19

I'm a software developer working at a company with several clients.

Part of my job is to stay in touch with clients and make sure the software I'm developing for them fulfills their needs. Additionally, I'm the go-to guy for documentation, issues, technical discussion, future development, etc.

Over the years I've naturally developed more than software: a reputation with people (some in far away places), which I could describe as both professional and friendly. They are often project managers or middle management.

If I quit my current job can I ethically ask these clients for letters of recommendation?

20

Absolutely yes. And as a hiring manager, I would be very impressed by this.

It shows initiative and self-confidence. Most people just list their old bosses or co-workers. This means you really connected with clients and helped meet their needs, and impressed them enough that they remembered you among the armies of drones and clock-watchers they likely had to deal with.

  • 1
    I'll be damned. I never expected that clear an answer! Is it too much to ask why it would impress you? – MPelletier Apr 10 '12 at 21:26
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    It shows initiative and self-confidence. Most people just list their old bosses or co-workers. This means you really connected with clients and helped meet their needs, and impressed them enough that they remembered you among the armies of drones and clock-watchers they likely had to deal with. – Scott C Wilson Apr 10 '12 at 21:46
5

Definitely ok.

Even better, and what seems to be more and more common these days, would be to ask for a recommendation on a LinkedIn profile, which is visible to all future employers as well. It's also not a bad idea to ask for such recommendations before you're leaving a job, especially if you've done outstanding work on a particular, critical project, and may or may not have the opportunity to work for that client again in the future.

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