/ Asked by Rosemary
I was an intern last summer and would like my former boss to write me a letter of recommendation. Is it better to have him write a recommendation that I can send to interested employers? Or, does it look better if he sends the recommendation directly to places where I’ve interviewed?
Answered by Nell, Hiring Expert at Pitney Bowes, on Friday, August 21, 2015

Great question! My recommendation would be for your previous manager to send you a PDF of his recommendation including his contact information at the bottom, that way you save him/her the hassle of following up on every application that you submit. Then if an employer is serious about moving forward with you they can contact  your  previous manger directly to do verification. Best wishes in your hunt!
-Nell
Answered by Shara, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Friday, August 21, 2015
Great question and I hope your internship was both rewarding and fulfilling. If a prospective employer would like to see a letter sent directly to them, that is fine, but it is customary that your supervisor writes the letter of recommendation and then you hold onto that for when you are applying for jobs. I had an intern a few summers ago and I wrote a letter of recommendation for her. I put it on company letterhead and she kept it and sent it as necessary. Good luck! 
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Hello, and thanks for putting voice to a question that comes up a lot!

Before diving in, it’s important to note that more and more companies now have policies that discourage, or even prevent, managers from providing letters of recommendation for various reasons. Other managers may simply not feel comfortable with the request. Either way, make sure you’re prepared to be politely declined. 

To answer your question, the method of delivery is mostly negligible. It may be beneficial if your former boss is passionate about referring you and wants to draft a custom letter to each company about why you’re a great fit, or maybe has an existing relationship or connection with your prospective employer, but otherwise it’s mostly important that your prospective employer just get their eyes on the reference.

My suggestion? Ask for a glowing letter of reference that includes his full contact details and an invitation for prospective employers to contact him. Make certain in your interviews you draw attention to the letter, as well as his exuberant invitation to contact him. If they seem interested or you’re really passionate then feel free to ask your ex-boss to do you this favor, but do yourself and him the courtesy of saving it for a select few instances and not everywhere you’ve applied.
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