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Tips on How to Write High Impact Letters of Recommendation
Congratulations. You've been asked to write a letter of recommendation for an employee or colleague. This person values your opinion of him or her, and you'd be glad to help them advance. The problem is you're unsure of what to say or how to say it! Here are four tips to keep in mind when preparing your recommendation.
1. Ask the employee about the new position they are applying for. What types of job duties are involved? What sort of characteristics are they looking for in a good employee? In your letter, describe certain instances where this employee or colleague really shined ? such as staying late to complete a mission-critical project, working diligently to help a customer make a product decision, providing thorough technical support or service, and so on. These specific situations have more effect on the person doing the hiring than general run-of-the-mill phrases like "terrific manager", "enthusiastic worker" and so on.
2. Use powerful statements that really show your depth of knowledge about the person. A description like "X is a keen observer who knows how to make customers act and is there with them every step of the way if they are hesitant or have questions" gives a true, in-depth knowledge of the person in a way that a casual letter may not.
3. Print off five letters of reference on company stationery and give them to the recipient. This gives your colleague or coworker additional letters for any other positions that he or she may be applying for in the future, and saves you from having to write them if the request comes around again! If you know it, put the address of the company to whom the letter is being sent, as well as the name of the person in Human Resources who will be collecting and organizing these reference letters. A personalized greeting is far better than a general "To Whom It May Concern" salutation. For the other four copies, leave the address area blank so that the employee can use them for other job opportunities that arise.
4. If you're really stuck on what to write, or simply don't have time, ask the person requesting the reference to write a letter about themselves in their own words and you'll sign it for them. This is a great time-saver and a perfect idea if you're struggling to put the right words on paper.
If you keep these four tips in mind, writing a letter of recommendation will not only come easier to you, but it will let the person receiving the letter know how much you value them as an employee or colleague, and will help them feel more confident when they move on to the next step ? the interview. Good luck!
Roger Clark is senior editor at Top Career Resumes and Career Information Resources who provide free information to job seekers on all aspects of finding a new job and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and ifestyle topics.
Benefits of Maintaining a Career Portfolio
Have you ever tried to contact a past employer only to discover they are no longer in existence or your former manager has moved on and been replaced by someone else? Of course, if you are an avid networker this shouldn't be much of a problem when it comes time to provide proof of your experience, education and accomplishments. A portfolio of your career should be developed and maintained using all documentation of your career history in order to overcome any problems that could arise in proving any aspects of your career. It should also include your most up-to-date resume which will be based on the contents of your portfolio. Include documents pertaining to your education including continuing education such as diplomas and certifications. Have any of your past managers sent memos or emails to you or your colleagues mentioning any of your accomplishments? Were your accomplishments published in the company newsletter, local newspaper or a trade magazine? Annual reviews, award certificates, and documents or articles recognizing your contributions to projects and/or business growth are proof of your accomplishments and major contributions. Be sure to clip the articles, print the emails, save the memos and add them to your portfolio. Document volunteer experience you have gained. Although you didn't receive compensation from volunteer experience, you gained some kind of experience and maybe even recognition for your efforts. Were you able to help an organization overcome a major hurdle that hampered their mission? Did you provide assistance to the members of an organization? Were you instrumental in developing new marketing methods to spread news about the mission? Were you instrumental in the expansion of the organization? Anything that can document your career history could prove to be valuable in your career advancement or job search. In the event you are unable to make contact with a former manager or provide up-to-date contact information to a potential employer, your career portfolio could serve as a means of proving your value to the potential employer. Don't take your career lightly. Document your career and maintain your portfolio. Your children and children's children will also thank you in years to come because they will have proof of your accomplishments and the mark you made in history, too.
