Why on Earth would anyone write a letter of recommendation for yourself?
I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of facilitating workshops for those seeking to change careers or acquire new employment opportunities. One of the exercises I would have them do is to write two letters of recommendations. The first was written as if it were by their next employer. In the letter the employer would talk about all the ways this person had contributed to the growth and success of the business. It would also contain reasons as to why they were being recommended to another employer. It could also explain why they were sad to see them leave.
The point of the letter was to prime them with the belief that there was going to be a next employer and what they were going to do for that employer. I wanted them to see themselves as assets to their next employers. This would help them when it came time to write their resumes and cover letters. They would come from the perspective of being a future asset not a job seeker.
The second letter was as a recommendation from me, their workshop facilitator. In this letter they would be writing as to why I was pleased to have them in my workshop. They could tell about how they contributed to the success of the class, to how the other participants felt about them and the qualities I had recognized in them.
Now admittedly the second letter also benefited me in that it would help program them to look at how they were going to contribute to the success of the workshops. It also helped bring to their awareness that they were each integral parts to the whole and their individual contributions did make a difference.
When would someone write a letter of recommendation for a small business or for existing employees?
This same exercise can be used in your business and by your staff (if you have staff.) Instead of future employer you’d write it as if it were from a future client. What is the rave review they’d give you? As for your staff have them write out a future “Thank you” card from a customer or a letter of recommendation from you. They now have something to work towards.
It’s a powerful exercise and can be done in a matter of minutes.