General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Letters of Professional Reference--is this okay?

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I'm job searching, and found the perfect prospect. They have requested two letters of professional reference.

I've only had one professional job and it's a tiny company. I asked my boss to write a reference letter, and asked if she had any ideas for the 2nd reference. She suggested a mutual business contact who has known me for years, and I agree that he would be an excellent reference. She called and asked him, and he agreed. She told me to write both reference letters, and she and the contact will sign them. The contact has agreed to this as well.

Is it okay to write my own reference letters? I had thought that they should be written by the references themselves.

Advice please?

This is not unusual. I've seen it done for school recommendations and for job recommendations. As long as the person reads and signs the document, does it really matter who put the words down?

It's a growing thing. It always kind of weirds me, but I know it's accepted.

Not unusual, in my experience. Writing reference letters (unless they are of the "I confirm that X worked for me in such an capacity" type) can be quite onerous. I've been asked to write several like this for myself, allowing the experience and aptitudes that I think matter to be highlighted, and saving the referee the time and effort involved.

Just make sure the person signing does actually read and agree with everything before signing, and you should be fine.

Outdoor Girl:
My only issue with it is that I find it very difficult to toot my own horn, so to speak.  So I might get a more glowing reference if the referee wrote the letter than if I wrote it myself.

Could you ask them if they'd have a look at a draft and ask them to make suggestions for improvements?


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