Letter of Recommendation Examples, Template and Tips

Filed in Articles, Career Guide by on March 28, 2022

– Letter of Recommendation Format –

Letter of recommendation format shares a common affinity with other of types business letters that have to do with the marketing of someone’s image and personality.

Letter of Recommendation Format

When writing a letter of recommendation, it’s best if it’s for someone you think deserves praise, so all you have to do is write out your positive impressions of the candidate.

However, the process isn’t always as simple as it appears. Writing a fantastic recommendation letter might be difficult.

Thus in this content, we shall discuss extensively the letter of recommendation format, and expose you to samples of letters of recommendation.


Letter of Recommendation Format

As a formal document that validates someone’s work, skills, or academic performance, there is a unique format that a letter of recommendation takes.

However, your letter of recommendation should include five items:

1. A Brief Introduction

A good letter of recommendation must contain an introduction that states who you are, your relationship with the applicant, and your personal experience or expertise.

2. An Overview

This part of a recommendation letter presents the applicant’s strengths as the writer has experienced them and as they relate to the recipient.

3. A Personal Story

This section of the recommendation letter elaborates on one to two traits the applicant possesses.

4. A Closing Statement

This simply means a statement that summarizes why the individual you are recommending would be a good fit for the opportunity.

5. A Signature

 This is a section that contains the writer’s signature, name, phone number,  and contact information. If the candidate hasn’t sent you an updated résumé or job description, request that they do so so you can make the recommendation with confidence.

You can learn everything you need to know about them by looking at their résumé. To understand what the company is looking for in a candidate, go over the job description.

Make a list of what you should include from their resume and your personal experiences working with them based on the description.

Things to Consider Before Accepting a Request for Recommendation

An honest recommendation provides the recipient with a personalized account of your experiences with the applicant.

You should have at least some knowledge of how the candidate acts and performs in a work environment.

Consider the following before you accept a request for a recommendation:

‣ Have you worked with or directly observed the applicant?

‣ Do you know relevant strengths and skills you can personally elaborate on?

‣ Do you have specific examples of the individual’s work?

‣ Can you provide positive feedback about this individual?

It’s important to consider whether or not you can provide a quality recommendation letter before accepting a request.

If you do not have enough experience with or positive stories to tell about the applicant, let them know quickly and respectfully that you are unable to meet the request.

How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter

You may need to ask someone to write a recommendation letter for you at some point. Consider requesting a letter of recommendation from previous bosses, coworkers, professors, mentors, clients, or vendors.

They should also be someone with whom you’ve had a good working connection and who can thoughtfully discuss your abilities and capabilities.

Whoever you decide to ask, speak with them first about your request, then send a formal email with more details. Include your resume, the job description, submission details, and a requested deadline.


Tips for Writing a Recommendation Letter

To write a good recommendation letter, there are tips that you should master, and adhere to. These tips include the following:

1. Keep it Positive

Your letter should confirm that you believe the person is a strong candidate for the job with no reservations. Avoid any comments that might suggest otherwise.

2. Use a Standard Business Letter Format and Tone 

You can use the template below or a standard business letter format to write your letter. Your tone should also remain formal and polite.

3. Focus on the Most Important Qualifications

For the highest impact, discuss two or three of the candidate’s achievements that are most relevant to the job description and provide specific examples to illustrate their fitness for the role.

5. Follow the Request Instructions

Ask the candidate how you should submit your letter. Strictly follow the instructions and deadline requests to avoid negatively affecting their application status.

Letter of Recommendation Template

Whether you are writing a letter of recommendation for students or working professionals, your letter should have a similar structure.

You should include a brief introduction, the applicant’s background and experience, a personal story, and a closing statement.

Download our free template of a recommendation letter you can send, or use the following recommendation letter template as inspiration when drafting your own:

Elaine Chang
Office Manager
CBI Industries
123 Business Street
Anytown, CA 12345
[email protected]

March 22, 2022

Jessica Smith
Office Manager
Acme Corp
680 Main Boulevard, Ste. 300
Ocean City, CA 93650

Dear Ms. Smith,

I’m writing to recommend Mary Thompson for the position of administrative assistant at Acme Corp.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mary for the past few years at CBI Industries, and have been consistently impressed with her diligence, efficiency, and ability to get things done.

