If I resign from my current job, can I ask for a letter of recommendation? I will follow all the rules mentioned in my contract, such as giving them a month's notice, etc. My superiors will definitely not be happy about me quitting my job and I think the recommendation letter will reflect this.

Is this normal when leaving a company? Is there a proper procedure I can follow to get a better recommendation letter?

  • Why will your superiors be unhappy? There can be mixed feelings, but a healthy situation would be for them to be happy for you that you are doing things you like // have gotten ahead // are moving // whatever. Aside from that, they might think it is sad a good employee is leaving (I hope that is the main reason for not being happy), so a recommendation letter wil reflect that reason for the feeling, not the feeling. – Nanne Jun 20 '14 at 10:48
  • @Nanne They'll be unhappy because I have been in this for just six months, and they were hoping that I'd be there for at least a couple of years. But I want to apply for MS degree and a PhD after if I complete MS degree successfully. – zindarod Jun 20 '14 at 11:13
  • 1
    @Zindarod You want to resign because you want to APPLY for an MS degree - in other words, you haven't even gotten an offer of admission yet. Don't you think that you're counting your chickens before they hatch? I used to do my grad study in the evening while working full-time, because I liked the idea of good money coming in while I was studying. Plus, I got a tax break courtesy of a letter to the IRS from my then-employer :) – Vietnhi Phuvan Jun 20 '14 at 13:23
  • @VietnhiPhuvan I am working in a foreign country. In order to apply for an MS degree, I have to return to my own country. – zindarod Jun 20 '14 at 14:06
  • @Zindarod Sorry about that. That really sucks. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jun 20 '14 at 14:12

While you can ask, I'd be careful about when you time this request as well as noting if there is a company policy about this. In one of my previous work places, there is a policy that employees can only specify work dates when discussing someone's previous work experience in the company. In this case, a recommendation letter would be nearly worthless as all that is confirmed is what dates I worked. Other places may want me to write the letter that the manager signs which can be somewhat mixed in terms of use as the manager may not remember what details I'd put into the letter.

My suggestion would be that if there is a period during the notice where things are going well, I may ask at that point for a recommendation letter for my personal files. The other thought would be to possibly wait for some time after I left and then meet with my former manager to request the letter over a lunch or something that so that I'm not in a position to do anything bad to the company.

  • Thank you, I think I'll go with the second option and wait a while before asking for a recommendation letter. – zindarod Jun 20 '14 at 9:03
  • @JoeStrazzere The good thing is that my manager was aware of my plans for getting an MS degree. In my second interview when he asked me of my plans for higher education, I made sure he knew that an MS degree was in my immediate future. – zindarod Jun 20 '14 at 14:13

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.