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 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

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

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

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.

Wendii

Mark's picture

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

Mark

usksxg13's picture

 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.