Letters of Recommendation

Letter of Recommendation

There is nothing like a great letter of recommendation provided to a prospective employer from your former employer to really showcase what your impact was on the people you have worked with and how valuable you have been then…and can be going forward! Getting that letter of endorsement from someone respected in their field is a great physical testament to your work and can resonate with hiring personnel in a way that resume, and cover letter simply cannot. Chances are, the person or people you desire to write these letters are busy, in demand professionals that really want to ratify you, but simply don’t have time to sit down and type out the letter that you need to make you stand out. Therefore, you should probably write the letter yourself, and later have them review and sign it.

If you think about it, this approach makes the most sense for several reasons. Above everyone else, you care about your own financial success and future. You have also invested the most time in thinking about what you need to make that success happen and what image you want to not just portray but embody.

Many times, supervisors don’t even really know what you are doing on a day-to-day basis, but they appreciate the results of your work. Writing this letter, yourself affords you the opportunity to expound upon the efforts you have made that you are the proudest of. You can also tailor the letter to highlight those skills that you are hoping to utilize in whatever new position you are seeking. Additionally, the more impressive the party you are asking for the recommendation from is, the more likely that they are in demand and will be grateful to you for doing the heavy lifting as far as letter-writing in concerned.

Keeping these factors in mind, only approach a professor, supervisor, or colleague that you are sure would give you a resounding endorsement. It doesn’t matter how high in your esteem this person is, if they don’t appreciate you, they won’t be inclined to sign any complimentary missive you put in front of them. If they are a fan of your work and/or contributions, chances are they will be grateful to you for offering to authoring the letter and will gladly sign a document to that effect.

Be prepared for notes. You are making it easier by writing the letter yourself, but they are still doing you the favor. Make any adjustments promptly and without complaint.

This letter could be the thing that sets you apart from a potentially crowded crop of applicants. Many don’t include letters at all, but simply furnish a list of references. Including these letters gives prospective employers that glimpse into your past successes, relationships, and accomplishments. By penning that letter, yourself, you control what that glimpse is.