As a leader in higher education, you will get asked for recommendation letters—a lot. Whether it’s an employee you’ve supervised or a former student, the requests come routinely. Because they are so common, they can become an unwelcome chore. However, members of the Hyatt-Fennell team choose to see recommendation letters as a positive opportunity.

While it is a task outside your regular duties, let’s be honest about the actual cost. Writing a recommendation letter should take you less than an hour. You review the parameters, address it properly, outline a candidate’s strength and qualifications in a few paragraphs, and send it off. It’s relatively painless. Most staff meetings are longer and more arduous.

Now, consider the benefit. When someone requests a recommendation letter, what they are really asking is, “do you believe in me?” Searching for a job is a vulnerable time. Your vote of confidence, whether or not they get the job, is something they will not forget. Your words will have a powerful impact on the candidate that will endure long after their current job search has ended.

When you write a recommendation letter, you are investing in stronger careers and a more robust network. That is a significant return for only one hour of time.