Recommendation letter matters?
I have been asked for the first time to write a recommendation letter for a student I worked with for few months. The student, asked to me directly to do so. Usually students beg to main supervisors/professors for this kinda things. I felt pretty surprised to be asked. What do I have more relevant for the student then a letter from a professor may have?
Writing the letter, I felt quite unconfortable: I realized that the sort of friendship we have had in the lab would of course impair any efforts of being objective. Moreover: who will ever be so stupiud to write a _bad_ recommendation letter? Once a prof accoplish to do so, what is actually written in the letter doesnt really matter. The name matter. What is written in is just pointless poetry flights about how wonderful was to work with you, such hard-worker, interested person… bla bla. No point. No point. I felt ashamed and I also felt I was overdoing. I was not fair with myself and with the peroson I was writing the letter for. Students should not ask for recommendation letter. They should just work and put in the CV their personal experience with the prof, whom then can be contacted by the future boss, if necessary.
Recommendation letter are useless.