Galina Mihaylova & Anton Ivanov




Recommendations. And as before we call features. Not descend into polemics which term is correct, I prefer recommendation.

I recommend!
I recommend!

In the Western world (excluding the U.S.) providing recommendations is fairly common with relatively standardized procedure.

Americans typically practical, often refuse to provide advice because of the growing number of lawsuits filed by former employees due to unsatisfactory references from employers.

Required especially in the selection of candidates for managerial positions, but it is better to be prepared for all situations.

In Bulgaria recommendations are provided in two forms – written and oral. They usually have little or no influence in making hiring decision. This is true especially when applied in the Bulgarian company. Some here would have whispered , “What if the mouth is lined with something “dry”?” But now we are not speaking of such cases, they fight against the corruption world and I am repeatedly confronted with requirements for such “advice”, but I do not succumb. So they let the moment aside.

The most relevant references are:

Former employers – Manager “Human Resources”, General Director or supervisor. Not well received recommendations from peers.

Former or current teachers – usually recommendations from professors are suitable for newly graduates and people early in their careers. Wherever you have a service learning project, etc. Always try to get recommendations upon successful completion of the assignment.

Public figures – recommendations from well-known public figures who are your friends, counselors, trainers, clients , etc.

In Bulgaria employers treat greater respect to the recommendations of foreigners.

There are two extremes of the market. Very positive written references, often prepared by the candidates themselves, describing them as people without any flaws on the one hand and the other hand negative, usually orally provided recommendations (although the employee may have worked for the company for more than five years).

The best form of the oral recommendations, especially when “face to face”: direct contact has more impact. But usually written do not exclude oral, even usually combine – the new employer is looking for the old to be convinced of the truth of a personal recommendation.

Standard requirements for recommendation

Document must begin with the name of the author and his office. This is usually a boss or former personnel manager of the company. He should indicate in what occasion knows the man he recommended the recommended function in the company, the time during which they worked together.

The following are estimates of the actual candidate. What the recommendation should be supported by facts or examples. Be careful, however, they do not feature too heavy. It is good to celebrate the most important tasks that recommended has done during that period. This can be as involved as responsible projects, presentations of the company at relevant fora, any awards.

Document must also answer the question of why the employee left the company that he/she recommended. It is desirable that the author of the recommendation also indicate which position is of suitable candidates. Complete the name and signature of the writer, his phone and contact address.

Recommendations should not be long. Telegraph short documents create the impression of poor performance. According to consultants staff, the standard recommendation should not exceed one and a half pages long.

Usually reference should have the following structure:

Introduction – how long and in what capacity referrer knows the candidate.

Content – an objective and thorough analysis of the individual and work-related characteristics of the applicant; recommendation should indicate not only the positive characteristics but also areas of development candidates, so the recommendation to sound credible .

Conclusion – the referent recommends hiring the candidate.

Sometimes companies have standardized forms to provide recommendations that are sent directly to the referent.

Letter to request recommendations

Here we have nothing to explain. This letter maybe there’s no point in very large companies that hold the document. Elsewhere, it is normal to know your employer or the person who write you recommendation and personal verbal request is sufficient.

If you came to writing letters, do not envy you.

However, here is a sample of such a thing :

Hristo Ivanov
Boulevard “Gornobanski” 34
Sofia 1632
Tel.: 088 88 88 88
September 11, 2002
Ivan Ivanov
Pepsi and other Ltd
Dear Mr. Ivanov

With this letter I would like to ask for your assistance in my work in the field of distribution of soft drinks.

I am currently applying for the position “Marchandayzer” a big international company, a manufacturer of soft drinks. I was invited to two rounds of interviews and a third stage of the competition I was asked to submit recommendations from previous employers.

For me, my work in “Pepsi and other” – Ltd is an extremely valuable experience for the professional knowledge and skills acquisition, personal development and the results achieved. These reasons , I will be glad if you could provide a reference for my performance as “Relationship Manager” to Pepsi and other Ltd.

I would be grateful for your cooperation in this matter.

/Dimitar Avramov/

Employers tricks – coded language of the recommendations

Following are excerpts from a valuable material for managers and mercenaries – the author is Ekaterina Popova and it is published in “Capital”:

“Since last spring, the Labor Code allows workers to ask your boss a recommendation when they leave, and requires employers to give. Moreover, it must be “objective and fair ” – too prescriptive and fuzzy concepts that can be interpreted in diverse ways.

