20 Mar Asking for letters of recommendation
In this season of trying to find a better job or any job, having recommendation letters in hand to go with your resume may be helpful. But how do you ask a former colleague or boss for one? If you are asking for a recommendation from anyone, ask either in person or by telephone. Do not email or text your request. Start with a reminder of positive work you did together and compliment them on what they meant to your career. If it was a coworker, the focus of the recommendation should be how well you worked with others and perhaps what positive influences you had on him or her. If you are asking a former boss, make sure he or she knows what good things you think about them. Explain their positive influence on your career since working with them.
Then, make it easy for them. Explain what a big favor you know this is to ask but how important their opinion of you and your work is to you. Make sure you give them a time frame that is at least four days to write and send it to you or to the company where you are interviewing.
Keep in mind that you won’t want to ask anyone for this favor who you don’t feel would express who you are in a very positive light. You would be better off having friends you worked with write one rather than a boss who fired you or who made your life miserable while you were working with him or her.
Don’t forget that after you receive the letter or you learn they have sent it to a prospective new company on your behalf, send them a handwritten note thanking them for taking the time to do this favor for you. You might even take them to lunch if you can as a thank you and a chance to keep up with your network.