A letter of recommendation can help you as a student or employee who is applying for college, a scholarship program, or a new job opportunity.
Knowing how to write a letter of recommendation is a chance to highlight relevant technical skills and other strength that makes an applicant a good fit for the opportunity they are seeking for.
It is not easy to sit and write a compelling letter of recommendation.
In this article, we will guide you fully on how to write a letter of recommendation with ease, showing you examples, and additionally providing actionable tips that can help you write a strong recommendation letter in no time.
What is a Letter of Recommendation?
A letter or recommendation also called a ‘reference letter’ is written by a supervisor, teacher, or coach about an applicant. It explains a person’s qualifications and talent usually related to work, school, or extracurricular activities.
Here is an example to better explain – a student that is applying for a scholarship, the applicant requires a letter of reference. The student will ask the teacher who knows them well to write a letter of recommendation, and the teacher will write about the student’s academic performance and personality in a recommendation letter for a scholarship.
What are the 5 Elements of a letter of recommendation?
Heading and Address
A well-written and professional letter of recommendation is to be arranged correctly, put the date at the top of the page, and the recipient’s name, job title, and address.
A formal salutation to the person or organization you are addressing the letter to. Next, write a brief statement about yourself, your professional ties to the applicant, and your professional expertise.
Assess the applicant’s qualities based on your personal experience and how they make the applicant a great candidate. Write a personalized narrative that highlights the core qualities of the applicant.
Your conclusion should summarize why the person being recommended is a strong candidate for that specific position.
Your signature should include your name and contact details, such as your phone number and email.
How to write a letter of recommendation like a Pro
The opening or introduction of a letter of recommendation should be eye catchy. It should begin with a salutation and describe how you know the applicant. Highlight your professional title and the individual as well as when and where you interacted with the person.
The body of the letter should entail the skills, qualifications, and vital contributions of the individual you are recommending.
To end a recommendation letter, you will need to write a final note explaining why the individual you are recommending is a great fit for the position, then finish with a professional signature.
How to begin a letter of recommendation
When you are writing a letter of recommendation for students or professionals, the structure of the letter is pretty much the same. The majority of recommendation begins with a salutation to the name or the position of the person to whom you are writing.
After the salutation, you need to include the opening statement which should be one or two sentences long. In this statement, write the name of the person being recommended, your relationship to the person, and why you are qualified to write a letter of recommendation for them. You can also clarify why you are writing the letter in the first place.
How to end a letter of recommendation
A letter of recommendation should end with a closing paragraph that should include a summary of the candidate’s good qualities and a clear statement that you recommend the candidate for the job, scholarship, or educational opportunity they are seeking.
The final line of a recommendation letter is often similar to that of any other professional letter. Leave space for your handwritten signature and write your full name after signing off with a suitable phrase, such as “sincerely” or “kind” regards.
How to write a letter of recommendation – Here are 5 useful tips
A good letter of recommendation can really help a candidate in the application process.
Keep your Assessment positive
Your reference letter should state unambiguously that you believe the person you are writing for is a strong candidate for the opportunity they are seeking, whether it’s a new job or an application to graduate school. Any negative or even neutral comments should be avoided. If you can’t give a positive recommendation, it’s better to say no when you’re asked to write a recommendation letter.
Focus on Vital Qualifications
You should write about two to four positive personality traits like punctuality, a zest for learning, or an innate desire to help others accomplish their tasks.
Write using active voice
Writing a recommendation letter should be done in an active voice instead of a passive voice. In active voice, the subject of the statement executes an action, unlike in passive voice. Active voice makes your letter concise and compelling.
Pay attention to formatting and tone
Writing a letter of recommendation should follow the format rules for a standard business letter. Use a standard font and print size for your letter of recommendation, e.g. Times New Roman 12-point font or Arial 1-point font for an electronically submitted letter.
Follow the submission guidelines
Ask the candidate about their preferred method of submitting the letter. Also follow any specific requested instructions, like whether to submit the letter through an online portal or mail it to a specific address. Submit the letter before the deadline.
Letter of recommendation – Examples to help – you write a strong letter of recommendation
A letter of recommendation from a previous employer or manager can boost an application. If you are asked to write a letter of recommendation, it’s critical to devote the time and effort necessary to craft a powerful letter of recommendation that will help the applicant.
Here are two examples of recommendation letters in PDF Files – Download Now
Can I write a recommendation letter for myself?
No! You can’t write a recommendation letter by yourself, but your recommendation letter writer may ask you to write a draft yourself. This way the letter writer knows what leadership skills, technical skills, professional achievements, and academic achievements are important to include in the final letter. The final letter must come from your recommender, and you can’t edit a recommendation letter after your recommender finishes writing.
What can I do if my recommender hasn’t finished the reference letter?
If your recommender hasn’t finished their reference letter, send a reminder to your recommender along with information about the submission deadline. To avoid this awkward situation, make sure you give your letter writer plenty of time to write the letter. You should ask for a recommendation at least two weeks before the application deadline, but three weeks to a month is best.