Everyone needs a recommendation letter at some time in their lives. It might be to apply for a job, take advantage of a chance, or even further your career by enrolling in graduate school. So let me show you how to draft a recommendation letter quickly.
We’ll go over some tips for writing a recommendation in the following lines of this post. Don’t assume you’ll never need to know this. As you advance in your profession, you may become a top-ranking official in your field, and you may be required to write and sign a letter endorsing someone’s career choice.
This article has been written to help you learn how to write a recommend letter. Do take out some time to read.
What exactly is a recommendation letter?
A recommendation letter is a formal document that verifies a person’s employment, abilities, or academic performance. You may be asked to write a reference letter for someone seeking a job, an internship, admission to a college or university, a leadership position, or a volunteer opportunity.
The purpose of a recommendation letter is to validate what you’ve learned about the candidate and to provide additional positive information about their performance or habits.
A real recommendation provides the receiver with a personalized account of your app interactions. You should have a good idea of how the candidate behaves and performs at work. Consider the following before accepting a referral request:
- Have you worked with or seen the candidate in the past?
- Do you have any relevant abilities and skills that you can expound on?
- Do you have any concrete samples of the person’s work?
- Can you provide favorable feedback about this person?
Consider whether you can write a high-quality recommendation letter before accepting a request. If you don’t have enough experience or nice anecdotes to provide about the candidate, inform them as soon as possible and politely that you won’t be able to meet their request. This provides them plenty of time to devise a viable alternative.
How to Request a Letter of Recommendation
At some point, you may need to have someone write a recommendation letter for you. If you’re starting a new job, you might want to ask prior supervisors, coworkers, teachers, mentors, clients, or vendors for a letter of recommendation.
They should also be someone with whom you have a solid working relationship and can openly share your skills and abilities.
Whoever you decide to ask, have a conversation with them first to make sure they understand what you’re looking for, and then send a formal email with more details.
You can offer them a copy of this or any other good recommendation letter. It can lighten their load and increase their willingness to comply with your request.
To give them ample time to finish your recommendation letter, make this request at least two weeks before the letter is required. Professors are especially susceptible to this.
What format should I use for my recommendation letter?
The following framework was created to assist you in learning how to write a recommendation letter.
Insert a salutation like “Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. [name]:” if you’re writing to a specific person. If you’re sending a generic letter, just state, “To Whom It May Concern:” instead of a salutation.
In the first paragraph, state the purpose of the letter and how you came to know the person you’re recommending. You might also want to mention how long you’ve known them.
Explain why you believe the person you’re proposing is qualified for the position or program in the second paragraph. Include specific examples of their knowledge and abilities. Use more than one paragraph to describe their qualifications if necessary.
In this section, explain why you are recommending this person. You might say something like “highly urge” or “strongly encourage [name] for [program/role].”
Offer to speak with them again in the final paragraph to provide additional information about the candidate’s skills and talents. If you don’t know who the letter is going to, conclude it with “Yours truly,” or “Yours faithfully” if you don’t know who it’s going to.
Sign the letter as follows:
The bottom of the letter should include your name and title. If you’re printing and mailing the letter, sign it beneath the typed name.
Trusted Tips on How to Write a Recommendation Letter
Here below are some tips to help you be on track while writing your letter of recommendation.
1. Be careful to personalize the template
While a simple template is useful, it is not sufficient. Make sure to provide specific facts to each letter that showcase the candidate’s qualifications. Before you begin, make a broad outline to ensure that you don’t forget any of the important details regarding the candidate’s qualifications.
2. Examine the resume
Examine the candidate’s or student’s résumé to get a thorough idea of the types of experiences they’ve had in previous roles before you begin writing. You’ll be able to write a more complete letter that addresses their traits as well as the specific goals they’re pursuing if you have a good understanding of their background. You could also look for areas where the candidate or student could improve and provide comments to them.
3. Ask for some bullet points
Get a list of bullet points or a few lines that you may refer to to save time and ensure you cover the areas that the candidate believes are most important for the post. They may provide you with a draft of the letter that you can edit and personalize.
4. Make a list of characteristics
As you review the résumé and job description, make a list of qualities and accomplishments that you believe highlight the candidate’s qualifications. You might also ask the candidate to list their most marketable assets for the type of work they want to do, especially ones you saw in their previous role when working with them.
5. Describe yourself
In the initial few lines of a letter, it’s traditional to introduce yourself. Give a brief overview of your position and relationship with the applicant. While it is not needed to mention your past, doing so will help to contextualize the letter and explain why you are qualified to recommend this individual.
