How Not to Ask for a Recommendation career employer recommendationA colleague of mine shared this story, and I thought I would share it with you. It’s about an intern – a capable, smart, likeable intern – who might have received a thoughtful, positive recommendation. But he blew it.

We all know the benefits of having a great network. It’s our relationships with people, our connections, that help us find meaningful work – not job postings. Great references and recommendations are a byproduct of great relationships, and we all need these to help us move forward.

But even the best relationships can be strained – possibly even broken – if you lean on them too hard. To get a good recommendation, you have to ask for it the right way. Sadly, the intern in this story – let’s call him Phil – learned this the hard way.

Phil started his request with, “I hate to ask you this, but…” My colleague, let’s call her Katy, was immediately put off. Why?

Keep reading…



Do you have any recommendation horror stories you can share? Tell us what you can in the comments below.





Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.


No Comments | Write Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *