The danger in writing a critical letter is that you

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Unformatted text preview: mendation about you from a former employer’s perspective. Practice honesty, integrity, and prudence. could be related to job performance. You owe it to your audience, to your own conscience, and even to better-qualified candidates. You don’t have to present the shortcomings as simple criticisms, however. A good option is to list them as areas for improvement, even as areas the person might be working on now. The danger in writing a critical letter is that you might inadvertently engage in libel, publishing a false and malicious written statement that injures the candidate’s reputation. On the other hand, if that negative information is truthful and relevant, it may be unethical and even illegal to omit it from your recommendation (see “Communication Miscues: When Recommendation Letters Lead to Lawsuits”). If you must refer to a shortcoming, you can best protect yourself by sticking to the facts, avoiding value judgments, and placing your criticism in the context of a generally favorable recommendation, as in Figure 8.8. In this letter, the writer...
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