How Far do Letters of Recommendation Really Get You?

Juliana Moxley
How Far do Letters of Recommendation Really Get You?

Larraine Naquin answers some of our readers’ questions about whether or not a recommendation from a billionaire will help you get a job at an investment bank.

Grady L. Andersen: Would a recommendation from a billionaire help even if they don’t have direct connections to the firm I’m applying to?

Larraine Naquin: Hi Grady, good question and I actually had a similar experience with a recommendation. A long time family friend is the CEO of a very well known company. He’s known me for years and our two families get together to celebrate most holidays.

I asked him for a letter of recommendation for a business internship I was applying for, and his response was, “I know nothing about what type of employee you are. I know you’re a good person, but I have no idea how you conduct yourself in a professional setting.”

So, I would have to say it all depends on what your relationship with the billionaire is. If he doesn’t know how you work, maybe help him out for a few days so he gets an idea and can write an accurate recommendation.

Sonya Sharififard: Hi Grady: As Larraine mentioned, you’d need a recommendation from someone who is able to evaluate your work ethic.

If the party has worked with you professionally, and can validate your qualifications in investment banking, ask her/him for a recommendation.

Richard Bryant: I’m not sure if anyone can ever guarantee you a position, but most the billionaires I can think of (Bill Gates, Elon Musk, etc.) have a pretty huge amount of clout, so I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt.

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