The local mini-mart is closing due to lack of profit. Personally, I’m guessing that if their prices were lower, they would have done better. I only went there when I was too lazy to drive 4 miles to a different mini mart with much better prices.
One of the clerks was a delightful young lady, straight out of highschool. We didn’t share personal stuff during our interactions, but when I stopped in today for their fire sale, she told me that she was worried about getting another job.
I want to write a letter for her. She’s always polite and well groomed. I’ve never once heard her complain and I think she must show up on time and not steal because she’s been there for over a year. I’ve heard her get bitched out over the prices and she’s always taken the abuse gracefully. (I wasn’t so nice, I would just tell the idiot that he needed to talk to the store owner because the people running the cash register has no control over the prices…or weather…or them getting lost because they can’t read a fucking map. Sorry, that is a pet peeve of mine.)
Please help me come up with a good letter for her.
Yeah, don’t overthink this. If I were hiring a clerk and she had letters and references from customers that would impress me quite a bit, particular word choice is a distant second to the general impression of satisfied customer.
I’ve never done this before. Honestly. Here is the letter I wrote. Please be honest.
Personal letter of recommendation for Sarah.
My name is Flatlined, I am a Records Management Technician for XXX County. My cell number is XXX.
I would like to tell you about Sarah ________.
I have been a semi-regular customer at The Liquor Barn in Spring Valley for many years. While all of the clerks there were nice, Sarah is the best. Sarah is always well groomed and polite. Sarah never shows frustration when people berate her over the prices of gas. Sarah is always polite even when people are idiots.
Sarah is the sort of customer service person that I would like to see everywhere. If I were to open a store, Sarah would be the first one I’d try to hire.
So, the bottom line here is that Sarah doesn’t steal, she doesn’t goof off, she shows up for work well groomed and is always polite.
OK, now help me say the words better. I’m pretty sure that if she was caught stealing, she wouldn’t work there. I also think that she is a very honest person, but back when I worked fast food, the not stealing thing would be a very good reference.
I’m just a box tosser, I don’t get to see letters and CV’, etc. I just want to help Sarah get another job.
Perhaps she is a good enough thief not to get caught. My point is that you don’t know. Now, I doubt that she is a thief; she’s probably completely honest. But limit your letter of recommendation to what you do know; how she interacts with customers.
I’ve been a regular customer of the Liquor Barn in Spring Valley for many years. In my years of patronizing the store, no one has impressed me more thoroughly than Sarah _______.
Sarah is the epitome of a professional, and the gold standard of client interaction. Always well groomed and polite, Sarah is a model of patient customer service. In even the most frustrating client interactions, Sarah seeks the most constructive and positive outcomes.
Sarah is the personification of customer service. If ever in the future I am opening or expanding a business, Sarah will be the very first person I call.
Until that day, I urge you to consider employing this exemplary individual. She stands head and shoulders above her peers, and will exceed your every expectation.
Please contact me for any questions you might have, or if you wish further clarification of my experience.
Records Management Technician for XXX County
I think these words from the OP were sufficient to describe Sarah’s good qualities, and sincere. I’m not saying yours are wrong, but they seem to be more flattering than you’d hear from an occasional customer.
ETA: To be more clear, I’m not criticizing your words at all, I was offering advice to the OP on the general tone of the letter.
I would replace “well groomed” with “always maintains a professional appearance”. And I’d put that at the end of the list of positive attributes. But after that, yeah, short and sweet.
Another way to help is to spread the word that you know someone who’s looking for work and you can vouch for their outstanding customer service skills. You never know, you might know someone who knows someone.
This is just about perfect. Simple, straight forward, to the point. Most importantly it is sticking to the facts of what you know about this girl.
No offence to you flatlined or Azraiel, but I agree with TriPolar that those letters were far too flowery, with irrelevant info, and indeed sounded like they were written by the girls Mum. If you don’t want the letter to be immediately discounted by the potential new employer, it needs to be professional and businesslike.
I like the short, sweet version, but I still would add that the “Even when dealing with the most frustrating customers, Sarah demonstrates a professional and mature attitude” or something like that. That’s golden for an employer.
I don’t think there’s any way to avoid that. I used to do hiring for a C-Store, and I wouldn’t have given much, if any, more weight to a letter of recommendation from a customer than I would from someone’s mother.
It’s like a ‘personal reference’. Some one likes you, and one of your friends thinks you can work. That’s just not helpful. It would be trivially easy to fake this kind of thing, and even if it isn’t, all you’ve established that one customer likes her.
It’s a sweet gesture, and will probably make her day when you give it to her, but it’s very unlikely to actually help her get rehired. What she needs to do is get a recommendation WITH CONTACT INFO from the people running the store now. The contact info is capitalized for a reason. It doesn’t need to be a formal letter of recommendation, but new employers are going to what to talk to someone she worked for. And it would help if she does the legwork herself, rather than expecting the new place to do it for her.
If her current place of employment uses The Work Number, or some other similar service, she’s fucked. She’ll be automatically prioritized below anyone who’s references don’t want $16.95 to confirm she worked for them. (and nothing else) If that is the case, she’d be best served by talking one of her supervisors into giving an unofficial ‘personal reference.’ Failing that, noting on her application that she can provide pay stubs to prove her period of employment might help.
“I used to work for that place which closed, but can’t establish it, and don’t know how to get in touch with anyone from there” is a half-step above never having worked at all.
You’d be surprised at how little profit many c-stores make per purchase. High prices in places like that aren’t a sign of greed in most cases, just that they’re unable to get good deals from suppliers.
Flatlined, is the County where you work hiring? Just because she’s been a customer service rep at a convenience store, doesn’t mean that she couldn’t be some sort of clerk on the County payroll. Those skills would probably translate pretty well. Why not recommend her to your employer?