down it appears on your Recommendee’s profile, (at this writing, Recs appear in reverse chronological order, with most recent on the top),
- how far down it appears on your own profile, and
- how glaring the error is.
If the other person has had numerous Recs since yours, you could simply delete yours if you don’t want to contact them. Or you could leave it as is.
Not everyone is like your old English teacher whose weekend entertainment was catching spacing errors and incorrect grammar on your term papers!