Asking for a Recommendation Letter

Recommendation LetterMost people struggle with getting recommendation letters in their job search. There are the questions of how to ask, what to ask, and whom to ask. Getting a recommendation letter is a source of stress for many people, chiefly as a result of not knowing how.

If you need a recommendation letter and are planning to ask a friend, former co-worker, or employer, the key is arming them with the right information on how to write the letter for you. It is bad practice to ask for a letter from someone without giving them the right tools. The end result is that they will give you a poorly written letter that took them a long time to write, when you could have written a better version in half the time.

Equipping the person you ask to write a recommendation letter for you is done by writing a letter to them. You compose your letter in a way that would explain:

1.Explain why you chose them.

In writing your letter, your first paragraph should include why they are the best person to write the recommendation letter for you. It should highlight what it is about them that made you choose them. Do you look up to them? Do you value their opinion? Did you enjoy working with them?

2.Give the details.

The second paragraph of your letter is the most important. This is where you should fill them in as to what they should write about. Remind them of your strong points, how you worked together, and what skills you have that relate to the job description that makes you the best option.

This is the part where you give them a draft. Help them to write the letter for you, so they won’t need to remember all the details about you.

3.Give options

Remember that you are asking them for a favor, but you should also let the person know that you understand if they decline.

It is much better to have someone write a recommendation letter for you when that person genuinely wants to help. The reader of the letter will sense whether the letter was written forcibly or wholeheartedly.

If you want someone to write a great recommendation letter for you, take the time to write a letter to that person. Finally, in concluding your letter, thank that person for taking the time to read your letter, and let that person know that you would appreciate it if he or she can help you.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.