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15 Proven Tips on Writing a Recommendation Letter

A letter of recommendation is a document someone asks you to write for them for applying for a job, internship, college application, or volunteer opportunity.

If someone wants you to write a recommendation letter for employment or an academic program, you may be struggling to know what details to provide in the letter.

This article covers all information and proven tips you need to write a perfect recommendation letter; let’s get to them:



What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A recommendation letter is a document someone asks you to write for applying for a job, college application, leadership position, or volunteer jobs.

A recommendation letter aims to validate what the employer has learned about the applying person and provide additional flattering details about their habits or performance.

An honest letter of recommendation provides the recipient with a personalized account of your information about the applicant. So you should have some knowledge of how the candidate acts and performs in a work environment.

Students or potential employees usually ask for recommendation letters. We write these letters directly to the hiring manager or admissions department, depending on the purpose behind the letter.

Before accepting a request for a recommendation, consider these:

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

It’s important to consider whether you can provide a satisfactory letter of recommendation before accepting a request to write it. Maybe you do not have enough experience with the applicant, so let them know that you cannot meet the demand. This way, they have lots of time to find another solution.

People, job, career and recruitment concept. Elegant 50 year old female human resources specialist sitting at desk and writing down information in copybook while interviewing male candidateHow to Ask for a Recommendation Letter

On the other hand, you may need to ask someone to write a letter of recommendation for you. Consider asking teachers, former managers, or vendors for a recommendation letter.

They should be someone you’ve had a positive working relationship with who can thoughtfully discuss your abilities.

Speak with the person about your request, then send a formal email with more information. Include your resume and the job description. This action can help lessen their workload and make them more likely to agree to your request.

Recommendation Letter Format

Your recommendation letter should include five items:

  • A brief introduction states who you are, your relationship to the applicant, and your expertise and experience;
  • An overview of the applicant’s strengths according to your experiences with them;
  • A kind of personal story that elaborates on one to two traits the applicant has;
  • A closing statement summarizes why the individual you are recommending would be a good fit for the opportunity;
  • And, of course, a signature that includes your contact information.

If the candidate hasn’t provided you with a job description and up-to-date resume, ask them to send those so that you are prepared to write the recommendation letter. You also can use their resume to get a better understanding of their achievements and past experiences.

It’s nice to review the job description to understand what the employer is looking for in candidates. Use the report to decide what you should include from your personal experiences working with them and their resume.

Here is recommendation letter sample.

Pensive bearded man in turtleneck holds textbooks and diary, looks aside on small colorful sticky notes, stands against blue background, thinks about good ideas, holds chin, poses in office.Tips on Writing a Letter of Recommendation

Here are 15 tips you can use to guide you through the process of writing a letter of recommendation.


  1. For each recommendation, create a new letter

It’s helpful to have a basic template, but you should customize each letter with specific details highlighting the applicant’s qualifications.

Before Beginning, sketch a general outline to make sure you don’t miss any critical points to include the candidate’s qualifications.


  1. Review the resume 

Before writing, review the candidate’s resume to get an overview of their experiences in past jobs.

Having a full understanding of their professional background can help you write a more thorough recommendation letter that addresses their goals and strengths.


  1. Request bullet points

To save time and ensure you touch on the candidates’ issues that are most crucial for the position, suggest that they offer you a list of bullet points or a few paragraphs for referring. They might give you a draft, which you can revise in your words.


  1. Have a list of qualities

As you review the job description and the resume, compile a list of qualities and accomplishments, you believe they highlight the applicant’s qualifications. You could ask them to share their most marketable assets for the work they want to do, especially ones you may have observed in their position while working with you.


  1. Don’t forget to introduce yourself

It’s a good idea to introduce yourself in the first few lines of the letter. Give one or two sentences explaining your position and your relationship to the applicant. While it’s not essential to go into depth with your background, this will explain why you are in an excellent position to recommend this candidate.


  1. Include language from the job description

It would help to ask for a copy of the job description to read what the employer is looking for in candidates. Review the job description so you can address the specific requirements for the position. If you’re writing a general recommendation, you can ask them to tell you about three jobs for which they are applying. Using them, you can provide a broader proposal.


  1. Focus on one or two specific qualities

Choose one or two traits that you know make the person a great candidate for the position. Support those sentences with particular instances in which the candidate displayed those qualities. For example, talk about the obstacles they overcame to reach their goals. You may want to include several sentences or two paragraphs for the main body of the letter and concentrate on one achievement and the other on the person’s character with things like grit, work ethic, integrity, or standards to which they hold themselves.


  1. Quantify the strengths

Quantify the candidate’s strengths or rank them against other team members or colleagues. For example, “He has the best analytical skills of any person I’ve worked with during my ten years at the company.”

If you can, include results that the applicant achieved while working with your team. For instance, “She was integral in our ability to increase our traffic 15% over three months, which resulted in a 20% increase in sales.”


  1. Write about their skills and potentials

Provide in the letter why you believe the candidate would excel in this job. Some points you should include in the letter:

  • Their ability to work as part of any team,
  • Their ability to work independently,
  • And their strengths and talents you believe will position them for success.


  1. Be enthusiastic in the letter

You aim to help this person stand out from the other applicants for the job they are applying for. Show your enthusiasm for how ideal you believe they would be for the job. One way to do this is to tell the recipient of the letter that you would gladly re-employ them again within your team.


  1. Use active voice in your sentences

Write with active voice instead of passive voice for a more powerful letter of recommendation. Active voice makes your letter clearer and keeps your sentences more concise. To change passive sentences to active ones, you should put the subject first in the sentence; This way, it’s clear who’s acting. For example, “The bike was hit by the car” is in the passive voice. “The car hit the bike” is in an active form.


  1. Include your contact information

Provide a way for the potential employer to contact you for further information or any questions about the applicant. Include eagerness to share additional insight into their qualifications. You can include your email or phone number in the letter’s conclusion or place it after the signature.


  1. Proofread the letter

It’s essential to take the time to proofread the letter thoroughly to avoid typos and grammatical or syntax errors. It would help read the letter aloud, so your eyes don’t skim over words and overlook possible mistakes.


  1. Use the right format and length

Write your letter using the standard print size and proper font, often New Roman 12-point font for printed letters or Arial 11-point font for letters submitted online.

If you print, check to ensure the margin is about one-inch wide. The length needs to be between two-thirds and one full-single-spaced page.


  1. Follow the submission guidelines

Ask the applicant how they want the letter submitted. Make sure to follow any specific requirements, such as the requested format. Make sure you are aware of the critical information, especially the upcoming deadline.


Suppose you want to be a candidate for a position in the academic or professional field. In that case, you need a recommendation letter, among other documents, to provide additional flattering details about your performance.

This article discussed the recommendation letter thoroughly and offered you 15 proven tips on writing a persuasive letter of recommendation. If you need to write a letter, have these tips in mind to get great results.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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