6. Use job-related terminology
Request a copy of the job description so you can learn more about the company’s requirements. Examine the job description thoroughly so that you can address the specific requirements of the role. If you’re writing a generic recommendation, you can ask for an example of two positions for which they’re applying so you can write a recommendation that applies to both.
7. Concentrate on one or two characteristics
Choose one or two characteristics that you believe contribute to the candidate’s suitability for the job. Support those claims with specific examples of how the candidate displayed those characteristics.
For example, discuss how they overcame hurdles or faced problems to achieve their goals. You could wish to include two paragraphs for the main body of the letter, one focusing on an accomplishment and the other on the person’s character, such as fortitude, honesty, work ethic, or standards to which they hold themselves.
8. Count the advantages
Try to quantify or grade the candidate’s strengths in comparison to other applicants or coworkers if at all possible. “He was one of the most astute pupils in my classes since I began teaching 17 years ago,” for example. If possible, include measurable achievements that the applicant achieved while working with you. “For example, he was essential in our ability to boost our internet traffic by 25% in six months, resulting in a 10% increase in sales,” says one executive.
9. Talk about their potential
Include in the letter your thoughts on why you believe the candidate would flourish in the role if given the chance. You might want to include the following:
- Capability to work as a member of a team
- ability to work autonomously
- You feel their strengths, abilities, and talents will position them for future success.
10. Show your enthusiasm
Your goal is to make the person stand out among the other candidates for the job or degree program to which they are applying. Express your delight at how capable they are for the job. One simple way to do this is to inform the letter’s recipient that you would be happy to re-hire them inside your own department.
11. Make use of active voice
Use active voice instead of passive voice in your letter of recommendation to make it more compelling. Because active voice uses fewer words to convey action, it clarifies your message for the person reading your letter and makes your sentences shorter.
Put the subject first in the sentence to make passive sentences dynamic. This way, it’s clear who is doing the activity. For example, “the car was hit by the truck” is stated in the passive voice. Because it highlights who is conducting the action first, “The truck hit the car” is written in the active voice.
12. Include your contact information
Provide a way for a potential employer or admissions office to contact you if they require additional information or have questions about the candidate. Mention how excited you are to learn more about the candidate’s qualifications. Your email address or phone number can be included at the bottom of the letter or after your signature.
13. Check for typos
To eliminate typos and grammatical errors, it is necessary to proofread the letter thoroughly. You might even wish to read the message aloud to avoid skipping words and missing potential issues.
14. Use the appropriate format and length
Use a standard typeface and print size for your message, such as Times New Roman 12-point for printed letters or Arial 11-point for internet submissions. If you’re printing, make sure there’s at least a one-inch margin on all sides. Between two-thirds and one full-spaced page should be used.
15. Adhere to the submission guidelines
Inquire with the candidate about the preferred method of submitting the letter. Make sure to follow any specific instructions, such as the required format and the address to which the letter should be delivered. Make sure you’re aware of the approaching deadline.
Template and Sample for writing recommendation letter
Dear [First and Last Name],
It’s my absolute pleasure to recommend [Name] for [position] with [Company]. [Name] and I [relationship] at [Company] for [length of time].
I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with [Name] and came to know [him/her/them] as a truly valuable asset to our team. [He is/She is/They are] honest, dependable, and incredibly hardworking. Beyond that, [he is/she is/they are] an impressive [soft skill] who is able to [result].
[His/her/their] knowledge of [specific subject] and expertise in [specific subject] was a huge advantage to our entire office. [He/she/they] put this skillset to work in order to [specific achievement].
Along with [his/her/their] undeniable talent, [Name] has always been an absolute joy to work with. [He is/she is/they are] a true team player, and always foster[s] positive discussions and bring[s] the best out of other employees.
Without a doubt, I strongly encourage [Name] to join your [Company] team. I am confident that [he/she/they] will be a valuable asset to your organization as a devoted and knowledgeable employee and all-around excellent person.
Please feel free to contact me at xxxx-123-4567 if you want to discuss [Name]’s qualifications and experience further. I’d be happy to expand on my recommendation.
That’s it—a reference letter that’s straight to the point, enthusiastic but professional, and would make any employer want to hire your ward right away.
Keep in mind that this is merely a recommendation letter template. You can certainly make some changes to your own reference letter and inject some originality and individuality into it. In fact, I strongly advise you to do so.
Here’s some advice: don’t forget to compliment others. Negative recommendations are useless, therefore if you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to tell the person no.
And, of course, make sure that each letter or recommendation email you send is personalized. It’s best if you can make it as personalized as possible.