Most recently, Mary has worked for me directly as a receptionist in our main office.

In this role, she performed many administrative tasks in addition to greeting customers and other visitors and organizing team events.

For example, she currently manages our executive team’s schedules and organizes their appointments, as well as coordinating travel and expense reporting. 

I believe that Mary would be an excellent addition to your administrative staff. I’ve been consistently impressed with her organizational skills and grace under pressure.

In our industry, as you know, every position is a customer service position. Mary constantly seeks to learn more about our products and programs so that she can help serve our clients and mitigate issues as they come up.

She’s also a quick learner who picks up new technology with great speed.

I strongly recommend Mary for the position of administrative assistant at your company.

She’s organized, detail-oriented, effective, and committed to getting the job done. She’d make an excellent addition to your team.

Please feel free to contact me at 555-555-5555 if you have any questions.


Signature (hard copy letter)

Elaine Chang

Letter of Recommendation Example

There are many formats recommendation letters can have. Here’s a specific example of what a completed letter may look like for a job applicant using the above framework:

To Whom It May Concern,

It is my pleasure to strongly recommend Annie Chiu for a position as a data analyst for L&Q International.

I am Robert Cunningham, a regional manager at Mountain View Unlimited. I have 15 years of experience working as a statistician and client services specialist and have seen many young professionals come and go.

Annie Chiu is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.

During our time together, Annie displayed great talents in technical applications, such as ArcGIS, R coding, Python, and several other data visualization tools.

When we first met, I was immediately impressed with Annie and the technical skills she had on day one, but during the time worked together, her understanding of data analysis and the tools of the trade grew far more than that of her peers.

My first experience with Annie’s adaptability came not long after she was hired. Last year, we had one client who sent data in Excel that needed extensive cleanup.

At that time, Annie’s experience with Excel was limited, but she worked extra hours to learn how to properly clean up data in Excel through the use of functions.

Within the week, the client’s data was properly formatted so that it could be effectively analyzed and visualized. Annie even handled the data visualization with skill and the client had nothing but praise for the end result.

It’s not just her technical skills that impress me, however. Annie was a joy to work with because of her amazingly positive attitude and eagerness to stick tightly to deadlines.

Her can-do attitude and team-building skills were also necessary and valued not just by myself, but by her peers, who often relied on her to get the job done.

I am absolutely confident that Annie would be a great fit for L&Q International.

Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, but she will also quickly become an asset and help L&Q International grow in any way she can.

If you need more information or specific examples, please do not hesitate to contact me at 555-123-4567, or by email at [email protected]. As a recommendation letter likely only provides a snapshot of her talents and achievements, I would be happy to further elaborate on my time working with her.

Robert Cunningham
Regional Manager
Mountain View Unlimited.

Conclusion on Recommendation Letter Format

Customizing a generic recommendation letter to fit these scenarios could help you better support the applicant’s professional progress. 

Nonetheless, feel free to study our samples, and templates, but we do not suggest you plagiarise them.


Frequently Asked Questions on Recommendation Letter Format

People have asked so many questions about recommendation letters. Here, we have reproduced some of the questions and also supplied the answers too.

Are students allowed to read their letters of recommendation?

In the United States, graduate school applicants must designate in writing whether they want to be allowed to see each of their recommendation letters.
Whether or not the applicant will have access to the letter is known in advance by the recommendation writer.
Graduate admissions committees often consider letters to which the applicant has access to be less frank and trustworthy than those to which the applicant has waived the right to see.

What are the best samples for recommendation letters?

Whether you are writing a letter of recommendation for students or working professionals, your letter should have a similar structure.
You should include a brief introduction, the applicant’s background and experience, a personal story, and a closing statement.

What is the format for a reference letter?

When writing a reference letter referring a candidate for a particular job opening, the letter should include information on how the person’s skills match the position they are applying for.
Ask for a copy of the job posting and the person’s resume so you can target your reference letter.

We believe the above piece of information was useful. Please, kindly share this content on all the social media platforms available. We appreciate your readership.

CSN Team.

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