Seven Guidelines for the Writer
Most people already know they need a list of Professional References. But you might be asking: Why do I need Letters of Recommendation at this point in my career?
The answer is simple. You don’t NEED them, but you should WANT them. Why? Because when you find yourself in a competitive interviewing situation, letters of recommendation can really give you an edge, says Ford R. Myers, Career Coach, Speaker and Author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring, (John Wiley & Sons, www.getthejobbook.com).
Myers offers the following seven Letters of Recommendation guidelines for the writer:
Print the final letter on company letterhead.
Do not date the letter, and do not include any salutation.
Keep the letter fairly brief, and never more than one page.
The first paragraph should say something like: I am writing to you on behalf of my former colleague, Sally M. Smith. I had the privilege of working with her from 19XX
to 20XX when she was the (title) of (company XYZ).
In the second paragraph, mention some specifics that you recall about the recipient. Use strong action verbs. Focus your attention on contributions to the company as
much as possible.
For paragraph three, you may wish to mention some personal traits/values.
The last paragraph should reiterate how you feel about the recipient as a professional.
When used properly, your Letters of Recommendation will distinguish you from the other candidates, and ensure that you’ll get more offers.
Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Coach and author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.