How to ask for Letters of Recommendation and References

Tips on Asking for Letters of Recommendation and References

During the process of job application, having worthwhile references can boost your chances of getting an interview. Especially when you are looking for a position at a well-reputed company. As they tend to check up on the references of promising applicants before setting up an interview date. Good references can make all the difference between succeeding or failing to start a new career.

Considering this fact, it is vital to know how to acquire letters of recommendation. By following the tips we have provided, you can be prepared to apply for a new position. You must be aware who can help you get a positive reference which will help you step up.

Asking the wrong person will certainly prevent the scales from tipping in your favor. It is also crucial to plan ahead when you want to ask somebody to provide you with a recommendation. This way they have time to work upon it and do not feel under any pressure.

Select people who are knowledgeable

It is better to have quality instead of quantity when it comes to referrals. Filling your list with too many names does not ensure that you will land an interview. Of course, having several people vouch for you lets you feel supported and confident. But it is not always the case that each one of those recommendations will be deemed suitable by an employer.

The people whom you choose, must genuinely know about the different aspects of your personality and skills. You also have to narrow them down to the attributes which are specifically needed for the applied position. So, it is not wise to place people on your list who know you as a friend or family member. It is more helpful when the referrals are from ones who know you as a professional.

Select people who are willing to endorse

Also, keep in mind that your referrals must come from people who know you well. They should be capable of responding to any queries about your skills and characteristics in an official context. For example, they must know you previous workplace and title, your responsibilities, and reasons for leaving it. Alongside that, they must also be honest about your weaknesses and strengths. Letting the hiring manager know why you will be the most suitable candidate for the position.

The people recommending you should also know a bit about your background. This will help them give a more insightful review of your skillset and performance. Also, make certain that all the information they relay coincides with the data in your resume. While interviewing this will help you set a tone and know which direction you should take the conversation. Be consistent and sincere in order to start your career on the basis of authenticity.

Employers are not the only ones to ask for a recommendation

Although reaching out to previous employers will be your first choice. But do not let yourself think that you are bound to their references. There are several options to choose from. For instance, vendors, acquaintances, business associates, customers, professors, academic advisors, and even colleagues can be considered for reference providing.

It is also immensely helpful if you have previously worked as volunteer at an organization. This leaves your potential employer with a positive impression of your work ethic.

Get written recommendations

The most formal way you can communicate with a future employer is through writing. Whenever you are about to quit a position, request for a recommendation letter from the organization. This will demonstrate that you left on cordial terms and will keep the new employers from doubting your capabilities.

It is preferable, that you should ask for the recommendation letter sooner than later. Because once you leave a company, communicating with the administration can be tricky. Often enough it becomes more awkward and difficult to broach the subject after a period of disconnection. Moreover, they might also be unable to remember your duties and how efficiently you managed them.

This is also one of the reasons that you should maintain a friendly bond with your employers. Especially if you depend on them being your only source of a recommendation letter. Having these documents written in advance will save you a lot of time and effort when applying for new job. There will be no need to pursue co-workers or ex-bosses for days and not receiving the letters even then. However, you never know when having them in contact turns out to be beneficial.

Asking for the letter of recommendation

It is always awkward to feel like you have been placed in a tight corner. Therefore, it is better not to ask bluntly for a reference. It takes people aback and feel slightly daunted by the prospect for vouching for someone. Of course, if you are on such close terms with a person then that approach can work well. Otherwise, refrain from using it.

The right way to do it is to ask a bit diplomatically. Keep your tone polite and ask them if they would like to give you a reference. Knowing that they have a choice in the matter will stop people from getting defensive. Ultimately it is their choice, and you should need feel offensive if they decline. Although that will rarely be the case and you will receive more approvals than declinations.

Tips for getting recommendation letters

At times, the person you approach for a recommendation might not be well-versed in writing such a document. So, it is wise to have samples at hand to help them along. There are also cases in which a company will ask you for contact info of the previous employers. Have phone numbers and email addresses ready to provide them.

It is important to show appreciation to those who provide sincere references for you. It takes a lot of thought to write a worthy recommendation even for someone you know closely. As a professional perspective needs to be considered when writing it. By acknowledging their efforts, you make sure that they also support and assist you when needed in the future. 

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