Tips for Asking for a Recommendation Letter

Many job seekers are attempting to find work in this difficult economic climate. Job openings attract at least 250 resumes. Finding a job is not always easy and so job seekers should be ready when applying for positions.

A letter of recommendation is often required when applying for some positions. Job seekers may be familiar with asking for a standard job reference letter. A recommendation letter is slightly different.

Therefore, get ready when asking for this type of letter. Keep reading and learn these tips for asking for a recommendation.

Choose the Right Person to Ask for a Recommendation Letter

When it comes to asking for a recommendation letter, the first step is to choose the right person. Think about who can provide you with the most valuable feedback. Look for someone who knows your work well.

It’s essential to ask someone who has experience working with you. Choose someone who can speak positively about your skills, achievements, and work ethic.

If you’re currently employed, consider asking your supervisor or manager. If you’re no longer employed, reach out to former colleagues or supervisors. If you’re a student, consider asking your professors, academic advisors, or coaches.

Be Specific About the Purpose

Be specific about the purpose of your request. Let your recommender know what job you’re applying for. Tell them what skills the employer is looking for and how the recommendation letter will support your application.

This will help your recommender understand what they should emphasize in their letter. They can write and highlight your specific skills and advantages. Provide your recommender with some context about the job you’re applying for. What could be included are:

  • information about the company
  • the position you worked for
  • skills and experiences required

This will help your recommender understand what the employer is looking for. This way, they can tailor their letter to a specific job.

Provide Ample Time

Give your recommender plenty of time to write the letter. Ideally, you should ask for a recommendation letter at least two weeks before you need it.

If you’re in a time crunch, explain your situation well. Ask if there’s any way they can expedite the process. Do your best to provide anything they might need such as important information about your job application.

Keep in mind that your recommender may have other commitments too. So, don’t assume they can drop everything to write you a recommendation. As much as possible, request an appointment so you may have time to discuss your strengths and opportunities.

If you ask for a recommendation, you can give a deadline for when you need it. This will help your recommender focus on the task and ensure that the letter is ready when you need it.

However, be sure to give your recommender ample time to write the letter and be flexible if they need more time to prepare.

Ask for a Recommendation Letter in Person or via Phone

When it comes to asking for a recommendation letter, it’s best to do it in person. You may also ask for it over the phone. While it may be tempting to send an email or text message, these methods can come across as impersonal.

When you ask in person or over the phone, you have the opportunity to explain why you’re asking for a recommendation letter. You can give any additional information.

If possible, ask for a face-to-face meeting with your recommender. This will allow you to discuss your career goals, your strengths, and your personal achievements. It will also help you build a stronger relationship with your recommender. This can be valuable in the future.

Be Grateful to Them

It’s important to show appreciation for your recommender’s time and effort. Make sure to thank them for agreeing to write the letter and express your gratitude for their support. Once the letter is complete, make sure to follow up with another thank you note or email.

If you have a good relationship with your recommender, offer to reciprocate in the future. This could mean writing a recommendation letter for them in the future.

Offer to be a reference, or help them with their own career goals. Building strong relationships with colleagues and mentors can be valuable throughout your career.

Consider a Professional Resume Writer

You might be struggling to put together a strong resume. Or you might be unsure how to highlight your achievements and skills. This is the time to find a professional resume writer.

A professional resume writer can help you create a compelling and polished resume. You must highlight your strengths and experiences. A strong resume can make all the difference in the job search process.

This can also make it easier for your recommender to write a strong recommendation letter. Be sure to include in your resume the exact keywords that employers are looking for. This will serve as a reference for your recommender.

Provide Updates on the Status of Your Application

Make sure to keep your recommender updated on your progress. Let them know when you’ve applied. Update them also about the impact of their recommendation.

Let them know when you receive an interview invitation, and when you receive a job offer. Keeping your recommenders in the loop shows that you appreciate their support and that you value their feedback.

Send them a message or an email. Call them as soon as you get on your new career path.

Find a Good Recommendation Letter Soon

Asking for a recommendation letter can be nerve-wracking, but it’s an essential part of the job search process. Always choose the right person to be your recommender. Provide them ample time. 

Be professional and respectful in your request. Make it easy for them to write a strong letter by providing all the necessary information and highlighting your strengths. 

Finally, thank them wholeheartedly. It’s important to show appreciation for their time and effort.

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