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A fellow who has been an excellent account rep with a vendor we used has been subject to a downsizing by his company. He has been out of work now since November. I've told him he can use me as a reference cause I've been so happy with how he has helped my company.

I was wondering if it would be helpful to him if I wrote him a letter of recommendation addressed to "Whom it may concern" or something like that saying he has done a great job for us in his previous role and I highly recommend him.

But I wondered if this would be nothing more than a goodwill gesture to make him feel better because I've never used a letter of recommendation here in the US in the private sector myself. I've used references and have been references for others seeking a job, but I was never asked nor did I have any sort of opportunity to present a letter of recommendation to a prospective employer. Mostly because they want to contact references.

Would a letter of recommendation in 2014 be of any use for someone with 12 years of experience? If so, how might he present it to a prospective employer? Along with his resume? Include it in e-mail when communicating about the job? Simply list that a letter of recommendation is available for request on his resume and/or job application?

If someone wrote a strong letter of recommendation for you as an experienced professional for a job in the private sector in the US would you be able to make any use of it? Thanks!

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A lot of prospective employers now have a glance at a candidate's LinkedIn profile. I've written a couple of recommendations for ex-colleagues there in the hope that they will be seen by recruiting companies. It tends to hold more weight than the simple "number of connections" algorithm

Most people put the link to their LinkedIn profile on their CV these days too (I do!)

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