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Who is better recommendor for second recomendation??

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Who is better recommendor for second recomendation?? [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2013, 13:48
I'm in something of a quandary, I'm busy locking in my recommendations for this fall and I've already got my two managers (one direct manager and one divisional controller who I also work very closely with) who I know will both write me excellent recommendations. The quandary is I reached out to my team leader from when I was deployed to Iraq (who has also since transitioned to a professional career) and he said he would also be more than willing to write me a recommendation.

If I were to use my team leader's recommendation it would illustrate very vividly how I performed in a dynamic setting under pressure and also carry that additional realism due to the combat setting. The downside is I have been out of the military for little over 4 years now so I don't know if that will possibly detract from the recommendation? Also would this carry as much clout as a manager who I currently work with in a professional setting writing a recommendation?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
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Re: Who is better recommendor for second recomendation?? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2013, 07:41
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Hi there,

That's a great question. Recommendations should be used as tools to showcase and augment your resume, not add credibility to other parts of it. By that I mean if you served, that is FANTASTIC (and thank you) and it will be showcased in the rest of your application. Maybe you'll include it in an essay if it makes sense. For sure it will be on your resume. Therefore, look to your recent managers. Schools want to see recommendations that give them an honest assessment of who you are now. While your combat leader can definitely speak to a variety of skills, at four years it is outside the acceptable timeframe for most schools. Most schools specifically ask for at least 1 direct supervisor and for the others to have known you within the last few years.

It won't kill your application if you use him (if you CAN use him), but it'll be a null point. In other words, his recommendation probably won't add as much as you would hope it to.

Go for the professional ones and make sure they are prepped appropriately!

Bhavik
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Re: Who is better recommendor for second recomendation?? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2013, 22:44
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I'm not sure I agree here with Bhavik.

Combat leaders can often be fantastic recommenders, no matter how long ago it was. Especially if you were in some sort of leadership role in the military. But selecting your recommenders is a process that requires thought on many fields. Who would write a more excited recommendation? who has witnessed more leadership? who has the more impressive resume? who knows you more intimately? Who will add something new, given the scope of your other materials? etc. etc.

If your two managers are from the same employer, I would say, on the contrary that you should more probably use your team leader as your second recommender (having two recommendations from one workplace can get repetitive).

Hope this helps,
And feel free to post more detail here if you would like further guidance,
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Re: Who is better recommendor for second recomendation?? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2013, 16:13
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Hi all,

I don't disagree with Jon at a fundamental level. Generally speaking, diversity in recommenders (especially of the military variety) can be a great thing. My concern here is the time frame. 4 years is pushing it and, like I mentioned, the school may not even allow it. Some have strict restrictions around who you can select. A military recommendation can be compelling but only if it is still relevant and adds value.

Also - keep in mind, just because recommenders come from the same walk of life, doesn't mean their recommendations need to be echos of one another. They can touch upon different themes, different components of your personality, etc. For example, your direct manager could speak to you leadership and tactical skills while your division supervisor could speak to your strategic thinking and impact. One could also touch upon more personal qualities versus professional ones.

Hope that helps!

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Re: Who is better recommendor for second recomendation?? [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2013, 09:17
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CriticalSquareMBA wrote:

Therefore, look to your recent managers. Schools want to see recommendations that give them an honest assessment of who you are now. While your combat leader can definitely speak to a variety of skills, at four years it is outside the acceptable timeframe for most schools. Most schools specifically ask for at least 1 direct supervisor and for the others to have known you within the last few years.



Concur with CriticalSquareMBA - we think that recommendations carry more weight when they come from your most recent position. Yes, your military background is important, but a recommendation from your current supervisor speaks to how you're performing NOW. Some schools, such as Duke, accept additional recommendations, so we think that may be the appropriate manner to use your military recommender. Best of luck!

(Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but just wanted to help out a military dude!)
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Re: Who is better recommendor for second recomendation?? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2013, 00:38
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CriticalSquareMBA wrote:
Hi all,

I don't disagree with Jon at a fundamental level. Generally speaking, diversity in recommenders (especially of the military variety) can be a great thing. My concern here is the time frame. 4 years is pushing it and, like I mentioned, the school may not even allow it. Some have strict restrictions around who you can select. A military recommendation can be compelling but only if it is still relevant and adds value.

Also - keep in mind, just because recommenders come from the same walk of life, doesn't mean their recommendations need to be echos of one another. They can touch upon different themes, different components of your personality, etc. For example, your direct manager could speak to you leadership and tactical skills while your division supervisor could speak to your strategic thinking and impact. One could also touch upon more personal qualities versus professional ones.

Hope that helps!

Bhavik


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Re: Who is better recommendor for second recomendation?? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2013, 06:43
Thanks for all the input guys, it's much appreciated!
Re: Who is better recommendor for second recomendation??   [#permalink] 11 Jul 2013, 06:43
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