Best Practices for Asking for a Job Letter of Recommendation

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Your resume is your ticket into the hiring process, and a strong interview performance can keep you in the running. However, to get the offer, you must have solid professional references, which can sometimes include a letter of recommendation. In fact, it can make or break your chance of securing your dream job.

To ensure you’re able to get the best one, here are a few practices to follow from ResumeSpice, a provider of resume writing services, when asking for a letter of recommendation:

Ask the right people.

Your best friend shouldn’t write a letter of recommendation. Nor should your sister or your cousin. Your recommendation letter should ideally be from a past manager, or at the very least, a colleague. If the employer specifically asks for a character recommendation from your personal life, then you can ask a friend or family member. But otherwise, stick with those you work for and alongside.

Ask in advance.

Writing a letter of recommendation takes some time. So if you know a hiring manager needs one before you can move ahead in the interview process, don’t wait to ask. Reach out to several people you think would be good options, giving them ample time to think it through and write a solid letter.

Ask the right way.

A generic letter of recommendation isn’t going to do much to get you the offer. It’s therefore important to ensure the person you ask is comfortable writing one for you. If they aren’t, then it will come through in your letter and be clear to the hiring manager, reflecting poorly on you.

Ask if they have any questions.

Once they’ve agreed, it gives the person plenty of information, including about the position and why you’re a good fit. Beyond that, also ask them if they have any questions. For instance, they might need to be reminded of certain details of past projects you worked on together or clarification when it comes to the role you’re interviewing for. 

Whether or not you get the job, it’s also important to write a thank you note after the process is complete. You should simply let the person know how much you appreciate the effort and that you’re willing to reciprocate it if needed.

Do you need help from professional resume writers?

At ResumeSpice, we’re professional resume writers who can give you tips on a professional letter of recommendation, as well as craft a resume that stands out. Learn more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.