Choosing Your Recommenders

C. E. O.

No doubt, a very seductive set of letters. But before you go chasing letters and positions, let’s think about the recommendation letter for a second.

1. How personal will the recommendation be? (or How much does this person like me?)

2. How intimately does this person know my work?

3. How long has this person observed my work?

4. How important is this person in the company?

Being a company VIP is unquestionably a nice addition, but only if those other conditions are met—if the person can truly speak to direct observations, make credible comparisons about you versus your peers, etc. So if “Mr. Gates” is gonna whip out a form letter [that he asked you to type up], it will almost ALWAYS behoove you to go to number two, if that’s the guy who can tell stories about you, speak directly to growth, ways in which you outperformed others during specific moments. Trust us, the AdCom has read more than enough recommendations to ascertain which are written “from the heart” and which are merely cut and paste jobs. Find people who are truly excited to go to bat for you.

Sharpen Them Goals