How to Ask Your Boss to Write a Letter of Recommendation

by | Mar 27, 2023

Letter of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation can be nerve-wracking to ask for, especially if you’re asking your boss to write you one! However, I will say that they’re often important for career and educational development, as well as professional opportunities. 

If you’re wondering how to ask your boss to write a letter of recommendation for you, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog, I’ll go over some tips on doing so. Let’s dive in.

Tips on Asking Your Boss to Write a Letter of Recommendation

1. Choose the Right Time and Place

First and foremost, it’s important that you choose the right time and place. Take your boss’ schedule into consideration, and ask them to write the letter of recommendation at a point in their day when you’re one-on-one with them, and when they aren’t too busy. Scheduling a meeting with your boss to specifically discuss this wouldn’t hurt, as it would give you dedicated time to bring this up and have a conversation about it. 

2. Explain Why You Need the Letter

It’s essential that you’re clear with your boss on why you’d like them to write the letter of recommendation. If you’re applying for a new job, explain the role you’re applying for as well as why your boss’ letter of recommendation would be helpful in getting it. If you’re pursuing a graduate program, explain what elements of your current job the program relates to, and why your boss’ recommendation would be beneficial. Explaining why you need the letter will help your boss see value in writing it, create transparency between the two of you in terms of opportunities you’re pursuing, and give your boss a better idea of what to write about. 

3. Provide Necessary Information

The next tip I have is to provide all of the necessary information that could be helpful to your boss in writing this letter of recommendation. For example, give them your resume, the job description for the role you’re applying for, or information about the graduate program and school that’s hosting it. Providing your boss with necessary information will not only make the task easier on them, but it will also help them write a stronger letter of recommendation.

4. Be Respectful & Grateful 

This one’s really important! Remain respectful and grateful to your boss for taking time out of their days to write you a letter of recommendation. Oftentimes, they’ll do this task in their personal time, so take that into consideration and have gratitude for that. Once they’ve written you a letter, I would suggest getting them a little thank-you gift or writing them a note thanking them for helping you. This will show your appreciation for their time and effort.

5. Follow Up 

Last but not least, follow up with your boss about writing the letter of recommendation. Regularly check in with them to see how they’re doing or if they need additional information or resources from you. If the letter of recommendation has a submission deadline, remind them of this, and respectfully ensure that they’ll be able to submit the letter on time. 

Closing Remarks

Like I said before, it can be nerve-wracking asking your boss for a letter of recommendation! However, many times it’s important for career, educational, and overall professional development, so although you may be hesitant to ask them to write you one, it’s oftentimes necessary, and more than not, they’re generally happy and willing to do so.

If you’re wanting to ask your boss for a letter of recommendation, I’d suggest using the tips I’ve provided. Best of luck – I know you’ll do great!

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