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So what do you do when someone writes a nice recommendation for you, but there is something that would be better if adjusted? Is it polite to ask them to adjust? How about English language issues?

One example might be a recommendation that wishes you well in future endeavors as they know you are looking for a new job. But what if your team doesn't know yet. Would it be out of line to ask the person to remove that phrase?

How about if there are English mistakes in the recommendation?

afmoffa's picture

You can correct spelling mistakes and obvious errors in word choice (they're/ there/ their, prospective/ perspective, affect/ effect, preview/ purview) without worry and without informing the recommender of your changes.

If there are factual errors, even just a misplaced decimal point, you cannot correct them without first informing the recommender. "Hey, boss, thank you for the recommendation, I really appreciate it. I grew the client base by 15% last year, not 1.5%. I'm assuming that was just a typo, but please let me know if your recollection differs from mine."

You can sometimes delete or omit parts of a recommendation on the basis of irrelevance, but never on the basis of negativity. Let's try an example:

"Steve was routinely one off our best sails reps. He set records in Q1 and Q4 for gross widget sales, and his affect on the bottom line kept us in the black for FY2009. He grew his client listed by 15% each year he was hear, received rave reviews from district managers, he was a standout on the office softball team, and other than occasionally being late for work he was the best employee we've ever had."

You could change that to this, and I'll boldface my changes:

"Steve was routinely one of our best sales reps. He set records in Q1 and Q4 for gross widget sales, and his effect on the bottom line kept us in the black for FY2009. He grew his client list by 15% each year he was here, received rave reviews from district managers... and other than occasionally being late for work he was the best employee we've ever had."

I've deleted the part about the office softball team because it isn't relevant, and I could still delete it even if there had been some sort of negativity there "Steve batted .115, dropped routine fly balls..." because the softball team isn't germane to the recommendation. I cannot ethically delete the part about "occasionally being late for work" even if that one ding will close a lot of doors for me. If a reviewer or recommender chooses to mix good and bad, you can choose not to use that recommendation, or try to persuade her to change her mind, but you cannot selectively expurgate negative comments.

 

 

davidleeheyman's picture

I'll sit with her later today to check, but I can't recall whether, as the recommended individual, you can technically edit the recommendation before you publish it. Does it go back to them for approval?