This article features a step by step guide for writing a recommendation letter. Learn about the best practices and the things to include inside it.
A letter of recommendation is something that holds great value; it’s like the person being recommended comes with a guarantee/ warranty card. It is written by someone you knew or worked with and that person is impressed by the way you work or your overall personality.
It is written by someone it might be a prior boss, co-worker, customer, mentor, or by someone different who can approve an individual’s work or work ethics or academic performance.
Recommendation letters aim is to verify or vouch for the abilities, accomplishments, skills, and talent of the person being recommended. Consider these letters as representatives, designed to signify an essential person’s vote of assurance in a candidate – without having to go and meet the hiring manager in-person at his\her office and present their case.
A letter of recommendation is mostly sent to a hiring manager or admissions officer to facilitate an interview or meeting of the applicant.
This was all about what a recommendation letter now let us move to the point where we learn that what should be included/ written in a recommendation letter. A letter of recommendation explains a person’s eligibility and abilities as they correlate to work or academics.
The letter explains the attributes and skills that make the applicant a suitable fit for a given job, university or grad school program.
The letter endorses the person for a position or for college or graduate school. Recommendation letters are typically asked on a personal basis and are addressed directly to the organization, another hiring manager, or an admissions board or committee.
Writing a recommendation letter can be a tough task to complete, after all, these letters are usually needed for important life events, such as a brand-new job, a house purchase, or access to a program or school.
There a few things that should be kept in mind while writing a letter of recommendation: –
- Focus on the job description
- Use the standard business letter format
- Think thoughtfully before accepting the responsibility of writing the recommendation letter.
- Elaborate on how you know the person and for how long you know that person
- Remain positive
- Share your contact information
Focus on the Job Description
Request the person for who you are writing the letter for a copy of the job description in detail. This means you can concentrate on the conditions of the position. Attempt to incorporate language from the job description in your letter. Even if the letter that you are writing is more of a general recommendation, you should, however, ask the person regarding the kind of jobs they will be applying for.
Use the standard business letter format
Use the standard business letter format while writing your letter. If time is something you think you lack then you should consider writing a recommendation email rather than a letter.
- Put your home address on the header of the letter right, succeeded by the date—in the format 14 January 20xx.
- Following that, on the left-hand, put the recipient’s name (if you know it) and address.
- Start the letter with a professional business greeting. Ex: Dear\Respected Ms. Gomez or Dear\Respected Sir or Madam, (if you don’t know the recipient’s name)
Evaluate carefully before responding in a yes
Say yes only if you will write the recommendation letter and if you can recommend the person without a doubt. If you are requested to write a reference and don’t feel comfy giving the recommendation it is relevant to respectfully refuse the request for a reference.
Explain whereby you know the person and for how long
Commence your letter with the basic information that how you know the person and for how long. If you know the person you are recommending for a great time, be sure to highlight this.
- “As Vice President of Application Development, I was Johnson’s immediate supervisor from 2010 through 2013. We operated closely together on various key projects, and I got to know him properly throughout this time.
- “I was both Anna’s mentor and teacher during her time at XYZ College. I saw her glow both in the classroom and in-office hours, and had the pleasure of seeing her battle and then beat expectations with her dissertation.”
Concentrate on one or two attributes
In the body of your letter, center on one or two traits in this person that show that the person you are recommending is a suitable fit for the job. Give particular examples of ways in which the person has shown these different attributes in the past.
- “Johnson’s advanced grip of database architecture, connected with an inherent touch for UX design and a warm, special approach to his in-company client base dramatically increased the productivity of our company’s marketing, product, and editorial activities. His strategy to maintain application assistance, maintenance, and practice was highly professional and greatly appreciated, both by end-users and by the managerial team.”
Show that you believe that this person is a strong and right candidate for the job. You might write something like, “I recommend this person without any doubt.” You need to help this applicant stand out from the other candidates.
Give your contact information
Give a way for the employer to reach you if they have additional questions. Add your email address, phone number, or both at the conclusion of the letter.
Abide by the submission guidelines
Take full information from the person for whom you are writing the letter on how to submit it. Make it certain that you follow any specifications, particularly about where and when to send it and its demanded format (for example, PDF, physical letter, etc.). Be sure to submit it before the deadline.
Begin the letter with a short, enthusiastic, bit of flattery
Let the organization know right off the bat that you trust this person completely. You don’t have to be over the top or dishonest, but a real and optimistic note, to begin with, will make a significant difference.
