Leveraging your letters of recommendation in a job search

Letters of recommendation and other types of testimonials such as performance reviews are a great strategy for reinforcing your value proposition and of course, your personal brand.

One of the ways you can put these letters to good use is to add some snippets from each letter to your resume.

Why does this help? Well, a resume is written to tell your own story, presumably from YOUR point of view. While you can tell others about what you offer (along with quantifiable results), using accolades allows you to add proof of these results from other sources.

This tactic is most effective when your sources point to specific achievements and indicate the value of your work in the context of the challenges you faced.

Some job hunters approach their networks for reference letters, which can be a great strategy if done correctly. You see, some reference letter writers quickly nail your value proposition in just a sentence or two, but others sometimes write a full letter that doesn’t provide much value.

So, to get the best return on your efforts, provide your network with specific information on your job search goals and the precise message you’re trying to convey with your resume.

Then, let them describe the reasons they’d want to work with you again, in addition to the qualities that have made you successful at this juncture in your career. You’ll end up with a valuable message that underscores what you want prospective employers to know.

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