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Always ask for a recommendation letter!
If you’re part of the labour market you must have a résumé that has your data, academic and work experience. This backs up what you’ve done, for how long you’ve done it and where you’ve done it, but, is this really what a job interviewer cares about?
When a job interviewer analyses the applicant’s profiles, he looks upon many aspects, and while everyone is trying to show a well formulated résumé, they might overlook something that might differentiate them from the rest, this is precisely the recommendation letter.
A recommendation letter tells the interviewers how your real performance was, it tells them that you truly are an applicant that has what it takes to be a part of the job in question, and it also verifies some of the information provided in the resume.
If you have work experience, you must ask for a recommendation letter in all the jobs you work at, generally this are requested to whoever is in charge of the human resources department, in it your stronger abilities, performance and your personality traits are included.
In the case that you don’t have any work experience, you can also ask for one to a teacher that has knowledge of your capabilities and can write the letter mentioning your academic achievements as well as your relevant skills, if you’re looking for a job for the first time this can surely place you in a better place from the competition that are in similar conditions to yours.
What companies need the most is a guarantee that they’re not losing their time hiring someone, because even if someone has lots of studies or they’ve had many jobs before, they might have shown a mediocre performance in all of them. An interviewer will have many résumés to look and nothing will make you any different from the other applicants that might have the same experience as you. If you show a recommendation letter you’ll be saying to the interviewer: “This is who I am, this is what I’ve done and you can have proof that I am a competent professional”, and this particularity will not be taken for granted when it’s time to decide who gets the position.
Many times people believe that the company will be the one to approach and say “Look, here’s your recommendation letter”, but the truth is that it barely happens. It often occurs that people are afraid or embarrassed to ask for a recommendation letter, because yeah, you’re asking someone to write down all of your qualities as a professional and most of the time this happens when you’re about to leave the company, but that’s what it’s all about, you have to build up the courage to just go and ask for it, otherwise the opportunity of having a better status when looking for a job by having a backup is being wasted.
Some also believe that they can only ask for a recommendation letter in a company that they’ve been offering their services for a long time, but this is totally and completely false.
You have to take any chance that you’ve got when someone can testify that you’ve performed well, this goes to temporary jobs as well as freelance, even if you’ve volunteered or collaborated somewhere you can ask whoever’s in charge to give credit for your performance.
It’s the little things that make the difference, it’s you who is able to open new doors and the more you have to offer, the better. If you have the opportunity to have more back up, why not take it?
A recommendation letter adds support to the candidate’s CV, a reference letter is a general confirmation of his personal attributes