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How to Use Open Letters of Recommendation to Secure a Job

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Most employment application forms have a space for listing people whom the employer can contact to learn more about the applicant. (You already provided this information in your sample employment application form and in your job resume.)

You might think that the importance of this information would make the employer contact all applicants' references before making a decision, but in practice, this rarely happens. Most employers narrow down the list of applicants to only one or two, and then as the last step they contact those persons' references.

Employers who have trouble making contact with the references for one applicant may delay hiring, or may simply pass over the first applicant and instead try to contact the references listed by another applicant. As a result, the job doesn't get filled right away—or it does, but not by the first hapless applicant, whose excellent references were never even discovered. And employers suffer, too—they must go to additional efforts to make a decision.

Further complications may arise: Even when the reference people are contacted, they may be too busy to send in the requested letters of recommendation; or when they do, they may fail to include the type of information the employer wants to know.

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About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
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Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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