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100 Ways to Write a Letter of Recommendation with Sample Proof.
Write a Letter of Recommendation – As a professional lecturer or college professor in any higher institution with several years of expertise experience. A conical question can be thrown by either a student or stranger about tips on how to write a recommendation letters for either school admission, employment or scholarship offer.
However, recommendations are highly important for students and job applicants who need a third-party account of their attributes and qualifications. If you’ve been asked to provide a letter of recommendation, there are a few steps you can follow to help others find success.
First and foremost, find out;
What Letter of Recommendation Means?
Indeed.com defines Letter of Recommendation has a document you may be asked to prepare for someone who is applying for a job, internship, college application, leadership position or volunteer opportunity. The purpose of a recommendation letter is to validate what the employer has learned about the applicant and get answers to outstanding questions about their performance or habits.
Letter of Recommendation | An honest recommendation provides the recipient with a personalized account of your experiences with the applicant. You should, therefore, 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?
Read about: How to Write a Civil Engineering Project Report.
It’s important that 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. This way they have plenty of time to find an alternative solution.
3 Types of People that Need Letter of Recommendation
Below we’ve outlined all the various types of people and reasons a person might require one, as well as who to ask for one.
1. Students Applying for University, Grad School, or Scholarships
Almost all Universities and scholarship programs require at least two recommendation letters as part of the application process. These reference letters should ideally be written by previous teachers or professors who are familiar with your academic achievements and abilities.
Students need references because admissions officers and scholarship organizations want to get a better understanding of who they are as a person. Recommendation letters help to shed light on the “full-package” that is difficult to fully convey in a resume and personal essay.
2. People Applying for Jobs That Require Strong References
For most job applications, a well-written resume and cover letter are more than sufficient. However, certain industries or companies may require a letter of recommendation in addition to these basic essentials. Teachers and physician assistants are two such examples of jobs that often need a written reference as part of the application.
Generally speaking, the most convincing reference letters will be those written by a supervisor. In cases where this is impossible (or undesirable), a recommendation from a coworker who is intimately familiar with your work is also acceptable.
3. People Who Want to Beef Up Their Job Application
If you feel as though your resume and cover letter aren’t particularly strong, a letter of recommendation can help you land a job when it otherwise might be impossible.
This usually occurs when you have little or no work experience. In situations like these, a character reference from a friend, teacher, or family member can make all the difference when it comes to job hunting.
On the other hand, if you’re applying for a particularly competitive job, a strong reference from a previous employer can turn the tide and help you stand out from the crowd.
Most Recommended Phrase to Include in Letter of Recommendation
Your letter of recommendation should include four items:
- A brief introduction that states who you are, your relationship to the applicant and your personal experience or expertise. Also see How to Write an Artist Statement
- An overview of the applicant’s strengths as you’ve experienced them and as they relate to the recipient.
- A personal story that elaborates on one to two traits the applicant possesses.
- A closing statement that summarizes why the individual you are recommending would be a good fit for the opportunity.
If the candidate hasn’t provided you with an up-to-date resume and the job description, ask them to send those so that you are fully prepared to write the recommendation. You can use their resume to get a full understanding of their experiences and achievements.
You should review the job description to understand what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Use the description to decide what you should include from their resume and your personal experiences working with them.
9 Unique Step to Write a Recommendation Letter
According to resumegenius.com, Following these steps will help you create a convincing letter of recommendation that is sure to be an invaluable part of any application.
Step 1: A Polite and Personable Salutation
The way you greet someone when meeting them for the first time has a huge impact on their first impression of you. The way you address someone in a letter is no different. As such, it’s important to use a polite and personable salutation to start your letter off strong.
A proper salutation should be structured as follows:
Dear + Title + Name of Recipient
The title will vary depending on the individual you are writing to. For example, if you are addressing a hiring manager, you would use a general title such as Mr., Mrs., or Ms.
Dear + Mr. /Mrs. /Ms. + Hiring Manager’s Last Name
On the other hand, if you were writing to a Professor or someone with a Phd, you should use their professional title such as Dr. or Professor.
