A letter of recommendation is, more often than not, asked by recruiters/employers/HR personnel. They could ask you to bring one before the interview, or it could be during or after the interview.
The power of a recommendation letter is that it shows the HR personnel the true qualities and skills you have and it is reliable as it comes from someone who has already seen you in action. This could be written by your ex-employer, colleague, professor, teacher or even a friend
Now, there are a few things you have to take into consideration and steps you have to follow when you ask someone to write you a letter of recommendation.
- Create a list and choose wisely: Make a list of those in your network you think are most qualified for the position you are applying for. If it’s for a job, you could ask your ex-employer or colleagues to write you one. Choose someone who knows your abilities and skills and someone who will give you positive reviews. If you are applying for an internship, you could ask your professor who knows your academic background and accomplishments. It’s best to avoid asking friends or family members to write you one because the recruiter will know that it’s biased.
- Ask ASAP: A good letter of recommendation goes a long way in landing you your dream job.The more time you give the person to write the letter, the better the quality. So, ask them to write you one as soon as you know that you need it. Give them at least a week or two to draft the letter.
- Use some flattery: When someone praises our work or capabilities, we start having a soft spot for them. So, start your request letter with a little flattery. You could tell them how much you enjoyed working with them, how much their teachings or lead has impacted you and how much you value their opinions. However, do not go overboard with the flattery as you don’t want to come off as a devious person.
- Be humble and polite: At some point in the letter you will have to inform the recipient the reason you need the letter of recommendation and the deadline. So, choose your wordings carefully. You need to be polite because if you come off as overconfident or impudent, the chances of them not writing you the letter is high as they are not under any obligation.
- Provide necessary information: Ensure that you provide all the details about your reason for requesting a favour from them. Give detailed information about the job you are applying for and what skills are required. This will help them in drafting a good recommendation letter and meeting all the necessary points. You could attach your resume so they’d know which direction to lean to. Also, include why you need the recommendation letter, why you’d be a good fit for the position (back this up by mentioning your skill sets, experience and accomplishments) and the due date for the letter.
- Send thank you letters: To each individual who has written a recommendation letter for you, send them an email thanking them. Mention how much you value their opinions and appreciate their time. This is a professional courtesy and it goes a long way in networking for future reference.
There you have it, folks! The perfect guide to asking someone to write you a recommendation letter. We hope the pointers above help you in getting the best recommendation letter.
We will leave you here with our best wishes!