Letter of Recommendation [Image]

A strong letter of recommendation can distinguish a candidate’s application from the rest. Taking the time to obtain a letter of recommendation will leave a positive impact with the employer or recruiter reviewing the application. On the other hand, writing a letter of recommendation is a great way to pay it forward and contribute to the success of the candidate’s career.

Whether you are the candidate requesting the letter, or the employer responsible for writing the recommendation, it is essential to understand how to write a letter of recommendation that will leave a lasting impression.

What makes a compelling letter of recommendation?

Here are some helpful guidelines to write a strong letter of recommendation:

  • Print the letter on company letterhead
  • Personalization and sincerity is key – avoid using letter of recommendation templates
  • Explain the professional relationship and the duration spent working with the candidate
  • Give specific examples of the value and impact that the candidate has made in the company
  • Highlight the candidate’s hard and soft skills that greatly benefitted the company
  • When signing off the letter, include a handwritten signature along with the employer’s typed name, job title, and contact information
  • Proofread to avoid typos or grammatical errors

 

Candidates: How to Approach Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

As a candidate, reach out to professionals who have had a previous working relationship with you. Ideally, the letter of recommendation should be requested before actively seeking a job. The employers’ expectation is that references can be checked prior to the offer. When asking a professional to write a letter of recommendation, keep these tips in mind:

  • Do not be intimidated; just ask for the letter of recommendation. Employers are used to this request.
  • Do not pressure the employer to write a letter of recommendation.
  • If possible, request a letter of recommendation to the employer in person. If that is not feasible, then reach out by phone and as a last resort, by email.
  • If the employer is unsure of how to approach the letter, provide a list of points to cover that is relevant to the opportunity.
  • If the employer accepts writing the recommendation, express gratitude for taking the time to fulfill your request.
  • Be prepared to write the recommendation yourself. Many people want to help, but do not have time to write a recommendation. It is quite common for an employer to ask candidates to write the letter themselves that the employer will sign off.

 

Employers: Don’t Want to Write a Letter of Recommendation? Consider This.

It can be intimidating for candidates to personally ask for a letter of recommendation, so it is important to have a good reason for declining in the first place (e.g. against company policy, unable to realistically meet the deadline, etc.). Before declining all together, however, consider the benefits to writing a letter of recommendation:

  • Having the letter of recommendation distributed among industry leaders can result in the growth of the recommender’s professional network
  • Professionals will recognize the recommender as a positive leader who is willing to support their colleague’s career goals
  • The recommender may need a letter of recommendation of their own from the candidate in the future

Alternatively, referring the candidate to another colleague within the company that can better vouch for the candidate’s work is a proactive way to assist the candidate in attaining a letter of recommendation.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with a 50-year history of excellence. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

Casino Survey Graphic

Calling All Casino Professionals! 

We are pleased to announce that Bristol Associates, Inc. is conducting the 18th Annual Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey in conjunction with Spectrum Gaming Group.

Our survey is designed to help the gaming industry attract, retain, and motivate its executive talent by providing insight on executives’ overall attitudes and preferences at their workplace. The following questions will be analyzed in our survey results:

  • Which casino companies do executives want to work for?
  • How do executives quantify overall work satisfaction?
  • What factors (i.e. career growth, location, etc.) are the highest priority when executives choose their employer?

This year, two casino executives will be randomly selected to win a $50 gift card for completing the survey. To be eligible for the raffle, you must fill out your email address at the end of the survey and be a current or former casino executive employee. Only one entry per survey participant.

All individual responses will be kept confidential.

Take the Survey Here

[Image] Master the Art of the Follow Up

Candidates can get anxious when they have to wait for the status of a job that they really want. As ideal as it would be to receive an immediate response from the recruiter or hiring manager, it is not always feasible, and response time may depend on the amount of applicants applying for a given opportunity. However, keeping in mind simple follow-up tactics can benefit the candidate in the end – as long as it is done tactfully.

Things that make you go hmmm…

Before deciding to follow up on a position, it is important to keep in mind possible reasons as to why feedback has not been received. Here are a few reasons to consider:

• The recruiter or hiring manager has not received feedback from their client or hiring authority, thus they have nothing to share.

• The recruiter or hiring manager may currently be out of the office on business travel or vacation. Even in this day and age of technology, it is not always easy to respond in a timely manner. We still believe in being present when meeting with others, driving, etc.

• No news is rarely good news. If you have not been asked to schedule an interview in over a month, chances are the position has been filled or the search is no longer a priority.

We asked President, Ben Farber to share a few of his favorite tips on how to follow up effectively when seeking a status update.

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The results are in! We had 125 restaurant executives participate in our 2nd Annual Restaurant Executive Survey, which was designed to help gain insight on which restaurant segment executives want to work for. Our goal was to explore the following questions within the restaurant industry:

• Which level of executives are most satisfied in their current restaurant segment? Which prefer seeking opportunities in a different segment?
• Which restaurant segment has the most satisfied executives?
• What factors do executives find most attractive about their preferred restaurant segment?

The infographic below illustrates our key takeaways from the survey conducted in 2017.

