Most hiring managers ask for letters of recommendation or references from people you’ve worked with in the past, leaving you to approach those individuals and ask them to promote you. When Ares Direct leaders reach out to references, we find we learn a lot about the individual, how they work, and the best way to lead them.

Recommendations are, essentially, where someone else endorses your skills, abilities, diligence, and more. They are sometimes done in letter form, but more commonly, a potential employer calls your references and asks a few questions. It’s easy to self-promote, but those you’ve worked with can really improve your odds of getting a position.

Reach out to the people you’ve asked to serve as your references and give them an overview of the position you’re applying for and why you think you’d be a good fit. This helps them phrase what they say when the hiring manager calls to highlight your skills in a way that is relevant to the new company. Similarly, if an Ares Direct associate is asking for a letter, they provide an outline of what they think it should cover to help get it written quickly.

Similarly, if you’re trying to get recommendations to build your online presence, reach out to people with a draft of ideal focal points. They can always edit it, of course, but you’ve taken the difficult part and made it easy for them to finish and post.