How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation:
1. Carefully choose your references.
Choose your references based on those who know you best. It may seem impressive to have a letter of recommendation from someone who’s high up on the corporate ladder, but if they don’t know you, it will show. You will want to choose someone who can confidently write about your career and talents in a convincing way. Getting a generic letter of recommendation could ultimately hurt your chances of getting the job.
2. Ask early.
It is generally best to send your request for a recommendation at least 2 weeks before you will need it. This way, your reference will have enough time to properly prepare and write a great recommendation letter.
3. Use a little flattery.
As the saying goes, a little flattery goes a long way. Start off your request by letting your reference know how much you enjoyed working with them, how you value their opinion, or what you’ve learned from them. However, don’t go overboard or you’ll come across as insincere.
4. Ask nicely.
Ask for a recommendation in a straightforward way, mentioning the purpose of the letter and the deadline. Be sure to phrase your request politely, as your references are under no obligation to give you a recommendation letter.
5. Provide all the necessary details.
Make it easier for your reference to offer a great recommendation letter by providing the necessary details about the job you are applying for. Also, refresh their memory on your skills and qualifications and make it clear what you are looking for in your recommendation.
To give your reference context, you can include the following information in your request:
- An updated resume.
- What you are doing now.
- What the recommendation is for.
- Why you’re qualified for the position.
- Any relevant work habits, successes, or skills.
- The due date for the recommendation letter.
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