Friday, April 3, 2009

Another preparation suggestion to consider as we wait

A reader suggests:
One more thing to put on your to-do list:
Go to any supervisor you trust and ask for a PRINTED letter of recommendation. Today. Do it now.

To which I'll add: If you're on LinkedIn, this might be a good day to ask for recommendations there, too.


  1. This is a great idea! People should also ask trusted supervisors if they can use them as a reference and if the answer is yes, then each supervisor's cell phone number and/or home number should be requested. Prospective employers usually want three to four references from job candidates. Make sure you have at least three really good references.

  2. I'm hearing monday and tuesday next week.

  3. Is the layoff going to be a two-day process, then?

  4. I don't understand why it's imperative to do this before you're laid off, and why a printed letter would even be useful.
    Nobody applies for jobs on paper anymore. You just email your resume and a list of references. Seems like, when you're told to pack your things, you could take a few minutes to ask supervisors to be references for you.
    Today might be a good day to do this: Transfer all of your credit card balances to the card with the lowest rate. If you lose your job, you may not have access to as much credit at such low rates.
    Oh, and file all of your expenses, of course.

  5. And take home a couple of extra reporter's notebooks. They're very handy.

  6. It isn't imperative to get a letter of recommendation before you are laid off, but as an HR Manager I can tell you that it is important to secure approval to use previous supervisors as references and get their contact information (beyond work telephone numbers). Letters of recommendation do not go a long way in the respect that when references are checked HR wants to be able to communicate directly with that person and ask specific questions. It is fine to secure references prior to the layoff or after being laid off (just as long as there is time to do this and the laid off person isn't too upset to function). Bottom line securing sound references is imperative.

  7. When I got Belo perp-walked there were NO minutes available to talk to anybody. The guard lurked at my shoulder and glowered as I packed up, and he seriously discouraged me from having any conversations or using the phone.

    Use the time before the layoffs to build on your relationships with ethical people at TDMN. That can't be done on the fly.

    A printed letter still carries credibility. You can pdf it or fax it, of course, but that letterhead still has a psychological weight. It also serves as a personal validation to you when you take it out three months from now, when you're doubting your skills and career choice. Trust me - you'll need it.

  8. Some education jobs seem to want written letters of reference mailed to them.