Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » Tips for Asking Someone for a Resume Testimonial

As the job seeking process becomes more competitive and creative, candidates have to find more ways to stand out from the rest of the pack.  Some job seekers have discovered that adding testimonials to their resumes works wonders in marketing their skills through the words of others.

If you’ve been thinking about incorporating these 1- to 2-sentence testaments to your work ethic into your own resume but have never reached out and asked anyone for one, consider these tips to help you get started:

Contact People Who Will Offer Rave Reviews

When asking for a testimonial, it’s a great idea to request one from a coworker/superior who is not only influential in your current/previous company or industry as a whole but someone who thinks very highly of you as well.

When you’re reading reviews about products, do you feel excited about those that mention a need for improvement?  If the person from whom you’re requesting a testimonial wasn’t in love with your work ethic (don’t be afraid to ask what they thought of you), you may want to thank them kindly for their consideration and then move on to the next person.

Tell Them What You’re Hoping to Receive

Of course, when you ask someone to write a testimonial for you, you want the thoughts and feelings to come from them.  In other words, you don’t want to write it for them.  But it is a great idea to let them know the general guidelines of the testimonial you’re hoping to receive.

For instance, you could explain that you’re applying for a hospitality manager position that requires you to oversee dozens of staff employees and have 5 years of hotel management experience.  This could help the person recommending you to narrow his or her focus when deciding what to write about regarding your contributions to the field.

Make Sure the Timing Is Right

While you may be surprised by the number of people who will be willing to write a testimonial for you whenever you ask, it’s a good idea to make sure that you don’t reach out during a busy period in someone’s day—or even in their career.

If you know a person had a challenging day, you may not want to say, “Sorry about your horrible day, but while I have you on the phone, can you write a testimonial for me?”  Accurately gauge your relationship with the person—as well as their mood—so that you don’t annoy them by asking for a favor.  Even better, start requesting testimonials well in advance of when you’ll need them in order to avoid the need to pressure anyone to send yours back.

Testimonials are becoming more popular with recruiters and hiring managers who enjoy shortcuts to the recommendation.  Adding two or three to your resume, in addition to linking to an online profile, will indeed help you stand out from your competition.

For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow us on Twitter @GreatResume or visit our blog.


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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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