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Letters of Reference

We live in an age of reliance on personal recommendations. Platforms such as Yelp, Amazon reviews, and Facebook “likes,” play huge roles in shaping our decisions.

This flows over into employment and puts a premium on letters of reference. They can have a great impact on your job search. I advise professionals who have been laid off to proactively get letters of reference from former supervisors and include them with their resumes.

Letters of reference have these advantages:

  • They may result in immediate interviews.
  • They can remove the discomfort that often accompanies initial conversations with potential employers about your separation from past employers.
  • They will speed up the review of your application by streamlining your reference checks.
  • You’re making life easier on whoever checks your references. Letters of reference provide the information they need, saving them time and preventing frustrating rounds of phone tag.
  • Asking in advance for letters of recommendation is also a courtesy your references will appreciate. It gives them time to consider what they would like to say. The letter will often replace the need for them to have conversations with multiple companies.

Tip: Help your references. Compile a list of your accomplishments and offer a general template so your references can easily write the letter and hit all the points you believe are important to future employers.