How to Write A Recommendation Letter [Sample Template]

Maybe you have been asked to write a  recommendation letter for someone, either for a job, college or scholarship. In this guide, we’ll show you how to write a letter of recommendation that gains wide acceptability. A recommendation letter is always written during an application process.

A letter of recommendation or letter of reference can be written by teachers, neighbors, business acquaintances, clients, vendors, and other recommenders who can attest to an applicant’s skills and abilities.

How to Write A Recommendation Letter

When writing a recommendation letter, you need to tailor it both to the person being recommended and the position or responsibilities involved. It should contain information on how you know the person, and why you’re recommending the person.

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation or recommendation letter is an official letter you may be asked to write for someone who is applying for a job, internship, college application, leadership position or volunteer opportunity.

The purpose of a recommendation letter is to get information about the person and to validate what the employer has learned about the applicant. Before saying yes to a recommendation letter, you should at least have some knowledge about the applicant.

Things to Consider Before Writing A Recommendation Letter

A recommendation letter needs an honest assessment of the applicant. Consider the following before you accept a request for a letter of recommendation.

  • Have you worked with or directly observed the applicant?
  • Do you know relevant strengths and skills you can personally elaborate on?
  • Do you have specific examples of the individual’s work?
  • Can you provide positive feedback about this individual?

Before accepting a recommendation letter request, it’s important to know whether or not you can provide a quality recommendation. If you do not have a positive review of the person’s character, you can tell them to go.

How to Write A Recommendation Letter

There are some things that you need to include in a recommendation letter. You need to explain how you know the person for whom you are writing. You also need to reference your job title and the individual’s job title at the time of writing, as wee as the nature of your relationship, including whether you supervised the person you’re recommending or not. A typical letter of recommendation should include the length of time you’ve known the person.

The Body of the Letter

The body of your letter should reference the skills, qualities, areas of knowledge, and other assets of the person you are recommending. Start by making a list of the strengths which you would like to convey in your recommendation.

Then compose sentences that show proof of your assertions — this will make your letter more credible. Provide specific examples of instances where you observed the candidate using skills they are highlighting to the hiring manager.

This might consist of a project or role where they successfully applied a certain skill. Citing accomplishments where value was added to your organization and describing the strengths which enabled the person to generate those results can be particularly compelling.

Letter Closing

In your closing statement, it can be very effective to mention that you would hire the person again. Or, mention your belief that the person would be an outstanding addition to the company.

Share Your Contact Information

As part of your close, you can also share a telephone number and email address with a mention of your eagerness to share additional perspective on the candidate. That way, potential employers can easily get in touch if they have any follow-up questions.

Letter of Recommendation Template

Whether you are writing a letter of recommendation for students or working professionals, your letter should have a similar structure. You can use the following recommendation letter template as inspiration when drafting your own.

To Whom it May Concern:

It is my pleasure to strongly recommend [Applicant Name] for [Position With Company or Acceptance to Institution].

I am [Your Name], a [Your Position] at [Your Institution or Company]. I have [Number] years of experience working in [Your Industry or Academic Focus], and have seen many young professionals come and go. [Applicant Name] is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.

During our time together, [Applicant Name] displayed great talents in [Skill, Trait, Experience, Class, etc.]. When we first met, I was immediately impressed with [Applicant’s Name], but during the time worked together, her understanding of [Key Topic] grew far more than that of her peers.

[Insert Personal Story Elaborating on Key Skills, Trait, Experience].

It’s not just her technical skills that impress me, however. [Applicant Name] was a joy to work with because of her amazingly positive attitude and [Positive Trait]. Her [Positive Trait] and [Positive Trait] were also necessary and valued not just by myself, but by her peers, who often relied on her to get the job done.

I am absolutely confident that [Applicant Name] would be a great fit for your [Institution/Company]. Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, but she will also quickly become an asset and help your [Institution/Company] grow in any way she can.

If you need more information or specific examples, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Contact Information]. As a recommendation letter likely only provides a snapshot of her talents and achievements, I would be happy to further elaborate on my time working with her.

Sincerely,

[Your Signature, Name, Company, and Title]

Recommendation Letter Sample

Below is a sample of a perfect recommendation letter:

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To Whom it May Concern:

It is my pleasure to strongly recommend Annie Kwame for a position as a Data Analyst for L&Q International.

I am Robert Cunningham, a Regional Manager at Mountain View Unlimited. I have 15 years of experience working as a statistician and client services specialist and have seen many young professionals come and go. Annie Kwame is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.

During our time together, Annie displayed great talents in technical applications, such as ArcGIS, R coding, Python, and several other data visualization tools. When we first met, I was immediately impressed with Annie and the technical skills she had on day one, but during the time worked together, her understanding of data analysis and the tools of the trade grew far more than that of her peers.

My first experience with Annie’s adaptability came not long after she was hired. Last year, we had one client who sent data in Excel that needed extensive cleanup. At that time, Annie’s experience with Excel was limited, but she worked extra hours to learn how to properly clean up data in Excel through the use of functions. Within the week, the client’ data was properly formatted so that it could be effectively analyzed and visualized. Annie even handled the data visualization with skill and the client had nothing but praise for the end result.

It’s not just her technical skills that impress me, however. Annie was a joy to work with because of her amazingly positive attitude and eagerness to stick tightly to deadlines. Her can-do attitude and team building skills were also necessary and valued not just by myself, but by her peers, who often relied on her to get the job done.

I am absolutely confident that Annie would be a great fit for your L&Q International. Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, she will quickly become an asset and help your L&Q International grow in any way she can.

If you need more information or specific examples, please do not hesitate to contact me at 555-123-4567, or by email at [email protected] As a recommendation letter likely only provides a snapshot of her talents and achievements, I would be happy to further elaborate on my time working with her.

Sincerely,

Robert Cunningham
Regional Manager
Mountain View Unlimited

How to Send a Letter of Recommendation

Depending on the employer or institution, you may be asked to send the letter either directly to the person or via email. If you’re sending via email, attach a copy of your letter to the email message as a Microsoft Word document or PDF. Most employer or institution will signify how the recommendation letter should be sent and who it should be sent to.

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