How To Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation (With 2021 Relevant Examples)

A Letter of Recommendation also known as LoR is a type of letter which is written by someone who can recommend another individual’s work or academic performance. These type of letters are basically sent to a hiring manager to another company or it is also sent to admissions officers who are deciding to admit the candidate.

What actually is a Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation basically describes an individual’s qualifications, additional skills that he or she has as they relate to employment or education. These letters are written from previous employers, teachers, professionals, clients, or managers. The letter says or discusses the qualities and the capabilities that the candidate has and he is good for a certain position in any firm, organisation, institution or any other working place.

How Does A Letter Of Recommendation Works?

Applicants or the employees working in an organisation or a firm under any program typically request a letter of recommendations from their qualified heads or individuals who then send them to the hiring personnel for further procedures. The recommenders may offer you the opportunity to review the letter before they send it to higher authorities. This process might sound simple but it takes time to go with such procedures and you should have the qualities and capabilities for the recommended work.

How To Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation In The Right Or Proper Manner?

While in a recruitment process, it is normal that many employers will request a letter of recommendation or a reference letter usually before or after an interview. Having an outstanding letter of recommendation is a way to stand out from your competition. But, yes asking for a reference or letter of recommendation is not as easy as it sounds. Now, when you are requesting a letter of recommendation, there are few steps that one can take to make the whole process very efficient and some of them are mentioned below:

  1. Create your own list of at least 5-15 individuals that are best suited to write your letter of recommendation or your reference letter- First things first, you should consider which highly qualified individual is best suited to write your letter of recommendation or a reference letter. If the letter of recommendation is related to academic purposes then it would be better to seek out counsellors or qualified professors for such a field who can speak your academic skills well.
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For better results avoid selecting members from your family or friends for such a task. Employers tend to see such type of recommendations is heavily biased or subjective which would interest them less.

  • Make direct contact with each individual about your reason for the letter of recommendation- The letter of recommendation should be formal when it is finally written but, prior to that you should speak to each shortlisted individual beforehand so that everything goes well. Having a conversation with the individuals will provide you with the opportunity to update them on your latest achievements or what you have accomplished lately or what project you are working upon. The most important thing, during the conversation you should provide all the relevant context for the recommendation including what it is for, an overview of information should also be included.
  • You may send a thank you letter to each individual who wrote a recommendation on your behalf- Once the letters of recommendations have been completed from all the shortlisted individuals, you must send thank you notes to each of them who wrote a letter for you. Sending your personal appreciation is quite a common courtesy and it also lets your recommenders know that you are well-appreciated and thankful for their kind gesture.

Tips To Ask For A Letter Of Reference/Recommendation

When we talk about career planning or academics you get or have to write a lot of letters or any kind of written documents. We know how important is a letter of recommendations when you are planning for a good future ahead career-wise, school-wise or even for scholarships. A strong and precise written letter of recommendation can mean a lot for your forthcoming future. But, there are many things that the writer needs to keep in mind before writing one of the reference letters. Below I have enclosed some of the tips for asking someone to write a letter of recommendation for you.

  • Plan before doing- To get a good answer from your recommenders you need to ask the letters before the mentioned deadline. It will be much worse to keep an expectation that the qualified member will have time to explain every minor detail about your daily workings. The best way is that you should give lots of advance warning to the individual who is writing your letter of reference.
  • Ask the work in a polite manner- Approach your qualified member, it will be much better if you are practically there and explain to him/her why the letter is important to you, you should explain what and why you are applying what is the motive behind it. Also, the most significant thing here is that ask the individual if he or she is willing to write such a letter for you or not.
  • You may ask how exactly is the letter of reference going to be- You will know that the letter will be very strong and to the point as per your interest. But, many a time there are some situations where the person who is writing a letter of recommendations for you do not know you for much time. So, in such a case you have the full right to ask politely of the individual how he or she is going to write a letter or what are the things that he or she is going to include.
  • Relevant or significant points should be mentioned- To get a proper and well-written letter all the points that you need in your letter of reference should reveal it to the writer. It will be much easier for the qualified person if you write those points in a paper, email it so that he or she does not forget the important points to mention while writing.
  • Do not forget to appreciate and thank- Of course, the person who has put a little interest in writing a letter of recommendation for you will put some of his or her efforts while writing a perfect letter. You may send a gift, thank-you letter, appreciation letter to the person to make him or her feel more attracted towards her work of writing your letter of recommendation.  
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Example Of A Letter Of Recommendation

Here is a simple example of a Letter of Recommendation:

Lisa Donatelli

Professor Hope For The Children Foundation

Ajeenkya Himali University

420 Baker Street

Hoboken, California 07040

Contact number

September 29, 2021

To Whom This May Concern:

Our professor, Will Smith has asked me to write a letter of recommendation on his behalf. Since joining our university just as a junior professor in 2007, Will has been my partner also he was the closest one to me. Just within four years of his hiring in the university, higher authorities in the university thought of promoting him to a senior professor and were tasked to teach some professionals on other field. Additionally, not only professionals he had to deal with other interns on the same.  

Will joined the university just after completing his PhD. He tackled with a lot of situations initially when he was hired but we saw a smooth in his work and dedication throughout. Additionally, he has a great mentality always cool-minded even to the roughest of the situations.

His enthusiasm and hard-work for his work and his excellent soft and communication skills made him an total asset to the university. Having all the additional soft skills, knowledge, communication skills, leadership qualities Jenny exceeded his personal goals for every quarter and also he took out time to help his juniors and peers with some difficulties that they faced. He is very competent and well organised, and with a positive attitude and high sense of humour made him quite popular among the other professors and colleagues as well in the university.

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I personally believe that Will has an ample amount of potential and would be an outstanding addition to any firm he goes to. I am pretty sure that we will have no reservations about hiring him again and am very confident in recommending Will for employment at your university. If you have any questions or would like to contact me, my phone number and email ID will be listed above. Please feel free to ask any questions I am always available online.

Sincerely,

Lisa Donatelli

Conclusion

Asking someone unknown to write a letter for your bright future sometimes can be very difficult. Once you go through all the points mentioned above that difficulty might decrease a little and help you achieve what you are willing to. Overall, if you found the article helpful please do share with your friends and family who is willing for a letter of recommendation, comment below and leave your precious feedback.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1983.tb01441.x
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1553-2712.1999.tb00117.x