You can utilize recommendation letters for job search success. Recommendation letters, also known as reference letters or referral letters, are used for a number of things. They can give information about you to a prospective boss, recommend you to an undergraduate or graduate program, nominate you for an award, position, or promotion, and so forth. A letter of recommendation is an easy, effective way to share your abilities and traits with decision-makers.
Benefits of Recommendation Letters
The benefits of requesting recommendation letters are numerous. For one thing, a letter of recommendation generally highlights your positive characteristics. It may include such things as your accomplishments while at school or in the workplace, and your strengths and capabilities as a student, employee, or co-worker. It may even include details about your personality and your relevant interests. Moreover, a letter of recommendation eliminates the need for the potential employer, academic evaluator, or judge to secure your references (a task that can at times be tedious and time-consuming). You don’t want to be excluded because someone was not able to verify your qualifications for the position.
Perhaps the best thing about sending a letter of recommendation is that it can be more appealing to people than being included in a list of references. Then, they do not have to be put on the spot with an unexpected phone call from your prospective employer. The writer has time to carefully consider what to say about you and how to say it. That may mean the difference between whether or not you get the job you want, get accepted to the school that you apply for, or receive the award for which you were nominated.
6 Recommendation Letter Tips to Remember
- When requesting a recommendation letter, ask (preferably in person) someone who knows you fairly well. Choose someone who you know will complete the task in time to meet your deadline.
- Though it may seem obvious, ask someone who you are certain will give you a positive recommendation. If you are not sure, ask the person if they would feel comfortable writing a letter of recommendation for you.
- When requesting a recommendation letter, provide a copy of your current resume and cover letter. Your resume should list your accomplishments and other relevant experience that make you an ideal candidate. Remember, even if the person knows you fairly well, they don’t know all of your qualifications for the position.
- It is generally best to request letters of recommendation from someone in a professional setting. However, if you are applying for school or just entering the workforce and have little experience and few contacts, you can ask for character references from people who know you from school, church, or community organizations.
- Always thank the writer for being willing to write a letter for you. After the letter is sent, you might consider writing a short note expressing your thanks.
- In addition to requesting letters of recommendation as you near graduation, reference letters can be very important when changing careers or after you resign, have been laid off, or let go.
What other tips can you offer your fellow job seekers? Comment and share below! If you need additional assistance, reach out to Candace for help!