Three Reasons Why We Should Not Request Letters of Recommendation for Job Applications
"The time has come to stop requesting letters—at the very least at the stage of application—and perhaps to dispense with them altogether"
The whole reference-writing wrangle for jobs/fellowships is absurd. I dread asking people to write them for me. I don't like writing them. It's a waste of everyone's time. Agree w that we'd be better off without them
I would go even further than : letters of reference are worse than useless. Their main function is to allow people to weigh up the opportunity cost of ingratiating oneself to some bigwig or other by hiring their protégé.