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# Weird to ask former employee for recommendation?

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Senior Manager
Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Posts: 380
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 29

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19 May 2011, 06:13
In my previous job, I was a director of an online team and I've maintained great relationship with my former boss as well as all those who reported to me. I am definitely asking my former boss for a recommendation, but would it be strange for me to ask my former employee (who is a fabulous writer and knows my work well) to write a recommendation? The former employee is a manager who reported to me.

Enkie
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Manager
Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 141
Schools: Tuck 2013
WE 1: Big 4
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 22 [0], given: 67

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19 May 2011, 07:54
enkie wrote:
In my previous job, I was a director of an online team and I've maintained great relationship with my former boss as well as all those who reported to me. I am definitely asking my former boss for a recommendation, but would it be strange for me to ask my former employee (who is a fabulous writer and knows my work well) to write a recommendation? The former employee is a manager who reported to me.

Enkie

2. Find another supervisor who can attest to your abilities. A supervisor/peer has no incentive to give a positive recommendation unless it is warranted. A subordinate on the other hand would clearly want to please his or her boss. so that would be read skeptically and would most likely not improve your candidacy.

Good luck
Senior Manager
Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Posts: 380
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 29

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19 May 2011, 09:19
estreet wrote:
enkie wrote:
In my previous job, I was a director of an online team and I've maintained great relationship with my former boss as well as all those who reported to me. I am definitely asking my former boss for a recommendation, but would it be strange for me to ask my former employee (who is a fabulous writer and knows my work well) to write a recommendation? The former employee is a manager who reported to me.

Enkie

2. Find another supervisor who can attest to your abilities. A supervisor/peer has no incentive to give a positive recommendation unless it is warranted. A subordinate on the other hand would clearly want to please his or her boss. so that would be read skeptically and would most likely not improve your candidacy.

Good luck

Thank you for your suggestion. But this subordinate no longer reports to me -- it was for a previous job. And my previous boss is going to write a recommendation. So I will have a supervisor rec....
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~ PickyTooth - Eat Like a Local Foodie // http://www.pickytooth.com ~
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Manager
Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 141
Schools: Tuck 2013
WE 1: Big 4
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 22 [0], given: 67

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19 May 2011, 10:17
Might be easier to post the instructions you are responding to (each school has a different way of asking for recommendations) so people can see if your approach fits with the request before answering.
My initial thoughts: With the subordinate, past or present, there are still a number of questions this approach raises
-Why is this person a better recommender than another supervisor? How much insight into the applicant do they have, particularly compared to a supervisor (I can speak about the work of my subordinates with much greater detail and insight than I can into the work of my boss, who presumably doesn’t share all aspects of his role with me)? Your bosses can compare you with other people in your position (past and present), while your subordinates may not have that experience to draw on.
-Despite the fact that this person no longer works for you, the adcom can still imply a bias to his or her recommendation. Does this person owe them for help with his/her career and they are returning the favor?

You might also want to ask this in the admissions consultant section, as they likely have answered this for clients before. Good luck
Senior Manager
Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Posts: 380
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 29

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19 May 2011, 10:21
estreet wrote:
Might be easier to post the instructions you are responding to (each school has a different way of asking for recommendations) so people can see if your approach fits with the request before answering.
My initial thoughts: With the subordinate, past or present, there are still a number of questions this approach raises
-Why is this person a better recommender than another supervisor? How much insight into the applicant do they have, particularly compared to a supervisor (I can speak about the work of my subordinates with much greater detail and insight than I can into the work of my boss, who presumably doesn’t share all aspects of his role with me)? Your bosses can compare you with other people in your position (past and present), while your subordinates may not have that experience to draw on.
-Despite the fact that this person no longer works for you, the adcom can still imply a bias to his or her recommendation. Does this person owe them for help with his/her career and they are returning the favor?

You might also want to ask this in the admissions consultant section, as they likely have answered this for clients before. Good luck

That's a really great point. I think I will ask two previous supervisors to write my recommendation instead. Haha I probably should have gone with my gut instinct, which is that it IS weird to have a former subordinate write a recommendation.
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Re: Weird to ask former employee for recommendation?   [#permalink] 19 May 2011, 10:21
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