30 May How to (Nicely) Turn Down Recommending Someone
There are some requests in life that are tough to refuse. For example, when an old friend is unexpectedly in town and needs a place to stay, you feel compelled to say “yes” regardless of how busy you may be, because you really can’t think of an acceptable way to say “no.”
Likewise, many people feel obligated to say “yes’ when asked to recommend or write a recommendation letter for a colleague. But what if the person requesting your endorsement is someone you don’t know very well? What if his or her performance was so unimpressive that you would be hard-pressed to come up with a single positive attribute? Or, worst of all, what if you could not—with a good conscience, anyway—recommend this person for any job?