Strong recommendations can open doors to interviews and can elevate you above the competition. Find someone who can confirm that you are a good candidate based on the performance they have witnessed. To create significant impact, pursue an enthusiastic recommendation rather than an impersonal run-of-the-mill reference letter. A strong endorsement can make a tremendous difference. Follow these steps to acquire an influential and impactful recommendation.
Step One: Target an Influential Professional
Previous managers, recent professors, industry experts, and clients are great examples of individuals that have potential to be an influential endorser. However, your primary focus should be how well the person knows your work and how much value your work. In other words, will they be able to provide you with a genuine and positive recommendation? Also, can you depend upon them to complete the letter and respond to a call should your prospective employer contact them?
Step Two: Seize the Opportunity
Keep your ears open for a good time to ask for a recommendation. If you find yourself in a conversation with an esteemed colleague or manager and they are praising your work, this is a perfect opportunity. You might say, “Thank you. That means a lot coming from you. Would you consider writing a recommendation for me on LinkedIn?” If this golden opportunity does not occur, move to the third step.
Step Three: Test the Waters and Ask
Initiate the conversation. Consider these sample scripts. “I really respect your opinion. I am considering a position at Company X as a Regional Sales Director. It appears to be a match based on my experience and qualifications. Do you think I would succeed in that position?” Wait for the positive answer. If you get sincere encouragement, then ask, “Would you consider endorsing me?
Step Four: Facilitate, Update, and Thank
Create a list of your major achievements involving the person who has agreed to endorse you. Your résumé can lead you for gathering these points. Some colleagues may ask you to ghost write the recommendation. Keep your colleague updated via brief email messages for major milestones, such as interviews and offers. Be sure to alert them so they are prepared to receive a call from a hiring company. Always express your gratitude.
The best recommendations are sincerely written by professionals that have spent meaningful time with you in an academic or professional setting. Follow the above steps to secure impactful and influential endorsements.