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August 2018
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Recommending someone whom I never met?

Why would I write a letter of recommendation for someone whom I’m never met?

I just got a request via LinkedIn:

Dear Curtis,
I'm sending this to ask you for a brief recommendation of my work that I can
include in my LinkedIn profile. If you have any questions, let me know. 

Thanks in advance for helping me out. 

The name at the bottom wasn’t familiar, so I searched all my email and contacts to no avail–I’ve never received an email message from him (at least not important enough to avoid my Deleted Items folder.   I’m not overly particular about accepting LinkedIn connections so I’m sure that somehow he found me, sent me a generic invite, and voila, we’re now connected.  However, I’m pretty sure that I resent the assumption that I would provide a recommendation for him.

No, recommendations are not commodities to be thrown away.  I want my word and my handshake to mean something real, like it did back in the days of the pioneers, before we needed legions of lawyers to define what a handshake really meant.