A letter of recommendation is a formal letter written by a person in a higher position who can recommend an individual’s work or academic performance. This letter is also known as a letter of reference. It is like a document that consists of qualities, capabilities, and characteristics described by the letter about an individual who has worked for him or under him.
You can also define it as a certification of your qualifications academically as assessed by the employer or the mentor.
The tone of the letter is positive as it shows strengths of an individual being recommended to someone else. These letters are typically related to an individual’s employment. Who can write a letter of recommendation?
- An employer
- A client
- A mentor or a coach
- A teacher
- A professional business connection
- A colleague
When you write a letter of reference or recommendation for someone, you are contributing a big time in their future in some other organization or as they work with someone else. In the world of globalization, competition is increasing day by day, this is why when you write a letter of recommendation for someone, you are increasing their chance of being hired or being considered for what so ever position they applied for. Hence you have to extra responsible when you write one. This article will act as a guide to writing a letter of recommendation and it will also suggest to you some points to remember while writing is followed by some examples.
Points To Keep In Mind Before Writing a Letter of Recommendation
Here are some key ideas that would help you write a better letter of recommendation.
Stick to the purpose
The whole purpose of writing the letter is to state who you recommending and what you are recommending them for. So, your letter should meet its purpose.
Always use a simple structure of the letter
We will discuss the format of the letter later in this article. Avoid too much detailing and exaggerating in your letter. Make sure your tone remains formal and polite in the entire business letter.
Your letter should not exceed more than one page.
Contact details of the company
It would be great if you have access to the contact details for who the letter should be addressed to.
Go through the resume
Before writing the letter, we would suggest you go through the resume for the person you are writing the letter for as the resume contains some useful information about the person’s skills and experiences. This will help you to better highlight their skills in the letter. You could also get some knowledge about their academic background through the resume.
Keep it simple but attractive
The letter should not look like some essay you wrote about a person. It should have some bulleted points, some changed in paragraphs, some bold and underlined texts to highlight some qualities, etc. Use standard fonts style and sizes.
Always describe the candidate’s potential
Other than the job the employee did for you, mention their potential that is what else do you think they are capable of, their abilities and skills that you think they possess to do their future job.
Pick the key strengths
The letter of recommendation should be focused on one or two major qualities that your candidate assesses. Choose the key strength wisely as the basis of those qualities depends on a candidate’s selection.
Remember to talk numbers
In your letter, give suitable examples of the person’s achievements in numbers in order to quantify their strengths. This will help in determining the work efficiency of the candidate.
Steps To Write a Letter of Recommendation
Before we take a look at the format, keep in mind that we are following a formal letter format to keep the letter professional.
1. Start with Date Salutation
Start by mentioning the date and follow it by introducing yourself from the top left corner, followed by your company name and your position and address. Now if you know the name of the company or the person that the candidate is going to work for, mention his/her name by using Ms, Mr. or Mrs. In the absence of this information, you can replace the salutation by writing, “To Whomsoever it may Concern.”
You can choose not to include the salutation, in the absence of the contact details.
We suggest you to start it with a heading using the recipient’s Name.
2. Opening Paragraph
In the first line, you should introduce yourself and you should define your relationship with the person you’re writing the letter about. Let’s say, if you are their coach, introduce yourself as one. Explain how you worked together.
The opening line of your letter of information could be started with a brief introductory line praising the candidate. You can also explain your personal experience of working with them. The hiring employer will read this line and you will get this attention. The opening line should show that you are enthusiastic to recommend a potential candidate for their company.
Examples of such line could be:
“I am happy to recommended one of my best interns XYZ to work for you.”
“I am extremely excited to refer extremely hard-working candidate X for the opportunity to work as an employee for you.”
“It is my pleasure to strongly recommend my student XYZ for a position as a Manager for your company ABC.”
3. The Following Paragraph
This paragraph should include how the candidate worked for you and benefitted your business. You have to evaluate the individual and your experience with them in this paragraph. Describe qualities and skills that the candidate has, that would benefit their company. Talk about the capabilities that the person is bringing to their organization. This part should contain a personal story or experience.
This paragraph is the body of your letter, include the person’s areas of knowledge, qualities, capabilities, and skills, Quantify the individual’s contribution to the organization because when an employer sees numbers and figures he automatically gets impressed by the person’s work. For example: “Sherley was the head of the finance department and her work has benefited us by giving us 35% profit last year.”
Mention the candidate’s accomplishments where the value was added to your organization and also describe the potential you see in that candidate that will add value to their organization.
To write this paragraph, you can even ask your candidate if they need any specific add-ons or qualities, you missed that they would like you to include and highlight in this letter as the sole purpose of writing this letter is for their benefit.
4. The Final Paragraph
In the concluding paragraph, you can describe how your candidate stood out from the rest of the candidates and what qualities he had that rest of your employees lacked. This will create a lasting impression on the employer. For example: “Out of all my employees, he had always been the creative one. He focused on managing the work effectively and efficiently.”
Or you can also add sentences like, “He takes initiative in suggesting what’s better for the company, he works for the company’s betterment which one of his commendable qualities. He is a good fit for the job”
5. Closing line
The Closing line should include your details like a contact number or email. Include a professional closing word like Regards, Sincerely, Thank you.
End your letter with your signature and designation.
At last, always proofread your letter to avoid common spelling or grammatical mistakes. Ensure your letter is a perfect fit to send it to a professional hand, make sure your letter makes sense to the reader, and keep your letter brief.
Example of Letter of Recommendation
Letter of Recommendation
Mr. Anil Garg
XYZ pt. Ltd.
123, Race course road, Bhopal
To whomsoever it may concern,
I am extremely delighted to recommend Mrs. Sudha Jain for the opportunity to work with you as a Marketing Manager. I have worked with and known her for the past 2 years, during which she worked as a general manager and I was her Departmental Head.
From the very beginning of her work, Sudha has been a very creative employee. She is efficient, effective, and has all the knowledge of what she is doing. She is a fast learner, so she did not even get beginner’s block when she started working. She worked on a marketing campaign last year and got successful in generating 45% profits out of the new product that we introduced in the market.
Sudha also comes up with any new suggestions that she has in her mind about the organization. She also had been appointed project head 3 times in a row as shown her skills of leadership.
I recommend Mrs. Sudha without reservation. I hope she will do wonders for your company.
If you need more information, you can contact me at 8312456799.
Note a point that you never make a false letter of recommendation as it can turn out to be very misleading for both the company the candidate is going to work for and the candidate, in case he fails to meet the company’s expectations generated through the letter you wrote. Comment below what you think about this article and share.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article!
I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️
Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
I am a full-time professional blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I love anything related to the Web, and I try to learn new technologies every day.
All the team management, content creation, and monetization tasks are handled by me. Together with the team at PrepMyCareer, the aim is to provide useful and engaging content to our readers.