3 Steps to a Quality Recommendation Letter

Whether you’re looking for a job, need one for your LinkedIn profile, or simply want to add it to your portfolio, recommendation letters are a key component to your professional file.

Quality recommendation letters give you credibility and instant trust with a new employer or prospect, along with giving you a boost of confidence in your strongest areas.  Read along for some quick tips to receiving a shining letter that makes you look great!

Ask when the time is right

When you come across a happy client or end a job or internship on a high note, it’s an ideal time to ask for a recommendation. A happy client will be more than willing to share their experience while they’re still in a good place, and your past employer knows that you’ll need a quality letter to move forward in your career.

It’s not a great time to ask for a recommendation if you ended a job in a less-than-ideal place, or if your client was simply lukewarm about your product or service.

Ask the right person

In addition to asking at the right time, be sure you’re asking the right person.  Choose someone who does a good job at using words to express thoughts, as well as someone who knows you well enough to write something specific enough.  Recommendations work best when they highlight you specifically versus general praise.

Asking a close co-worker is always a fairly safe bet, but be sure that they can speak about you professionally in a way that shows you at your best.  It goes without saying that all recommendations should be honest, and while they should be glowing, they must ring true to your experience and contributions to the position or service.

Offer something in return

While most people would gladly write a recommendation without expecting anything in reutrn, you can always make your request more appealing by offering something back.

Whether you can offer them a recommendation in return, a learning session, or an opinion on something for them, it’s always nice to give back.

Recommendations are important to your professional career, and along the way, you’ll likely meet numerous past clients and employers who are willing to rave about you.  Always ask! It can be tempting to be shy and walk away from an opportunity, but you can’t receive a great review if you never ask! Get those strong reviews at the right time, post them where they’re most visible, and watch your credibility and trust levels increase substantially.

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