Unlike Bulgaria property must be part of the documents when applying for a job in all countries with well-developed labor market, companies require it, especially when it comes to hiring professionals. In Germany, for example, the recommendations are widely used for writing them even made ​​informal “rules” .

Not to mention the formal elements that must contain a recommendation. They are standard, like in almost all countries and they are described in the relevant local laws and regulations.

It’s coding language known and used only by the personnel manager to each other, truly objective information about individual employee. The purpose of this language is to express a negative opinion of expressions in normal communication are considered positive. That is why the recommendations should be read between the lines.

Kind words are required for each feature, even for the worst. Mined meaning lies in their arrangement and insertion in an otherwise very slight “ribbons”. In the German system, for example, has several standard formulations which are difficult to distinguish between them, but mean a specific assessment of the quality of these official six-point scale. By “professional code” Chief Staff can highlight the particular facts of the behavior of a departing employee to leave him out of work for years. When it comes to dangerous union leader who has created many problems in the enterprise, typically writes: “He has a great ability to motivate people and many committed advocates for their peers”, said Dr. Bayropter. Slackers and revelers do know in the wording: “With his sociability he contributed to enhancing the mood among staff and improving manufacturing climate.” There are also standard phrases for womanizing malingerers.

In most cases there is a negative connotation and emphasis on employee loyalty and his ability to keep business secrets. This usually means the opposite. When accountants and cashiers necessarily has at least one sentence about their honesty. If it is missing, you should have one in mind.

The coded language is not only polite way to “make dirty” the outgoing employee. He has another, very practical task – to protect employers from lawsuits. Because in Germany there are many cases in which employees sue former executives charged bad recommendations.

Jurisdiction, however, the opposite behavior – if the boss gave his former employee too good score, just to get rid of it. Then misled document new employer can give old prosecuted for deliberate deception and asked him compensation for damages.

Consciously or not, Bulgarian law does not provide for any penalties for false characterization. Therefore in our personnel manager, always have in mind when reading the recommendations of the job applicant. Their counterparts in the West never form an opinion about the other person only presented its characteristics. Because there are many cases when the previous chief purpose gives a negative response if an employee leaves against his will, to go into a competitive company in better conditions and more money. Therefore qualifications recommendation should be discussed personally with both sides – with the former employer and the candidate.

Not all former bosses are willing to talk, but a good personnel manager usually finds a way to get the necessary information from the previous job. In this case it is important that everything should not be underestimated even seemingly minor incidents and small details of the relationship with the former employee.

So do not be overly trusting neither the good nor the bad words in the recommendation. In both cases can mislead you.

A Practical Guide – codes with a “key”

Coded language in the recommendations used in Germany , was perfected to such an extent that may assess a six-point scale with minor changes in wording. Here’s how:

“We have always been extremely happy with the way… perform the tasks” – Excellent 6

“We’ve always been happy with the way… perform the tasks” – Very Good 5

“We are very happy with the way… perform the tasks” – Good 4

“We’ve always been happy with the way… perform the tasks” – 3.5 Good

“We are pleased with the way… perform the tasks” – Average 3

“We are pleased with the diligence of…. to perform the tasks” – Poor 2

“… always tries to fulfill its task” – Very Bad 1

Of course, these formulations have a variation which, however, expressed the same shade. In the six as positive assessment must be accompanied by “always” and “extremely”. In the petition is also an important combination of explanations for time and quality, though not expressed in such strong words. If either of these is missing, it automatically downloads the assessment under very good.

There are many other possibilities it a negative assessment, for example: “He eagerly grabbing his tasks (… but do not you make it to the end),” he conceived essentially, trying to find the right solution “(…but mostly failed) , “he tried within their means” (…but they are not great), he showed interest in the work” (…but that’s it) .

Here are some other standard phrases coded with negative connotations:

“He was always well understood by their leaders”, ie, at all costs looking to please any boss.

“…Moisture diligence in their work”, that he was diligent, but not very competent composer employee.

“He knows how to push his ideas” ie he liked to impose its.

Important not only phrases and their arrangement. For example: “He always understood very well with their colleagues and managers.” Here bosses are placed second, although usually mentioned first. This means that the employee has had far better relations with their colleagues than with the head.”

I hope this material will also work when discussing the recommendation with former boss. If there is one, of course…

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