Letter of Recommendation: Why is it needed?

A letter of recommendation sounds like something we used to use ages ago! We do not get to see many letters of recommendation in comparison to the past. This is due to advancing technology and people switching to new ways of hiring. In the past, letters of recommendation used to be an important aspect of hiring but now employers do not necessarily look for letters of recommendation while hiring. So, should we stop the usage of letters of recommendation?

The answer is NO. Even though this step of hiring can be seen as optional, it does help giving good candidates an advantage when it comes to getting hired. There is a lot of competition in the hiring market and a letter of recommendation gives candidates the edge they need to seem better than other qualified candidates. Nowadays, there are two types of recommendations hiring managers get to see: formal letters and social media ones.

The Formal letter of recommendation

The formal letter is the one which we obtain from our managers, supervisors, coworkers, clients, etc. These reflect the candidates’ skills and behavior. These help the hiring manager in getting a clearer picture of the candidate. These letters clarify if the candidates would fit in with the company culture. Further, these formal letters contain more information than the social ones, some of the elements should be:

• The date, place
• Company’s information – address, name, and the HR’s name along with contact information
• Besides the length of your working term with the company, how long you have known the person who is writing the recommendation
• Key elements and skills that differentiate candidates
• Your full name and contact information
• Recommender’s information such as name, contact info, signature, etc.

The Social Media letter of recommendation

The social media recommendations especially LinkedIn recommendations involve asking your 1st-degree connection to write up and recommend you on your wall. These can be used to boost our profile and to show our accomplishments to the hiring managers online.

The formal recommendations are more preferred by the hiring managers as they are more reliable and contain more information. It’s better to get these recommendations from different levels and companies, for example, one from the manager, one from the client and one from the coworker to show a better overall picture of the candidate. It’s important to identify who can write a letter of recommendation for you and have these letters ready before applying for jobs and going for interviews. A minimum of 5 recommendations is needed to differentiate yourself from other candidates. All the best in your job search and feel free to reach out to Merit Services anytime you need any advice or help in any step of your job search. You can email us at contact@meritservicesltd.ca.


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