Dear + Professor + Professor’s Last Name
Ideally the applicant requesting the letter should provide you with the name of the person who the letter should be addressed to. If not, a bit of quick research on linkedin, or the company/university website should yield some results.
What should I do if I don’t know the name of the recipient?
When you don’t know the name of the recipient, you should still make your salutation as personable as possible. This means avoiding weak openings that make no attempt to directly address the reader.
Even if you don’t know their name you should never use To Whom it May Concern when addressing the recipient.
Here’s what you should do instead:
Dear + Title of Recipient
For example, if you are addressing a university’s dean of admissions whose name you don’t know, write Dear Dean of Admissions. Whereas if you are writing to the hiring manager of a company, write Dear Hiring Manager.
Also Read About: How to Write a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for any Job Opportunity.
How should I address a letter to a body of people or an organization?
When addressing a body of people such as an admissions committee or board of directors you should follow the same principles as those outlined above. The only difference is that the title of the recipient should be replaced by the name of the group or organization.
Here is the exact formula:
Dear + Name of Group or Organization
The following examples give you a better idea:
- Dear Admissions Committee
- Dear Board of Directors
- Dear Rhodes Trust
Step 2: Start Your Introduction With a Punch
The first sentence of your recommendation is arguably the most important because it sets the tone for the entire letter. The best openers are those that immediately express the heartfelt and enthusiastic recommendation of the applicant.
Here are some useful phrases you can use to write a strong first sentence:
- It’s my pleasure to recommend…
- It’s my pleasure and honor to…
- I couldn’t be more pleased to…
- I have absolutely no reservations about recommending…
- I wholeheartedly recommend…
In comparison, a generic sentence that lacks enthusiasm such as “I am writing with regards to the recommendation for…” is both boring and weak.
Step 3: Establish Your Relationship
The remainder of your introductory paragraph should be devoted to describing who you are and your relationship with the applicant. This is an essential step because it establishes the relevance of your letter.
If you have known the applicant for a good length of time – and are in a good position to evaluate their strengths – then the potency of your letter multiplies. When establishing your relationship, you should include the following points:
- Your position and company/school
- The capacity in which you know the applicant
- How long you have known the applicant
By including these details in the very beginning of your letter, the reader understands the foundation of the relationship that your words are coming from. This context makes everything you say afterwards much more powerful.
Step 4: Give Words of Praise
Finish your introduction with a sentence or two highlighting some of the applicant’s key strengths or personality traits.
The following examples will give you an idea of how you should write yours:
- During that time, I watched Zach grow into an exceptional individual who excels in both his academic and personal pursuits.
- Gregory was always an outstanding member of our team, and I have always been impressed by his professionalism and admirable personal qualities.
Don’t worry about going into detail. The purpose of these sentences is to round out the first paragraph, while simultaneously serving as a sneak peak of what’s to come in the body of your letter.
Step 5: Showcase the Applicant’s Professional/Academic Strengths
Your first body paragraph should start by mentioning 2-3 of the applicant’s specific skills, talents, or experiences that are relevant to their target job position or college program.
It is essential that these points are then followed up with detailed and descriptive examples of the applicant’s accomplishments that prove the aforementioned abilities.
Take a look at the difference between the following two examples from a reference letter written for a project manager:
- Jill is great at managing projects.
Specific and detailed:
- Jill’s in-depth knowledge of Scrum Methodologies helped increase the amount of projects completed on-time and within budget by 23%
Not only is the second example far more compelling, but it also showcases the professional accomplishment the applicant has that would benefit her target job. When the reader sees these kinds of examples, they think to themselves, “This is the kind of performance I need at my company.”
Whenever possible, include interesting anecdotes about the applicant that demonstrate the strengths and abilities you described. This will create a more personable tone that makes the reader feel as though they are getting to know the applicant – one of the key aspects of a strong recommendation letter.
Step 6: Highlight the Applicant’s Best Personal Qualities
The next body paragraph should focus on 2-3 of the applicant’s positive personality traits and characteristics – particularly those that would be beneficial or desired by their target company or school.
