When you are job searching, solid recommendations are always important. Asking the right people in the most effective way for a reference can greatly impact the ultimate quality of your recommendations.

Review these tips for asking for – and getting – a good job recommendation.

Be Selective About Who You Ask for a Recommendation

The most important step is to make sure that you choose enthusiastic supporters as reference givers. A common mistake is subtly pressuring reluctant writers. This can be a fatal error when you are furnishing confidential references, but can also backfire even when you get to see a recommendation that appears to be positive.

That’s because employers will often follow up with your references. Probing questions during a conversation could reveal damaging information from reference givers who may have doubts about your qualifications, but didn’t mention them in writing.

The best strategy is to give your prospective reference writers an out.

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