Letters of recommendation usually aren’t requested until the latter part of the job application process but in some cases, sending one along with your application can be a great advantage. A recommendation letter gives the prospective employer a chance to hear from people who can attest to your work ethics, skills, and abilities. This information will help them better determine if you’re a good fit for the position you’re applying for, whether it’s a new role at a new company or an internal promotion.
If you’re looking for a job in a new city, having a recommendation letter can also help your prospective employer become better acquainted with your professional experiences. For example, if you are from Cebu and are interested in finding architecture jobs in Manila, a recommendation letter can give the hiring company information about your other projects and insight into how you work with past colleagues.
You can improve your chances of getting the role you want when you have a glowing endorsement. Here are some tips you should keep in mind when asking for a letter of recommendation.
Select Individuals Best Suited to Write the Letter
If you want to get an amazing letter of recommendation, you need to first choose who are the best people to write it. The people you consider will largely impact the focus of the letter’s content. For instance, if you ask past or current managers for recommendation letters, they could write about what it was like having you on their team, what your best skills are, and any significant contributions you’ve made to the company. On the other hand, recommendations from colleagues could mention your professional behavior when superiors aren’t present. They may talk about how well you get along with others or instances when you extended yourself to support struggling team members.
When choosing people to request recommendations from, make sure they can provide honest and valuable insights about you professionally. This means that you should avoid getting recommendation letters from relatives and friends, as these are usually considered as less accurate or heavily biased in your favor. If you are a fresh graduate and don’t have previous work contacts you can solicit recommendations from, you can place the request with a college professor. They will have evaluated your academic progress and can speak for your diligence as a student.
Provide Information to the Writer
Ideally, you want to request a recommendation letter in person as it is akin to asking for a favor. But in case this isn’t possible, make sure to reintroduce yourself to the individual if you haven’t communicated with them for a while. As you do this, explain why you need the letter and talk about the position you’re applying for. You can further discuss how your experience with them applies to the new job so they understand the value of their insights.
When you make your request, consider including the latest copy of your resume, cover letter, and other documents you’ll be sending to the hiring manager. You can also provide a copy of the job posting so the person writing the letter of recommendation gets an idea of the qualities and skills the prospective employer is looking for. Giving this information to the person writing the recommendation letter helps them craft a relevant and valuable letter that won’t repeat details already mentioned in the other documents.
Request the Letter of Recommendation As Early As Possible
In some cases, it may be better to ask for a recommendation letter as soon as you leave the organization or graduate from the institution. This ensures that your performance is still fresh in your manager’s or professor’s mind and they can easily recall notable moments of working with you.
Whether you’re requesting a letter of recommendation from your former professor or current supervisor, you need to remember that they may already have a busy schedule. Also, some people may need time to properly go over the documents you provided and to prepare the requested correspondence. So, it’s important to ask the individuals as early as you can. This gives them plenty of time to create a compelling recommendation letter. It will also ensure your prospective employer receives the letter promptly, which can give them a good impression of your work ethic.
While you might feel intimidated by the thought of asking someone for a letter of recommendation, it’s important to remember that a lot of people are willing to help you out. Ask respectfully and be gracious in case you are declined. If they do provide you with a letter of recommendation, make sure to write them a personal thank-you note in return. In this way, you can continue to have a positive relationship with them.