You know, in my job, I get a lot of resumes. Some are quite good. Others are not so good.
Many take the liberty of including letters of recommendation. Not once have I ever read a lousy letter of recommendation. Which makes me wonder about the value of letters of recommendation. I now recommend: no recommendations.
Here's why: They don't mean squat.
I mean, are you going to risk having someone write you a "lousy" recommendation? They might, under separate cover. But it's weird.
And right up there with me hating recommendations is me hating candidates who get recommendations -- usually from other candidates, or former candidates.
They don't move me and apparently, they don't move others either.
Tell me one person who heard about Al Gore (search) endorsing Howard Dean and said, "Gosh darn it, I'm a Dean man because Al Gore likes him!"
The same with Tom Harkin. He liked Dean too. Whoop-de-do.
It meant nothing. They meant nothing.
I think if you've got a good resume as a jobseeker and a good platform or compelling case as an office-seeker, you're in good shape.
Recommendations are nice. They might close the deal. But alone, they aren't the deal.
Don't get me wrong. Some recommendations can and do make a difference. That guy John Kerry saved in Vietnam coming out for him was a big deal. Maybe because he wasn't a big deal.
But for me, it doesn't matter.
If you're such a hot shot, the proof should be in the pudding, the resume, the work experience, the platform, the positions. Not in the guy praising you.
So my recommendation? Worry more about what "you" have to offer than relying on someone to tell us what you have to offer.
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