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Submitted by usksxg13 on


 I have a colleague who has asked me to send a reference letter ahead of his interview. I'm wondering people's perspective on whether such a move would show initiative or generally look like an act of desperation?

mercuryblue's picture
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Generally I would say no. There might be an exception if you know the recruiting manager personally - in which case I'd do it as a phone call not a letter anyway.

As a hiring manager I want to talk to the referee after I've spoken with the candidate. I want to ask my questions, probe things that the interview process might have raised. And I think getting a letter like this might just make me roll my eyes - I wouldn't disqualify the candidate, but it would make me wonder about whether they were professionally mature and got the game, and I would probably discount that referee.

The other exception would be if you became aware of a vacancy, knew the hiring manager, knew someone who would fit, and made an "unpushed" recommendation to the hiring manager.

Other views?

usksxg13's picture
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The other piece of the story is that my company is a customer of the target company. We are definitely too big (and I am too junior) to create any belief that my reco would bring undo pressure but still it seems like a place where we should not tread ethically speaking.

wendii's picture
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Your colleague might want to send the letter in advance, but you will do him a favour by telling him no.

On a good day, it'll get trashed. On a bad day, a recruiter will make it a black mark against him as not knowing or following protocol. On a really bad day, he'll include you in the black mark book.

Don't do it.


Mark's picture
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Wendii's always right.  Serious stuff, that note.


usksxg13's picture
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 My gut feel was ' no' given if nothing else the myriad of advice I've heard in the various podcasts surrounding interviews. Thanks for the confirmation.