Riya Tandon, The Economic Times

Recommendation letters can give freshers more visibility in a crowded hiring market

A recent report posted on The Economic Times by Riya Tandon talks about how Recommendation letters can be valuable for early career professionals in enhancing job applications.They offer a personalized touch, validate skills, and help candidates stand out in competitive markets.


A recommendation letter can be a highly valuable tool if it is used properly. It opens doors for individuals, or at least guarantees an audience with the leadership. That can be a great advantage in today's highly competitive employment landscape.

Freshers or early career professionals can find a recommendation letter useful as they would not have any professional experience or access to companies. Just a resume would not help them stand out. A recommendation letter also offers a personalised touch while introducing the candidate and validating their skills and abilities for a job.

Given these advantages, early career professionals need to understand how to use a recommendation letter to get the maximum benefit out of it.

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Key to enhancing your job application.

Numerous applicants today vye for coveted positions. So recommendation letters can help individuals break through the clutter and present themselves as being fit for a particular role, says Nirmit Parikh, Founder and CEO,Recommendation letters are not necessary but they can be a useful addition to your application if you have them, explains Parikh.

The letters can complement your interview by providing third-party endorsements of your abilities. It is unlikely that employers would frown upon recommendation letters when these introductions are well-crafted and presented well.

Once the letter opens the door, it is up to the applicant to use the opportunity to highlight their experience and interest in the job.


Industries where recommendation letters carry more significance

Companies tend to value recommendation letters as it gives them an idea about the candidates concerned. But these letters can make a big difference in certain industries and positions, and vastly improve the chances of getting hired.

Startups, multinational corporations (MNGs) and consulting firms are some industries where a well-crafted recommendation letter may be particularly valuable, as these environments value practical skills, work ethic and growth potential, says Parikh.

What to highlight in recommendation letters

Recommendation letters of early career professionals must highlight qualities like discipline, initiative, ownership, the ability to multitask and resilience, says Parikh.

Discipline and a strong work ethic convey dependability; a go-getter attitude shows motivation to take on new tasks; ownership of projects or responsibilities displays accountability; juggling work and studies exhibits time management skills; and overcoming challenges demonstrates adaptability. These are some of the attributes that the letter must highlight, he suggests.

How to effectively showcase a recommendation letter during an interview

It is of utmost importance to present the recommendation letter at just the right moment during an interview and effectively leverage it during the interaction.

Parikh says one approach to generate fruitful results is to submit the recommendation letters upfront with other application materials, like the resume. This allows the interviewer to review a third-party's endorsements of skills and accomplishments ahead of time. Another approach is to find opportunities during the interview to talk about the specific experiences and strengths highlighted in the letter. For instance, he says if a former manager has praised leadership abilities, share a relevant example that demonstrates those skills in action. This

validates the positive feedback through articulate examples. Here also, experts suggest that the most effective strategy would be to submit a concise and succinct recommendation letter along with your resume, during the initial application process.


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