HOW TO ASK FOR A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
When looking for a new career or applying for a new job position, one thing that is sometimes requested is a letter of recommendation. Alternatively, you may be looking to improve your online presence with Linkedin recommendations to get you noticed. If you have never asked for a recommendation before you may be wondering where to start. Our guide is here to help. From how to ask for a letter of recommendation to who to ask for a letter of recommendation from, we’re here to help.
How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation
Asking for a letter of recommendation typically involves some key steps. These involve deciding who to ask for a reference letter, the request itself and most importantly, thanking that person for taking the time to provide that reference.
Who Should you Ask for a Letter of Recommendation?
When deciding who you should ask for a letter of recommendation, the person you ask for a reference from will depend on both your position and how well that person knows you. If, for example, you are a student or have recently left education, it may be a good idea to ask a former teacher or lecturer for a letter of recommendation. However, usually when asking for a recommendation, you should ask a co-worker or manager.
When deciding who you should ask for a letter of recommendation, it is important that you think about those you have worked closely with who can attest to your skills and habits. When reading a recommendation, potential employers will want to see a bit of an insight into how you work, this can be difficult if you ask for a recommendation from someone who does not know much about you.
How Should you Ask for a Recommendation?
When it comes to asking for a letter of recommendation, it is important to do it in the right way. Asking politely for a reference means that your referee is far more likely to agree to give you one and may make more of an effort with it too. A personal, complete letter of recommendation is worth far more than a generic, impersonal one, or none at all so it is worth making that extra effort when asking for a recommendation.
To start with, if you know you will need the letter of recommendation by a certain date, make sure that you ask in plenty of time. A good rule of thumb is to allow for a few weeks to allow your referee the time to write the letter of recommendation and to send it over. As someone who may share an industry with you, it is quite likely that they will be busy with work commitments and their own lives so may not be inclined to give you a reference if they feel they are being rushed.
When you are asking for a letter of recommendation it is important to remember that this person is doing you a favour, so you should approach them in a polite manner, perhaps remind them of how much you enjoyed working with them and be sure to include all information they might need in order to write your letter of recommendation. A simple, personal email can be the perfect way to ask for a letter of recommendation and is a great way to include all of the information they would need in order to write you a winning letter of recommendation.
What do I Need to Include When Asking for a Letter of Recommendation?
When asking for a letter of recommendation, it is important to include all of the information needed for someone to create an informed letter. You should include things such as what you are currently doing, perhaps a copy of your most recent CV, the role you are applying for, what skills and qualities you have that you hope will make you the perfect fit and when you would need the letter of recommendation by. It may also help to note a particular time or project you both worked on which you enjoyed.
How to Ask for a Recommendation on Linkedin
With the world of work constantly changing and adapting, one new addition that seems here to stay is the use of Linkedin for networking and checking out potential employees online. Linkedin can be a fantastic place to share endorsements for skills and recommendations from those you have worked with. When moving on to new opportunities, one way to use your past experiences is to ask for a recommendation on Linkedin. This can be a quick and simple way for colleagues to offer their recommendations on their own terms without the formality of a letter of recommendation.
When asking for a Linkedin recommendation, always be sure to provide context around why you are asking for the recommendation, for example wanting to keep your Linkedin profile fresh and be sure to offer to write a recommendation in return. A good time to ask for a Linkedin recommendation is just after you have completed a big project or perhaps just after you have left a company whilst you are still fresh in their mind. Above all, be courteous and professional in your request and leave the option to say no open.
Thank Everyone Who Sent you a Letter of Recommendation
One of the most important things when asking for a letter of recommendation is to ensure you have thanked those who have taken the time to put together the letter for you. Apart from being polite, this is important to reinforce industry links and uphold a level of professionalism. Not thanking those who have taken the time to recommend you almost certainly means that they will not be as willing to endorse you in the future.