Do they LOOK at Letters of Recommendation?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by McKennaL, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

    Aug 24, 2008
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    Apr 29, 2009

    Ok.. this is to ladies (and gentlemen) who have been ON hiring committees - or those who know them and talked to them.

    I think that a key to WHO a teacher is - sometimes BEYOND the interview questions and answers who they are in the letters of recommendation. THESE are from people who have seen them over time (and isn't that the best clue to who they would be?).

    But I have to wonder...because they seem to be surprised when issues are brought up that are clearly mentioned in detail in the letters. (For goodness sake- one principal was very surprised that I even student taught in his district.. what the HECK! :eek: That is even on my resume.)

    I'm just wondering... what DO they know before you get there? I was assuming that they had me researched-or at LEAST as much as my resume and credentials show.... but maybe I'm way off on this!

    (And BTW... I also understand the point of view that you never hear a BAD comment in a letter of reference...but at least you see what GOOD the person is.)
  3. palla

    palla Companion

    Nov 9, 2008
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    Apr 29, 2009

    When I have hired in the past (not in education), we didn't look at LOR - especially if the applicant provided the LOR in a file that wasn't sealed. It is too easy to forge the letter or change it, and an applicant isn't going to provide a negative LOR. I know someone who wrote her own LOR and had it signed by the person recommending her because he didn't write well.

    We would always call references. It is easier to gauge how the reference really felt, and you can lead the discussion and ask open-ended questions.
  4. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

    Aug 3, 2007
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    Apr 29, 2009

    Here's the hiring process at my school in our Social Studies dept. for an open advertised position

    1. SS dept recieves ALL the resumes and applications for the position
    2. We as a dept, weed through the resumes/apps looking for all those that meet the qualifications
    3. From those, we then closely review everything in the packet, resume, letters of references, test scores, etc. . . .
    4. As a dept, we pick usually about 10 of those we really like and send it to the principal
    5. One person from our dept serves on the hiring committee for 2 years - it is on a rotation bases
    6. The person on the hiring committe sits in on all parts of the interviewing process
    7. Interview all ten, narrow down to two or three, reschedule second interview, then make recommendation to the school board

    Again, this is the hiring process for high school - I would assume it would be very different for elementary.

    I will say I always read every recommedation letter and put weight behind what I read. After reading hundreds of them, I can pretty much tell which ones are genuine and which ones are just form letters.
  5. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

    May 16, 2007
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    Apr 29, 2009

    I don't know how closely my letters were looked at, but it took an extra long time for me to get the job offer I got because my current AP was playing phone tag with one of my references. She wouldn't offer me the job without having the phone conversation.

    As far as reading my resume, I can recall in several interviews being asked specific questions about specific jobs I had. So I'd say based on my experience, yes my resume was read thoroughly by the people interviewing me.

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