I am working in the US for a professor as a contracted research staff, and my contract will soon end. The professor holds daily meetings with the bosses of several companies, over a project we collaborate on. These companies have several public job listings that I consider myself a good fit for. Unfortunately, the scope of my job doesn't allow me much interaction with the staff from these companies.

However, I can see on LinkedIn that at least 500 people are applying to each of these positions every week. I am worried that if I file my application the conventional way, then it will get lost in the sea of HR paperwork, or even not get past the automatic filter. These companies also have a preference for PhDs, which I do not have at the moment.

Is it appropriate for me to persuade the professor to speak to the bosses directly about these jobs on my behalf? Are there any potential downsides?

  • 1
    Maybe you could bring up these jobs with your professor, asking whether he/she thinks any of them would be suitable for you, without specifically suggesting any kind of action on his/her part. Or have you had so little personal contact and guidance that even doing only this seems seems a bit awkward? If so, then you might want to indicate this in your question. Oct 8, 2020 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


It is appropriate for you to ask for a recommendation. However, the professor may not feel it is appropriate for him to ask them directly. But it is part of their responsibility to at least write you a letter of recommendation. And they may be willing to do more.

But the "way" to ask, is just to ask. Ask for a recommendation, preferably a letter and something more personal. It is up to them how to proceed after that.

I'd guess that even a letter would be pretty effective given the relationships.

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