14 Ways to Find the Job of your Dreams

Hair salon in walmart near me: As a job-seeker, one of your most important assets is a solid letter of recommendation from a former (or current) employer. Securing a great reference doesn’t need to be stressful. Start by asking the right people, and give them plenty of time. Work with them to think about what should go in the letter to make it a strong one. That way, you can control the writing process and get the reference you need to find the job of your dreams!

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1. Ask someone who will sing your praises. Letters of reference should be glowing, Lukewarm references are not helpful. Think of an employer you’ve worked closely with who knows your style, skills and strengths. The most important thing is to ask people who will have good things to say about you.

  • Reflect on what a potential reference would say about your background and performance before you ask.

2. Choose an employer who knows you well. Theoretically, a letter of reference can come from any employer, past or current. However, it’s often best to ask one who has known you for a long time. They’ll be more likely to have specific compliments to make about your performance. Showing that you develop long-term relationships with your employers can also be a plus.

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3. Don’t limit yourself to just one reference. Prospective employers often ask for multiple references so it’s a good idea to have several people in mind who can write letters for you. Three is a typical number but you may be asked for more.

  • If you only have a few employers, then look for other people who might be able to write a letter of support, such as former teachers or community leaders who know you well.
  • If you have several letters you can also tailor the ones you send to each job, picking and choosing the ones that are most relevant.

4. Give your employers a heads-up. You should always ask before you put an employer’s name down as a reference. If they are contacted without knowing that you are applying for a job, they might be caught off guard and give a less than great reference. This will not make a good impression. It’s courteous and smart to ask ahead of time.

5. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask. Your employer will appreciate having plenty of time to write the letter. Giving them plenty of notice also means that they will have more time to polish the letter and make it very strong. This will improve your prospects!

  • For instance, if it’s Monday and you are asked to submit letters by the end of the week, don’t procrastinate and ask only on Wednesday. Ask your employer right away on Monday.

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6. Make your request by an indirect method. Asking someone for a letter of reference in-person can make them feel pressured. They might find it harder to say no if they have to. Instead, write an email that asks for a letter of reference or use some other indirect method. This avoids putting your potential referee on the spot and allows them the opportunity to politely decline.

7. Butter them up. Even if you know the employer well they’ll appreciate some comments on why you are asking them for a letter. Tell them how much you value their opinion on your job performance. You could also say that no one else is as qualified to comment specifically on your skills and qualities.

  • Try writing something like: “John, in our two years working together, you’ve had the chance to see the successes I’ve had on several marketing projects. Your years of experience and mentorship along the way have been invaluable. I think you are uniquely qualified to discuss my performance, and I’d deeply appreciate your comments.”

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8. Give them an out. Make sure to tell you prospective letter writer that it’s ok if they are unable to write the letter for you. This makes it easier for them to say no if they don’t have time or don’t feel like they are the best person for the task.

  • For instance, instead of asking “John, will you write me a letter of reference?” try something like “John, I would really appreciate you writing a letter of reference on my behalf if you are willing and able to.”
  • Make sure to also include something like “I completely understand if you are unable to write a letter for me at this time.”

9. Respond appropriately if they decline. Keep in mind that a letter of reference is a favour to you, and that employers aren’t usually required to write them. If your employer responds to your request by saying they are unable to write a letter for you, thank them for their time and consideration anyway.

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10. Fill your employer in on the basics of the job you’re applying for. It’s often helpful for letter writers to see a copy of the job posting as well as your cover letter if you have one. This helps them tailor the letter to the specific job and application. They’ll probably also appreciate seeing a copy of your resume, CV, portfolio, or other evidence of your work history as a refresher.

11. Give them tips on what to say. You can actually guide your letter writer. Provide them with bullet points, or even sentences that can give them highlights to include in the letter. This helps them to write a strong one.

  • For instance, if you had a job interview that kept mentioning how fast-paced the job is, give your employer a bulleted list of evidence showing your productivity, like “Completed 19 sales in two weeks. Consistently submitted reports ahead of schedule.”

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12. Go over an outline of the letter. Most letters of reference have a fairly standard structure but going over this can be helpful for both you and your employer. Supply your letter writer with a rough outline or meet with them to come up with one together.

  • The first paragraph should introduce your employer, and explain how they know you. It should also describe how long they worked with you, and verify your job title.
  • The second paragraph can discuss your skills and qualifications that are relevant to the specific job. If your employer has lots to say, they can include several paragraphs.
  • The closing paragraph of the letters should enthusiastically summarize their support of you, and indicate whether they’re willing to follow up if the company you’re applying to has further questions.

13. Double check that your employer knows how to submit the letter. Sometimes letters are emailed, sometimes they’re sent via a web form, and sometimes they’re mailed. Make sure your employer knows the correct method, and has the proper address, as well as the deadline for submitting.

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14. Thank them extensively. After your letter writer is finished, it’s courteous to send a thank-you email or card, or to thank them in person. Tell them how much you appreciate their taking the time to write a letter on your behalf. You can also tell them that you value their support of your career.

  • Keep them posted on how your job search goes as well.

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