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Do these things Include your full name - don't use nicknames or abbreviations Use a telephone number that you can always answer - use a cell phone if possible or make sure there is an answering machine at the listed phone number Use bullet points to highlight information - it is much easier for an employer to absorb relevant information while scanning your résumé Print your résumé and cover letter on high quality paper - when printing your résumé you should use paper with at least 50% cotton content Be concise and get to the point - say what you need to say and nothing more Use action words and descriptive phrases - be creative when trying to get your point across using as few words as possible Target your résumé - address your résumé to the position you are applying for to show that you are really interested in working for that company Focus on relevant facts only - list skills, accomplishments and personality traits you know the employer is looking for List quantitative support for statements made - back up your skills and experiences with real scenarios, facts and figures Begin statements with action verbs - action verbs demonstrate your importance to the achievement or experience being described Don't do these things Have any grammatical errors - always have someone else proofread your résumé for errors and flow Have any spelling mistakes - always spell check your résumé, your contact's name, and the company's name Misrepresent your background or experience - employers oftentimes verify this information and can fire you if it is discovered that you were dishonest Fill in employment gaps with unrelated information - wait to discuss this information in person to put a positive spin on it Use lengthy paragraphs - employers notoriously skip over paragraphs in résumés Use long sentences - just like paragraphs, the reader easily skips over long sentences Use personal pronouns - keep your résumé impersonal for a more professional image Forget to list basic skills - all employers want to see that you are a team player, take charge of situations and are reliable
Could You Write Performance Reviews For Money?
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Building a Solid Network
A client who has a fine arts degree wanted to move out of his successful career in advertising and into the real estate development business. He had already enrolled in a top notch MBA program to learn more about the field. In addition he had found work with a bank doing real estate appraisals.
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If you haven't looked for a job recently, there are new tactics that hiring professionals are using that you should be aware of before updating your resume.
Resume Writing - Things to Consider
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Thank-You Notes: An Integral Part of Your Career Design
There is one little practice that is vital to generating the interest of potential employers. It is critical, but very few job seekers actually do it.
What You Need To Know Before Committing To Vocational Retraining
You've thought a lot about the kind of work you want to do. The duties, the pay, the hours, the environment ? everything sounds right. According to the newspaper ads, there is a big demand out there. You find a program that sounds really good. You are all ready to sign on the dotted line.
More Companies Using Job Interview Phone Screening
Planning and preparing before you begin to send out resumes could save you some embarrassing moments when you receive that unexpected call.
The Inevitable Job Interview Question: ?Why Did You Leave (Are Planning To Leave) Your Last Position
This is a question that you can almost count on being asked at your next interview What the interviewer wants to know is, "Why are you available?"
How To Deal With A Nightmare Boss
It can happen to anyone. there's a change in the organization and -- suddenly -- you find yourself working for the boss from Hell. Arrogant, demanding, ignorant, bullying and insensitive. Do you leave right away? Do you fight back? Here are some tried and tested ways of coping with impossible bosses -- and coming out on top.
Building Performance Trust
You can have outstanding ideas, yet never leverage them into winning at working results. That's because the secret behind those ideas lies in performance. Yours.
Taking Job Loss Seriously
Anyone reading this article and hassuffered a job loss recently IStaking the job loss seriously. Thestages often are:
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If you were thinking of offering your employees special rewards as incentives for having good attendance records, then you must read on. In fact, employers that offer attendance bonuses may find themselves falling foul of the law.
Ten Things To Do If You Really, Really Hate Your Job
1. Begin focusing on what you want instead of how much you want to escape. When you find yourself sharing the latest horror story, stop in mid-sentence and say, "What I want to have is..."
Tales From the Corporate Frontlines: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
This article relates to the Job Security competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. After a large scale cut in personnel, this particular group of employees needed some extra support. Examining the issue of job security measures how your employees view their job security within your organization. In today's often volatile or contingent labor market, it's crucial to understand the level of security your employees feel about maintaining their jobs. Studies show that employees who do not feel secure in their jobs are less likely to be committed to best assisting customers. Evaluating this competency can be especially useful if your organization has suffered recent layoffs or firings.
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