“It makes me remarkably happy to recommend Johnson for the job of Director of Development at your organization.”
“Any organization should consider themselves fortunate to have an employee as vivacious, generous, and committed as Sharon.”
Give examples to demonstrate their success
To put the candidate’s achievements into viewpoint, include examples so that the receiver will have some reason to understand why you are recommending this person.
- “Michael’s output of finished projects has surpassed the combined effects of all other development work I’ve observed during my 6 years at XYZ Company.”
- “The best students are individuals that genuinely choose to learn. A student that pushes themselves every day to receive more and be more reliable, and savors every minute. Anna is that sort of student.
- “I can say with certainty that my career working with the Student Committee was never more comfortable, nor more pleasant, than during I got to work with Ms. Scarlet.”
Don’t overdo — explain where and how they can grow
Don’t put the applicant on a pedestal. Not only makes it look unbelievable, but it will also establish expectations for them that will be near to impossible to reach. If they have an Achilles’ heel, don’t stretch it, but don’t cover it, either”. Despite appearing in as a novice, Johnson has struggled hard to improve his documentation and discussing on scripts and methods, making it simpler for those filling his shoes in the prospect to work efficiently.”
- “Sharon is always on the move — coaching, attending classes, participating in clubs, etc. — and even though her schedule is reasonably too tightly bound, she somehow handles it all with a smile on her face.”
- “Of course, Ms. Gomez’s confidence and drive infrequently led to butting heads and opposing views. Still, she is never one to turn away from the opposition, Ms. Gomez’s enthusiasm was never mean-spirited or inappropriate.”
Keep your letter action-oriented
Start each paragraph with a punchy, effective confirmation of the candidate’s attributes or personality. Strong verbs are your buddies. Don’t say “Throughout the last few years, I have been gratified to observe the continuous development of Johnson’s skills.” Instead of that write, “Johnson’s skills have developed swiftly in the last couple of years.”
- “Anna displays the energy and commitment of the best students. Her work is clear and compact, a rareness amongst many fresh workers but easy for her.”
- “Ms. Gomez strives for what she considers is right, even if it doesn’t fit with her choices. This clear-eyed and selfless approach will catapult her greatly in life.”
Close the letter positively
Reemphasize your recommendation of the applicant and, if relevant, ask the recipient to communicate with you for additional inquiry. For instance, say, “For all of these judgments, I think Johnson will be an excellent addition to your organization. Should you have any inquiries, I welcome you to talk to me at the number or address, mentioned above.”
- “Anna is the sort of person I would choose to hire to work for me, and I firmly believe she will be an unbelievable asset for your company.”
- “I have no doubts about giving Ms. Gomez the most important recommendation for the job. If you have any inquiries, please feel free to contact me.”
Use a Professional closing and sign your name
Above all, be professional. If you’re writing a physical letter get it printed and sign it by hand. Otherwise, just typing your name will do.
- “Best regards,”
- “Thank you,”
Divide down the letter into brief, but distinct, paragraphs
Don’t ramble, but do flash out your main points. Try to limit it to one page, not missing out on the various aspects of their recommendation in abstract, specific detail.
- Your academic qualifications, your relation with the applicant, general recommendation.
- Why they will be useful, fruitful workers. Examples of accomplishments.
- Why they will be an excellent addition to business and office production.
- Reaffirm your enthusiasm to recommend them, give contact data.
Familiarize yourself with the person you are recommending
Donate some time chatting to them about their aims and the jobs they are applying for. Collect together their current resume, any records or data you may possess on them, and any other knowledge that will help you in writing the letter. The most suitable recommendations are precise and specific, and possessing all the data at hand will make the process much simpler.
Advice: You put your reputation on the stake when you write a recommendation letter. If you think you do not know the person you are recommending well enough, or they are someone you cannot in genuine morals recommend, decline their request politely.
At some point of time in your career, you might need to write a recommendation letter for someone it might be your co-worker, student, or someone you might have known for a long period of time. Writing down a recommendation letter is a great responsibility as the person you are recommending trusted you to write a recommendation for him and the company to whom you are addressing the letter is also trusting your words and may hire the person on the basis of your recommendation. So it is important to actually know the person before recommending him or her. Keep the above-given points in my mind while writing a recommendation to write a fantastic on-point letter of recommendation.