One of the chief reasons universities and certain companies request letters of recommendation is because they want to get a more holistic understanding of the applicant as a person. Thus, only including their academic or professional achievements is not enough to create a persuasive letter.
Much like with the previous step, include relevant and specific examples or anecdotes to backup your claims. Let’s take a look at some examples:
- Joyce is a selfless and compassionate person.
Specific and Detailed:
- As a member of habitat for humanity, Joyce demonstrated her compassion and selfless nature by providing invaluable tutelage and mentorship to countless underprivileged children.
In case you’re having trouble thinking of compelling ways to describe an applicant’s personality, we’ve created a table containing some of the best personal qualities to include in a letter of recommendation:
Just be sure that you prove that the applicant possesses the personal qualities you mention with specific and detailed examples.
Step 7: Explain Why the Applicant is Leaving [Optional Paragraph for Job References]
This paragraph is only relevant if you’re writing a letter of recommendation for employment purposes. That being said, you should only include this section if the reason the applicant is leaving your current company is either neutral or positive.
The following are a few examples of the types of reasons that would be acceptable:
- Relocating for family reasons
- Outgrowing opportunities available at current company
- Medical reasons
- Skillset would be put to better use at another company
After reading through a letter describing how amazing an applicant is, it is quite normal for a hiring manager to think to themselves, “If this candidate is so great, why are they no longer at the company?” By including the reason for an applicant’s departure, it helps to assuage some of these doubts.
However, if you’re unsure whether or not the reason might be seen in a negative light, then it’s safer to exclude this section altogether.
Step 8: Encourage the Reader to Accept the Applicant
Begin the concluding paragraph by reiterating your complete, unreserved, and enthusiastic recommendation of the applicant. Follow this up by emphasizing the value of the applicant as an asset.
Use strong, authoritative, and confident language when writing this sentence. Take a look at the following examples:
- I am confident that Jon will make an outstanding member of your university’s community.
- There is no doubt in my mind that Allison would quickly become an invaluable asset for your team.
- It is my strong opinion that Matthew would be a tremendous addition to the University of Virginia’s graduate program in Theoretical Physics.
Finally, conclude by encouraging the reader to contact you if they have any questions about the applicant.
Step 9: Politely Sign-off
Your letter closing should be formal and polite. Sincerely, Regards, and Best regards are all great examples. Sincerely is widely considered to be the best sign-off because not only is it undeniably polite, it also carries a warm, friendly tone. In cases where the closing is more than one word, only the first letter of the first word should be capitalized.
Top 100 Letter of Recommendation Sample Template
Whether you are writing a letter of recommendation for students or working professionals, your letter should have a similar structure. You can use the following recommendation letter template as inspiration when drafting your own.
To Whom it May Concern:
It is my pleasure to strongly recommend [Applicant Name] for [Position With Company or Acceptance to Institution].
I am [Your Name], a [Your Position] at [Your Institution or Company]. I have [Number] years of experience working in [Your Industry or Academic Focus], and have seen many young professionals come and go. [Applicant Name] is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.
During our time together, [Applicant Name] displayed great talents in [Skill, Trait, Experience, Class, etc.]. When we first met, I was immediately impressed with [Applicant’s Name], but during the time worked together, her understanding of [Key Topic] grew far more than that of her peers.
[Insert Personal Story Elaborating on Key Skills, Trait, Experience].
It’s not just her technical skills that impress me, however. [Applicant Name] was a joy to work with because of her amazingly positive attitude and [Positive Trait]. Her [Positive Trait] and [Positive Trait] 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 [Applicant Name] would be a great fit for your [Institution/Company]. Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, she will quickly become an asset and help your [Institution/Company] grow in any way she can.
If you need more information or specific examples, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Contact Information]. 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.
[Your Name, Company, and Title]
There are many formats recommendation letter 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’ 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 your L&Q International. Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, she will quickly become an asset and help your 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.
Mountain View Unlimited
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