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Friend Referral For Jobs

Friend Recommendation: Can I Say No?

This reader posted in our
Ask Savvy group, talking about how she doesn't want to recommend a friend for a job at her company. Any suggestions on how she should deal with the situation?

I have a pretty good friend (we've known each other a little over a year) that is on the market for a job. I think she's a great person (charming, funny, etc.), but she has a disastrous work background. She has either been fired or quit almost every job she's had, has no concept of punctuality, and is looking to just "put in time" somewhere. Recently, a position at my company opened up, and of course, she asked me to recommend her. The thing is, as much as I want to — I simply cannot! It would look so bad if she messed up (there is an extremely high chance she would). How do I let her down lightly? What should I say? I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I know she isn't cut out for the position.

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