Dear Moving On,
If you are leaving the company and this request might jeopardize your employment status where you are now, don’t ask. Instead, find another person that can write a recommendation for you, or ask someone from your previous employer.
But, if you can ask then make it easy! If there’s anything a manager hates, it’s completing performance reviews (or recommendations in this case). They can be a daunting and time consuming task. So, here’s what to do. First, prepare to ask by knowing exactly what your boss needs to do, what to include and where (the link). Then, based on that, review your previous performance reviews and/or recognition emails to substantiate that you do in fact walk on water, or at least only your shoes get wet. Use this as a foundation to write a few bullet points for your boss. When this is all ready to go, ask your boss if he/she will write a recommendation. Mention that knowing how busy his/her schedule is, you pulled together a few bullet points based on prior reviews/emails. If your boss acts like this is the greatest thing in the world go forward and send the bullet points. If not, realize he/she probably will do the recommendation anyway (with a little badgering). Also realize you have likely created some amazing bullet points for your resume or review. :) I hope this helps!
Originally published on Quora