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Author Topic: Asking for recommendations?  (Read 3641 times)

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Karpool Kitten

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Asking for recommendations?
« on: July 25, 2011, 07:32:08 AM »
A co-worker, not someone I see every day often enough, as a daughter setting off for college very soon.  It appears, thru conversations over the years the co-worker remembered I am a member of a certain sorority...Let's say XYZ.  Very pointedly, I was asked to send a letter of recommendation for the daughter who will be going thru Sorority Recruitment at school...it seems my sorority is highly regarded on State University Campus.

I have met this girl a few times over the course of 15yrs.  I wouldn't know her in a crowd.  What I do know of her is good, and her parents are very nice.  I could see myself sending a "she's nice" recommendation, but not sending a Screamingly Fantastic OHMIGOODNESSSHE'SAMAZING recommendation.  Knowing how the system works, it can be little help to send a lukewarm rec.

I've asked a few times for the co-worker's daughter to contact me directly so we can talk (so this can be a glowing rec), but without spelling things O-U-T, the family doesn't seem to get it.  This is the first daughter & the first one to go through recruitment.  I'm concerned co-worker has gone blithely to every single person she knows asking for these recs & it's going to result in bland ones that will not be looked upon favorably.

I don't want to appear rude, snotty or condescending...but I want to take the co-worker aside & explain how this works & how to get the glowing recommendations I feel the daughter just doesn't know how to attain. 

Is this a no-win situation where no matter how I handle it, I'm going to appear rude?

wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: Asking for recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 07:39:07 AM »
Is there anything wrong with saying to coworker, "I'd really like to help, but I need to speak to your daughter. To send a really good recommendation, I need to get to know her on a better"

mechtilde

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Re: Asking for recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 08:15:28 AM »
Could you try to discuss the issue with her, and mention that the Sorority will want to know how long and well you have known her daughter?
NE England

Karpool Kitten

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Re: Asking for recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 08:25:26 AM »
Thanks so much!  I just was concerned I would appear rude by spelling out "I need to see HER, not you, HER to write this rec if it's to do her any good." 

The whole recruitment process is rife w/emotions & I don't want to set off any negative feelings. 

Any ideas on how to phrase, "It's just not DONE like that" so she can get her daughter to make this overtures for recs vs her pigeonholing every.single.person she meets?  This is a nice girl, but the first one to do this.  She's going to end up w/some negative comments on the recs from other people if they don't have some guidance.

wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: Asking for recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 09:45:45 AM »
You might want to mention that to the parent as well.

"While you are trying to help by getting so many recommendations, having so many written saying things like, 'the girl is nice, or the girl is a good student' will hurt more. Your daughter needs to talk to the people you are asking to write recommendations, to help her not hurt her chances of getting in."

IMO, if you don't get to talk to the daughter, it could hurt you as well. By writing a so-so rec for someone, they may not take a future rec from you seriously.

kudeebee

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Re: Asking for recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 10:15:20 AM »
Why not reply honestly? "Coworker, I really don't know your daughter well enough to write a recommendation for her."

Then, if she asks or says it won't matter, she just needs recommendations, you could talk more with her about the process.


rashea

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Re: Asking for recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 10:19:14 AM »
I think you could pull her aside and say, "I have some tips on this process that aren't apparent to an outsider. I'm happy to help your daughter, and I wouldn't want her to fall into the common trouble spots."
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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PaintingPastelPrincess

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Re: Asking for recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 12:30:20 PM »
I think you could pull her aside and say, "I have some tips on this process that aren't apparent to an outsider. I'm happy to help your daughter, and I wouldn't want her to fall into the common trouble spots."

I like this, since they're genuinely nice, but clueless people.  If you're willing, of course. 

Sometimes the parents and students get wrong information for well meaning guidance councilors, too and they're going off of that.  I wasn't in a sorority and don't know how it works, but I do know that my counselor's advice not to apply for any scholarships until after I was admitted to a school made me lose out on a lot of them my freshman year.  If you're willing to help her out, I think it would be a nice thing to do.

Karpool Kitten

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Re: Asking for recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2011, 01:39:44 PM »
I think you could pull her aside and say, "I have some tips on this process that aren't apparent to an outsider. I'm happy to help your daughter, and I wouldn't want her to fall into the common trouble spots."


Ohhhh!!!!!  I like this!  Y'all are good at this!