A job recommendation from beyond the grave
August 1, 2012 1:32 PM Subscribe
What, if anything, can I do professionally with my late mentor's very general job recommendation?
A very close mentor of mine died suddenly a few months ago. I took one class with him, at a college that is not the one I graduated from. That one class was so influential to me, however, that we kept in touch after that. I presented on an undergraduate research panel with him at our field's most prestigious conference, and he gave me a lot of career advice. (He'd done a lot of non-profit work in organizations similar to the one I worked at straight out of college, as well as working in academia.)
He never wrote me any formal letters of recommendation, but he did write a glowing general recommendation that appeared on my LinkedIn page. LinkedIn pulls people's profiles down after they die, though, and any recommendations they've written for others go away at the same time. Anticipating that this might happen, I snagged the text from his rec and saved it in a word document.
His note recommends me for "a wide variety of employers," and mentions my performance in his class and on his panel. It also alludes to my terrible experience in the previously mentioned first job out of college, which he helped me navigate. He talks about my professionalism and resilience in the face of pretty awful work conditions, recommending me for other non-profit work.
Are there any contexts where it might be acceptable for me to bring up or use this note professionally , or should I just treat it as a good memory? I ask mostly because this person was well-connected within certain non-profit and activist circles in my city that I'd be interested in breaking into career-wise. Bring this up in those circles and nowhere else? In other related fields? What's the correct way to navigate this?