Before you end your co-op and leave the organization you are with, you should be sure to secure a recommendation from someone in the company. Why? A reference or recommendation could prove pivotal in your future job searches. Having an “objective” person comment on your professional performance could tip the scales in your favor. The recommendation could be from a supervisor, a colleague or a senior manager.
Reference vs. Recommendation
Typically a reference is someone you ask to formally be on standby should an employer call to inquire about your work history, ethic etc. You should plan to have 3-4 references and you should definitely ask them ahead of time before listing them.
A recommendation is usually in letter form (or electronic form). A one page letter outlining how the person knows you, in what capacity they know you, their overall assessment of your qualities, skills and abilities is sufficient. It can be a generalized document so that it can be used multiple times or it can be specifically addressed to fit a particular situation.
Social Media - LinkedIn
On the social media website LinkedIn you can ask colleagues to “recommend you” electronically. By doing so, anyone who views your profile can see and read the positive recommendations. It also serves as a step in completing your LinkedIn profile. Definitely ask your manager or colleagues you worked with while on co-op, to submit a recommendation if possible.
Sort of related to recommendations is the new “endorsements” feature just added to LinkedIn -- your contacts can also “endorse” you. According to Linkedin, the addition is intended to make it easier to recognize people for their skills and expertise. Linkedin users can either endorse their contacts from a new Skills & Expertise section, or select or suggest skills at the top of their profile.