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How to Recommend a Friend for a Job

By Kay Ireland ; Updated June 13, 2017

Recommending your friend for a job at your office can be a tricky business. On one hand, your friend could be an ideal fit, and your recommendation could reflect well on your judgment. On the other hand, if your friend does a poor job, it could reflect badly on you and your recommendation. The best way to recommend a friend for a job is to stay professional and remove your personal attachment. A noncommittal interest in the recommendation puts the responsibility in your manager's hands.

  1. Talk to your friend about the possibility of working at the same company. If your friend expresses interest in a job where you work, be frank about your reservations. Let him know that you're worried about how it would affect both your friendship and your professional life. Voicing your concerns before you make the recommendation might help your friend to be more careful in his actions and his work ethic.

  2. Ask for your friend's resume, and look it over before handing it in. Make sure that she would be a good fit for the company and has qualities that your manager would admire. If her resume is in poor shape and she doesn't get the job, she could hold you responsible for not making a strong enough recommendation. Take a preliminary look to see if she's the type of employee your boss would consider.

  3. Write a short and noncommittal note, and attach it to the resume, suggests Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute to "Good Housekeeping." This lets you pass along the resume without personally vouching for your friend's work ethic and skill. Just let your manager know that you have a friend who could be a good fit, and leave the recommendation at that.

  4. Talk to your friend about the possibility of working together if he receives an interview via your recommendation. If you're going to be working closely together, resolve to keep things professional, warns human resources and employment law expert Lily Garcia.

  5. Stay out of the hiring process, and let your friend know that you're not involved in any way, according to the website CareerBuilder. This absolves you of any responsibility for the interviewing, hiring or firing of a close friend. Once you've passed along the resume and spoken to your friend about logistics, it's out of your hands.

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