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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Letters of recommendations for a job

    I'll be looking for a job soon. Will a letter of recommendation from professor(s) carry any weight with employers? If so, how will it compare to a letter from a former employer?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I think it depends on a lot of things.

    What is your relationship to the professors writing you reference letters?
    Can you trust them to give you a really good reference letter? A mediocre reference letter doesn't help you.
    What is the job your applying for, and how is it related to the professors field?
    Is the work you did for your former employer relate in anyway to what you're applying to do?

  3. #3
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I will write one for you.
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    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I would write a glowing treatise on how you came to BF with all of the hard questions while you were in college.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    I will write one for you.
    We could assemble the great minds here and make it a group project letter.
    Is there a place in the resume to insert past PC threads to show experience and creativity?
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  6. #6
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    We could just make it a thread, where each of us gets to write one complete sentence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  7. #7
    BF Risk Manager
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    I'll start: "I pity the fool who doesn't hire PhantomCow2'.
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    Snohomish County, Washington USA

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    "I'm ready for the corperate world"
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    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    What you want in a reference letter is your reference to demonstrate that they know you, think well of you, and have demonstrated that you are an ethical, responsible person (who will show up for work, on time, and not waste time)... beyond that, it doesn't matter who the person is. If you can get one from someone you know well AND might be known by the person reading the letter, A+!
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  10. #10
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    I take it you are brand new and don't have a job history yet otherwise job history trumps any letters of recommendation. I would not offer up a letter but get one if asked. As an employer, I personally never ask - they are meaningless. I look at job history and will try and verify employment if allowed. Someone (and who knows who that person is) tells me you are a good person my response is "yeah...so...can he get the work done?"
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  11. #11
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    At this time I'll take just about any entry level business(ish) job I can get.

    You are correct in that I'm entering the work force "for real" for the first time, as I'm about to graduate college. Obviously this leaves me devoid of an impressive work history, which I understand is normally of utmost importance. I have had several unusual positions, and plan on documenting a work history showing that I have been consistently employed since I was 16.

    My summer internship was at a large legal services firm, but it was a corporate setting and I learned a great deal about business and professionalism in those months. I think there are many aspects of this that I can emphasize in an interview. That employer thinks very highly of me, and the senior vice president asked me if I'd work there after I graduate. I told him I'd rather not live in that area, and he understood and offered to write a recommendation letter.

    I expect that a letter received from my economics professor will be glowing to say the least. He is the econometrician of the college and is enthusiastically advising me during my thesis project. I've had him in at least one class for the last two years of college and we've developed a strong personal relationship. I plan on living in the town where I attended college. The college is very well known in the area and my professors have been teaching here for 20+ years; they're well connected and I hope to capitalize on that to help me find a job.
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    Trying to enter the financial work force this year is equal to finding a lifeboat on the Titanic.Might have to work for one of those cheesey mortgage companies or car dealer financer till the career of your dreams pop up.
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  13. #13
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I'll be looking for a job soon. Will a letter of recommendation from professor(s) carry any weight with employers? If so, how will it compare to a letter from a former employer?
    A letter that you'll never have a chance to see from anyone who can provide a thoughtful evaluation of what kind of worker you're likely to be will carry weight with employers. A prof is just fine.

    The amount of weight varies with who's doing the hiring. I use letters of reference mainly to confirm my own observations. In my experience, letters fall into a few basic types: 1) Glowing positive, whether or not the person is any good. This is a very common type of letter. Many terrible workers get great recommendations -- often because people are trying to help them out the door ; 2) Devoid of useful content since no one wants to say anything that could come back to bite them. This is also a very common type of letter ; 3) Letter which seems to emphasize negative qualities of applicant. These are not so common, but you still can't trust them because sometimes there are factors that you aren't aware of (e.g. personal) that lead to the recommendation ; 4) Well balanced and thorough description of person. These are quite rare, and you don't always know when that's what you're dealing with.

    In short, some people put a lot of stock in recommendations, but I do not. However among people that do put stock in recommendations, it's fine for them to come from a prof.

  14. #14
    BF Risk Manager
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    As a liability expert, I can attest that for liability issues, very few individuals or corporations do letters of recommendation anymore. Especially if it is less than positive. What does happen more frequently is exchanging the information by phone, which does not leave a written record that can be subpoenaed. Many corporations now only confirm the term of employment, sometimes the beginning and ending wages, and even less frequently if they would be eligible for rehire or not.
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  15. #15
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
    As a liability expert, I can attest that for liability issues, very few individuals or corporations do letters of recommendation anymore. Especially if it is less than positive. What does happen more frequently is exchanging the information by phone, which does not leave a written record that can be subpoenaed.
    The liability is an issue even if negative info is true and understated. Curiously, applicants who don't reveal they have miserable attendance, don't know a damn thing, and can't work with other people do not get sued for misrepresenting themselves even though hiring someone often involves a million plus dollar commitment.

    The best place to get reliable insights into people you don't know is in bars with people who have worked closely with them, but are not listed as references.

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    I trust these are "non dancer" bars
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I'll be looking for a job soon. Will a letter of recommendation from professor(s) carry any weight with employers? If so, how will it compare to a letter from a former employer?
    You still ain't got a job?

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    It helps to have friends and/or mentors in high places to sell your work ethic and skills. Aside from that, you will need to sell yourself in an interview by showing enthusiasm, high energy, strong integrity, and a desire to learn everything you can to do a good job. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenji666 View Post
    It helps to have friends and/or mentors in high places to sell your work ethic and skills. Aside from that, you will need to sell yourself in an interview by showing enthusiasm, high energy, strong integrity, and a desire to learn everything you can to do a good job. Good luck.
    "I've got low friends in high places.........................."
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  20. #20
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    This year is going to be a bust for graduates dude.How about a stint in the Peace Corps till you get your sheit together and the market improves.They all have bongs at their outpostsYou don't strike me as military material so that's not an option.
    Not my cup of tea but it might spiff up your resume with experience.
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  21. #21
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I'll be looking for a job soon. Will a letter of recommendation from professor(s) carry any weight with employers?
    For an position in your field just outside of graduation, it can make all the difference. If you can, do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    If so, how will it compare to a letter from a former employer?
    In today's litigious society, I don't think it's fair to ask. But if someone offers, take it. Don't make them regret it

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