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InMail[Image] Hiring Professional Sending InMail to Network

LinkedIn has become a fundamental resource for connecting with a diverse pool of experienced professionals. The platform provides a way to search for and approach executives via InMail – a premium feature that allows hiring authorities and executive recruiters to send messages to members who are not in their social network.

Our executive recruiters share their tips on how to reach out to quality candidates via LinkedIn InMail:

Personalize. The candidate is less likely to respond if the message appears to be sent to the masses. State the reason why the message is relevant to them, whether it be their specific industry experience or skillsets that would make a great fit for the position.

Be clear and concise. The message to the candidate should be brief and to the point. Having an InMail with too many paragraphs can overwhelm the recipient and obscure the basic message.

Emphasize through format. Bold, underline, or italicize key phrases and sentences that candidates should take away from the overall message. Also, be mindful about the amount of emphasis included in the message. Too many font changes defeats the purpose of highlighting the important areas of the InMail.

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[image] businessman jumping over hurdles / recruitment challenge

A recruiter has the opportunity to interact with diverse candidates and clients, which can lead to unique experiences for each search. While it is the recruiter’s responsibility to alleviate the absence of talent for companies needing to hire, what happens when the recruiter encounters obstacles that can hinder the recruitment process?

Our executive recruiters share recruitment challenges often faced during the search process, and helpful strategies to overcome them.

Recruitment Challenge #1: Lack of Available, Qualified Candidates

With a low unemployment rate, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find candidates. Nearly half of U.S. hiring managers report that they do not see enough qualified candidates when they have an open position. Simply employing the same tried and true recruiting methods will be insufficient in the current candidate market.

In hiring environments such as this, recruiters should be creative and proactive in their sourcing methods to find the right candidate. Networking, industry-specific job boards, and social media platforms are all ways to find candidates. Many organizations still do not utilize these channels effectively.

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[Image] Employer and candidate negotiating with recruiter in between them

By Kelly Nelson

It is common for the client and candidate to seek the recruiter’s guidance when it comes to the negotiation stage of the recruitment process. The recruiter needs to develop a true trust relationship with both the client and the candidate.

While the recruiter must understand the objectives and limitations of his or her client company, they must also understand the various motivations of the candidate. This results in the recruiter’s ability to pull both parties together in any negotiation. The experienced recruiter should have the ability to form creative solutions that draw on these understandings and provide meaningful benefit to each party.

Negotiating For Clients

The recruiter must be able to suggest creative solutions to clients that provide unique methods of reaching closure with candidates. Oftentimes, the client company is unable and unwilling to adjust the base salary when asked by the candidate. There are many ways to solve this apparent impasse. We have assisted clients in creating partial guarantee bonuses, sign on bonuses, additional perquisites, more aggressive bonus plans, and enhanced relocation packages that result in narrowing the gap between the two parties’ negotiation positions.

Read More: Ask a Recruiter: What Company Perks Do Candidates Really Want?

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Interviewer rejecting applicant after an interview. Oops! Common Interview Mistakes Candidates Make

A job interview is a two-way street – it’s a conversation that helps assess if the candidate is the right fit for the employer and vice versa. However, if the candidate has a poor interview, it can ruin their chance of receiving the job offer. By recognizing and avoiding potential interview mistakes, candidates can prevent themselves from giving a negative impression on the employer.

Our executive recruiters share interview mistakes that candidates have made and ways to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Interview Mistake #1: No Preparation

Insufficient preparation can make the candidate look unprofessional and will be evident to their potential employer through their lack of serious, pertinent questions and answers regarding the job and the organization.

The candidate should research the company and the position thoroughly before an interview. That way, they can come to the interview armed with information that will enable them to sound well-informed.

Read More: How to Answer Difficult Interview Questions

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2017 Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey Results

We are excited to announce the results of the 2017 Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey. The survey, conducted in partnership with Spectrum Gaming, was designed to help the gaming industry attract, retain, and motivate its executive talent by providing insight on executives’ overall attitudes and preferences at their workplace.

The following questions were analyzed and addressed in our survey results:

  • Which casino gaming employers were in the Top 10 Employers of First Choice?
  • How has optimism and satisfaction in the casino industry changed in the past ten years?
  • Is there a difference in executive satisfaction between corporate and property management levels?

We hope you enjoy the report and encourage you to forward the results to your colleagues.

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Businessman giving cover letter document to another businessman

The cover letter’s purpose is to bring out the candidate’s personality and delve further into the individual’s skillsets before an interview. However, when recruiters are involved in the screening process of the candidates, is it still necessary for candidates to submit a cover letter?

We asked two of our recruiters, Nicole Santos and Kelly Nelson, their view on the importance of providing a cover letter when applying for a job.

Nicole Santos, Associate Account Executive

Nicole Santos, Associate Account Executive

“When working with a recruiter, most clients do not find it necessary for candidates to provide a cover letter. Rather than depending on a one page write up, the recruiter can directly ask the candidate questions to gather similar information in a more personable level. It’s easy for candidates to oversell themselves in their cover letter, and then fall short in the interview.

If a cover letter is required for a job, use it as an opportunity to qualify experience, explaining any achievements relevant to the job position that isn’t highlighted in the resume.”


>>> Read: 
Importance of the Thank You Letter

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