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Giving and asking for recommendations

Giving and asking for recommendations

Have you ever wanted to recommend a person, their services or even a good restaurant to someone else but didn’t know how to do it? Have you ever wanted someone to recommend you to others? Maybe you have a special skill that you’d like others to know about. You might have heard about a position, but need someone to recommend you in order to apply. Perhaps you just want to share some useful information with others and want them to know how much you liked it. All of these situations require us to give or ask for recommendations. Below you’ll find some examples of how to do this.
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Asking for recommendations:

  • Could you put in a good word for me?
  • Could you let others know about this experience?
  • Could you pass this on to others?
  • Would you mind sharing your experience?
  • Would you add me to your contact list?

Giving recommendations:

  • I highly recommend using this product / service.
  • This person is highly trained / very skilled / very professional.
  • We found the information presented very useful.
  • I only have positive things to say about this product / this person / this service.
  • I would be happy to give you their contact information.
  • Please mention my name when you contact them.

Here are some examples:

Employee / colleague asking for a reference:

I am writing to you since we have worked on many projects together. You always seem very pleased with my ideas and the way that I deal with problems that come up, so I would like to ask you to share this information with a potential new supervisor. As you know, I am applying for a position in the [name] department and I need a recommendation from someone who has worked with me. Would you put in a good word for me?

Response to the request:

You are right, I am very satisfied with the work that you have done in the past. I’d be happy to act as a reference for you since I think that the [name] department would also benefit from your skills. If they contact me, I’ll definitely pass your name on as a potential candidate.

Possible reference statement:

I would be happy to recommend [name] for the position you are trying to fill. [He / she] is very highly qualified and has always successfully dealt with the topics we have worked on together in the past. I only have positive things to say about [him/ her]. Please mention my name to them if you decide to shortlist them for an interview.

Try it and tell us about it

Now that you have some ideas about how to ask for and give recommendations, why not try it out by asking a colleague for feedback on a presentation or a project you have recently completed?

Maybe you can do someone a favour by recommending them to others. Or perhaps you want to let us know what you think of the information presented in our blog? Please feel free to use our comments box below.



4 replies
  1. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Dear Gerhard,

    I’m glad that you find this post useful.

    In answer to your first question, you can say something like: “I saw that you are looking for someone to fill this position. My impartial opinion is that (name) would be a good candidate because of his / her previous track record” or “Although there is nothing in it for me, I’d like to recommend this restaurant for our next department meeting”. Both of these imply that you have no personal gain by making the recommendation.

    Your second question can be addressed this way: “Since I’ve always been impressed with (name)’s work, I’d like to recommend (name) for the position” or “Due to (name)’s previous experience with this topic, I think he / she would be a suitable candidate for the project team”.

    Hopefully these phrases give you some addition ideas for how to give good recommendations.


  2. Gerhard
    Gerhard says:

    Hi Lynn,
    nice examples how to recommend to somebody. But how to add something like “I have no personal interest in it”. I think it’s worthwhile to show that your suggestion is free of any ulterior motives.
    Or another idea/problem : In some cases you would like to add the reason why you suggested it – how to do it perfectly?


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