by Phil Baker,Guest Blogger
There is an old sales letter I adapted for job hunting and called the recommendation cover letter. Years ago during a slump in the economy a client, Brad Smith, asked me to review his resume and cover letter. He was qualified for the positions for which he had been applying and his resume and cover letter were acceptable. He had mailed over one thousand resumes and had no response. Brad graduated near the top of his class and had an excellent work history.
I remembered an old sales trick that I had used to get in to see clients that had reputations of being impossible to get appointments with. I asked him to make a list the top one hundred companies he wanted to work for.
Then I asked Brad if he thought his previous employer would hire him back.
â€œI think they would if they had openings,â€ Brad responded.
So I asked him to also call his previous employer, with which he was on good terms, and find out if they were hiring. I gave him until the next day.
The next day Brad arrived with his list of one hundred employers.
â€œMr. Baker,â€ he announced, â€œI have no idea why you wanted me to call my previous employer, and frankly I was a little embarrassed to do so. I did enjoy talking to my old boss and he stated that he wishes he had a position for me, however he is not hiring. So much for that idea.â€
â€œWell today I would like you to call him back and schedule a two minute appointment to see him.â€
â€œWhat?â€ he exclaimed, â€œI told you they are not hiring.â€
â€œI want you to ask him if he will sign a recommendation letter for you. Tell him that you have one prepared and would like his approval. Assure him that this will not take more than two minutes. If he approves, then request that he make a copy on his company letterhead and sign the letter.â€
Then I slid the following letter across the desk to him:
To whom this may concern,
Although this may be an extraordinary cover letter, Mr. Brad Smith is an extraordinary performer. I employed him for four years. During that time I am pleased to state that he was an exceptional employee. His work habits are admirable, his skills are true talent, and he often did more than was expected of him.
Due to a company wide budget shortfall I was regrettably forced to let Brad go. If you have need for his expertise in your organization, the highest recommendation I can give is that if I could hire him again I would, in a heartbeat.
Enclosed please find a copy of his current resume, which includes his contact information.
If you would like to speak to me, though I can be difficult to reach, please mention Brad Smithâ€™s name when calling and my secretary will put your call through to me, or give me the message as soon as possible.
President â€“ ABC Industries
I called this the â€œRecommendation Cover Letter.â€
Bradâ€™s previous boss was happy to sign the letter. Brad mailed the new cover letter with his resume to the list of one hundred companies.
Brad called me several weeks later:
â€œMr. Baker, the most amazing thing happened,â€ he announced. â€œAfter sending out over one thousand resumes without a single response, I sent out the one hundred with your recommendation cover letter and got seventeen calls. From those I scheduled ten interviews. Ten interviews!â€ he repeated excitedly.
â€œOne employer even commented on how she had never received such a cover letter and was impressed that a previous employer would take such an interest in my job search.â€
I knew that such a letter could have an impact and was not surprised with how successful this idea worked for Brad.
Employers place valuable confidence in the recommendations of other employers, especially in writing. Having someone else sign and send your cover letter can make your resume rise to the top.
This same letter can work for you too. You will find the Recommendation Cover Letter and the follow up letters that accompany it in the OneClick Cover Letter Creator.
Copyright 2010, Phil Baker