Washington, D.C.: My questions relate to letters of recommendation. I’m concerned because my former direct boss wrote a two-paragraph enthusiastic letter that says I’m wonderful and all but doesn’t go into any specific accomplishments or provide concrete examples to support his statements. How do I handle that? Meanwhile, the other most important person to give me a recommendation -- a CEO who is revered in my industry -- wants me to ghostwrite my own letter of recommendation for her. I have no idea how to do that. Finally, do I include those letters with the resume and writing samples or wait until asked to supply them? Help!
Scott Bennett:1. I see one reason why the CEO is revered. Carefully use his generosity to write a concrete, example-filled letter -- with the type of specificity you wanted but didn’t get from the other person. This letter is not the time or place for modesty. Have it checked by at least two people whose writing skills and candor you trust. 2. Be candid with the vague fellow and ask if you may draft some specifics to support his kind statements; if he is enthusiastic about you, he will welcome this.