So I'm new to this whole "work" thing...
May 23, 2011 2:57 AM   Subscribe

When obtaining a letter of recommendation, is it best to go for rank or intimacy?

Snowflake optional: As an intern now at a PR firm, do I ask the head of my division (9 people) who isn't privy to my day-to-day work? Or do I ask an immediate superior, an Account Executive, who usually gives me assignments and sees my finished products?
posted by the NATURAL to Work & Money (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Personally I'd say ask the head of the division, saying something to the effect that you weren't sure who would be the best person to write the recommendation, and by all means pass the letter on to the Account Executive if they feel that that would be more appropriate. It's entirely possible that the Account Executive would then write the letter on behalf of the division head, thus giving you the benefit of both.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:06 AM on May 23, 2011

Yeah, seconding the advice that it would be best if your immediate supervisor could "ghost write" a letter that would then be signed by the division head. You might ask the head of the division to write the letter and say something along the lines of "my immediate supervisor x is familiar with my day-to-day work"... If the division head is a busy person there's a good chance he/she will ask your supervisor to draft a couple useful paragraphs. Maybe there's a tactful way to arrange this more directly.
posted by JumpW at 3:14 AM on May 23, 2011

What is the goal here? To find a job at another PR firm or do to something completely different? Depending on your industry, letters of rec may not be what you really want out of this.
posted by mullacc at 3:14 AM on May 23, 2011

What are you asking to be recommended for?
posted by decathecting at 7:52 AM on May 23, 2011

Response by poster: A general purpose letter, probably not for a PR position.
posted by the NATURAL at 9:39 AM on May 23, 2011

You probably don't need a letter of recommendation, which seems to be more of an academic thing.

What you should do is ask both people if they would be willing to serve as a reference should a future potential employer want to contact prior employers. That is WAY more common, in my experience.

The more advanced step would be to try to get these people to use their contacts to help you get a job interview. But I think you need a good idea of what you want before asking for that kind of specific help.
posted by mullacc at 11:28 AM on May 23, 2011

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