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  • Letters of Recommendation

    I completed a State Police Orientation recently and the trooper who was giving the orientation brought up Letters of Recommendation that can be submitted with our application when we're instructed to complete it.

    What kind of effect do these type of letters have on the application process? Do they add points? Will it just give the person reviewing my file a good idea of what kind of person I am? Do they want to see letters from several sources confirming my good character? I have several people I have worked for previously, School Teachers/Principals, and my Fire Chief who all said they would be happy to type up a recommendation letter for me.

    Simply what I am asking is how big of an impact do these letters make?

  • #2
    I'm sure it varies from department to department. For me, in the background investigations I've conducted, I always read the letters of course, but I don't give them a lot of merit. I'm a cynical bastard so I believe little of what I read and only slightly more of what I hear. In backgrounds it's very easy to find people who will speak well of a candidate; I'm looking for the people who will speak honestly. Those two dynamics are often world's apart.

    So the short answer is they don't hurt. But your fire chief telling me you're an awesome hose dragger won't much influence my report or wow my Chief.

    Comment


    • #3
      They are meaningless with my agency. The only purpose of an application with my agency is to establish whether you meet the minimum qualifications for admission to the testing process. There are no points scored.

      Instead you are rated on the number of correct answers you give to questions on a written exam that measures your ability to perform the duties of the job you are seeking.

      You are also rated by an oral panel that scores you on:

      • Experience – assesses your ability and experience in accepting responsibilities and performing assigned tasks as demonstrated through achievements in work, school, and other activities.

      • Problem Solving – assesses your reasoning skills in developing timely, logical responses to a wide variety of situations and problems.

      • Communication Skills – assesses your oral communications skills, which includes speaking, listening, and non-verbal communication.

      • Interest/Motivation – addresses your interest in and preparedness for the peace officer job. It includes an assessment of your general level of interest, initiative, and goal orientation.

      • Interpersonal Skills – assesses many facets, such as social knowledge/appropriateness, social insight, empathy, social influence, social self-regulation, sociability, team orientation, social self-confidence, conflict management skills, and negotiating skills.

      • Community Involvement/Awareness – focuses specifically on your experiences and interest in community issues, as well as your interest in and ability to fill multiple roles and serve a diverse community.

      Letters of recommendation just don't fit anywhere into the scoring process.

      The background looks for things in your personal history that meet the criteria for DQ, so again, letters of recommendation are kind of meaningless for us.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        The letter(s) would be meaningless with my Agency. L-1 has already explained the reasons.

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with PhillipCal and L-1.

          However----------------the agency you are involved with must take them into consideration if they are soliciting them. How they weigh them is known only to that agency
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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          • #6
            For an entry level position, the only thing they mean is that you know 3 or 4 people who will say that you are not an *** hole. I knew a guy who applied for a chief's job, and he had a letter of recommendation from the governor -- that **** can mean something.

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            • #7
              Another informative thread. Thanks again guys. If I had a LOR from the Governor you bet I'd use it!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BTripp1993 View Post
                Another informative thread. Thanks again guys. If I had a LOR from the Governor you bet I'd use it!

                Suppose you had a LOR from the Governor and the hiring Executive didn't like him? Let me state that in a little more illustrative way. Suppose you had a LOR from Barack Obama, Eric Holder, or Hillary Clinton? Yep, might do you some good if you ran out of toilet paper.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's a shame politics do get in the way. Regardless of what some may think of the President, it's still the President. It isn't everyday that an employer would be approached with a letter with the seal of the President on it.

                  But I suppose you're right!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BTripp1993 View Post
                    It's a shame politics do get in the way. Regardless of what some may think of the President, it's still the President. It isn't everyday that an employer would be approached with a letter with the seal of the President on it.

                    But I suppose you're right!
                    I would never hire anyone with a recommendation letter from Obama, his integrity, honesty and character are questionable to say the least.

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                    • #11
                      In addition to an LOR signed by "Hussein" , one signed by Eric Holder would be equally worthless. The one possible exception having been previously noted.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As a BI it depended on who wrote it & what the recommendations is. I wrote one recently for an Instructor I use who was applying for another Instructor job. We aren't personal friends so I could attest to her professional skills and ho w I had worked with her as a police officer. (She was a Crime Scene tech.)

                        A police applicant with friends writing letters don't mean much. Basically the applicant sought out friends/acquaintances to speak well of them.

                        Bottom line, 50/50. Sometimes good, sometimes useless.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's an idea:

                          Submit ONLY what they ask for. Adding 'fluff' like certs and letters of recommendation meant nothing to me. If I asked for it, submit it, or have a reasonable explanation why it's NOT included. You're going to get friends & admirers to write the letters, anyway. Same with listing your references. When I did a BI, I used the references to find the people who did NOT like my candidates. Before talking to the listed reference agency member on the phone, I talked to whoever answered the phone.
                          "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                          Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                          Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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