Letter of Recommendation: How To Ask For It

You are looking for a new job and chances are you’re going up against competition – and plenty of it. You’ll need to find a way to stand out. One way to do so is with a strong letter of recommendation.

Of course, the only way to get one is to ask for it – the prospect of which will likely fill you with dread. It’s okay to feel nervous, but believe it or not, most people will be happy to write something on your behalf. If you’re still hesitant, use this approach to get that much-needed letter.


Just pop the question

Yes, it may sound simplistic, but the truth is the way to ask for a letter of recommendation is to ask. Rather than apologising or beating around the bush, ask the question straightforwardly, noting the purpose of which you need the letter and deadline.

You say: “I’m applying for a job, and I need to include two letters of recommendation. Would you be willing to write one for me? I’d need it by the 14th.”

Suggest some talking points

Don’t just ask, “Can you write me a letter of recommendation?” Be sure to mention what information you’d like the letter to include. Be specific about the information you would like to have in the letter.

You say: “Thank you for agreeing to write a letter of recommendation for me. I was hoping you could mention the role I played in our big campaign and how my blog post helped increase our company’s site traffic.”

Be prepared to write the letter yourself

Let’s be honest, we’re all busy these days. Someone may be willing to write you a letter of recommendation, but feel the crunched for time. If that happens, they might ask you to write the letter for them and they will revise it. It’s a win-win situation – they’ve still offered to help you and you have your signed letter of recommendation.

You say: “I know this is a busy time of the year for you. If you don’t have the time to write it, perhaps I could write something for you to review and if it looks all right, could you sign it?”



Source: TheGrindStone (image)