14+ Recommendation Letter Examples & Templates
Although skills, educational attainment, and other qualifications are necessary, an extra push is always welcomed. When you are applying for something, say a scholarship or for employment, a recommendation letter is a good boost to your morale and chances of getting in.
A good recommendation letter from a reliable and credible reference person can have a great impact to your application.
Elements of a Recommendation Letter
As mentioned, a recommendation letter can affect one’s chances of having a successful application. It can greatly impact the decision of the council/committee or employer especially when the letter is well written by a credible reference person. To help make sure your recommendation letter is effective, here are essential elements it should have:
- Writer credibility: A recommendation letter should only be written by a reference person that has/had a relationship with the candidate. A good reference person can be a former manager/supervisor/employer, former professor/teacher, organization chairperson, tutor/mentor and so on. The writer should have the right qualifications to write a recommendation letter for the candidate.
- Detailed assessment of the candidate: Since the primary purpose of the recommendation letter is to recommend the candidate as the perfect fit for the job or scholarship/internship,etc., it should provide the reader with enough information as to why the candidate is the most qualified candidate. It should present a thorough assessment of the candidate’s qualifications, skills, attitude, behavior, and so on.
- Overall impression: Aside from a detailed assessment, the letter should also provide a subjective overall impression of the candidate. This means that you can provide a general impression about how the candidate was as a student, how he/she was like as a former employee, etc. General impressions can be about the traits the candidate has displayed while under your watch.
- Summary of overall qualification: As a closing to the letter, a recommendation letter should have an overview of general impressions of the candidate, additional qualifications the candidate might have, and the specific recommendation of the writer. This is where the writer literally expresses his/her personal recommendation of the candidate along with an invitation to the reader to contact him/her should there be any further questions or clarifications.
14+ Recommendation Letter Templates
Academic Recommendation Letter
Doctor Recommendation Letter
Job Recommendation Letter
Lawyer Recommendation Letter
Manager Recommendation Letter Template
Personal Recommendation Template
Nurse Recommendation Letter
Recommendation Letter Template for Scholarship
Recommendation Letter for Promotion
Recommendation Letter for College
Human Resources Coordinator Recommendation Letter
Official Exhibit Recommendation Letter
Simple Scholarship Recommendation Letter
Clerkship Recommendation Letter
University Admission Recommendation Letter
Steps in Writing an Effective Recommendation Letter
If you have been requested by a former student or employee to write him/her a recommendation letter, you must try to be more objective than subjective. It is best to give an objective assessment of how the candidate is like as a student or employee; there can be consequences to your credibility if you write false contents on your recommendation letter. To help make sure you write an objectively effective recommendation letter, here is a short guide for the writing process:
1. Use formal letter format:
Since a recommendation letter is a type of formal business letter, you should follow the standard format. This means you need to include a complete return address, date and complete inside address as well as the salutation. Depending on the structure you decide to use, the placements of the aforementioned should immediately follow.
2. Open with enthusiastic praise for the candidate:
After the salutation, you should immediately open your letter with an enthusiastic praise for the candidate. In a short paragraph, let the reader know you have confidence in the capabilities, knowledge and skills of the candidate. However, remember to be realistic and sincere; avoid dramatizing the introduction.
3. Explain how you know the candidate:
You should also give the reader context as to why you are qualified to give recommendation for the candidate. Explain how you have knowledge about the candidate’s qualifications and skills. Explain to the reader how you meet the candidate, where and when you worked together along with a short statement about your qualifications.
4. Specifically mention the candidate’s qualifications:
When writing a recommendation letter it is important to be specific. Thus, it is important to mention the specific qualifications of the candidate that you think is important for the reader to know. It is better to showcase his/her qualifications by using examples or instances the candidate has done significant actions. Avoid describing the qualifications with generalities.
5. Illustrate candidate’s success:
In order for the reader to be even more convinced with the candidate’s qualifications, it is best to illustrate his/her success through realistic examples. You can do this by including numbers, if applicable; including comparisons, and so on. This will help you put the candidate’s qualifications into perspective and help the reader understand why you are recommending him/her.
6. Show candidate’s versatility:
Although the candidate has his/her strengths, he/she also has weaknesses. In this case, you should show the candidate’s versatility and flexibility in accomplishing tasks despite difficult circumstances. You should definitely showcase his/her perseverance to push through despite adversities. Setting them on a pedestal will set them with expectations that are impossible to achieve.
7. Close the letter affirmatively:
As you close your letter make sure you affirm of the statements you have included. It is best to express your recommendation for the candidate literally. For example, you can say “I highly recommend candidate’s name to be a part of your company or institution.” In addition, you should provide an invitation for discussion should it be needed.
8. Finish letter with a signature block:
Just like any letter, finish off the letter with a signature block. Your signature block should consist of your complimentary close and signature line. The signature line includes your name, designation/title and/or contact information. It is important to affix your signature on the letter to ensure legitimacy.
Tips in Writing a Recommendation Letter
A recommendation letter is not difficult to write as you may think. If you have had personal experience working with the candidate, it will surely be easy for you to provide information about the candidate that will help boost his/her application. With this, it is important to ensure you write cohesively and effectively. To help with that, here are some tips in writing a good recommendation letter:
- Personally address the receiver; don’t start the letter with “To Whom It May Concern.”
- Provide your correct and current mailing address and contact information.
- Do not exaggerate. Although some subjective statements are welcomed, stick to providing more objective and realistic assessments.
- Make sure your writing is action-oriented. Use strong verbs to affirm of the candidate’s qualifications.
- Strictly follow formal letter standard format.
- Write only about what you know of about the candidate.
- Although achievements are important, make sure attitude and character are also showcased.
- Always be clear and specific with the information you provide.
- Be professional and use formal language.
- Only provide facts and avoid adding false information; not only can it affect the candidate, it also affects your credibility.
- Strive to write the letter within a single page.
- Proofread and edit accordingly.
Types of Recommendation Letter
As you know, a recommendation letter can vouch for a candidate’s qualifications. It helps in increasing the candidate’s chances for approval. Furthermore, a well written recommendation letter can help a candidate stand out from the other applicants. To help you identify what recommendation letter is appropriate to write for different instances, here is a list of the types of recommendation letter:
- Employment-related recommendation letter: This type of recommendation letter is written by someone in the position to know about the candidate’s skills as well as relevant character traits that can be useful for the job or company. As the name would suggest, this recommendation letter is used to boost the candidate’s job application. They are commonly written by former employers, immediate manager/supervisors and colleagues,
- Academic recommendation letter: An academic recommendation letter is written for the purpose of helping a candidate’s application for fellowship or internship, graduate school, college or scholarships, and so on. This showcases and highlights the candidate’s education background and other related skills to what he/she is applying for. On another note, this recommendation letter can also be used as employment recommendation letter i.e. a professor seeking recommendation for a position in school.
- Character or personal recommendation letter: This recommendation letter can be used for various of reasons; it can be used for child custody cases, adoption applications, parole hearings, housing applications, requests for membership in an exclusive club or society. This is type is generally less formal than the other two. This can be written by family member/s, friends, neighbors, business associates and in some circumstances, by an employer.
Recommendation Letter Sizes
A recommendation letter is commonly used for professional purpose; thus, it is still considered as a type of a formal letter/business letter. In connection to this, a recommendation letter should written in a standard 8.5” x 11” sized paper.
Recommendation Letter FAQs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about recommendation letters:
1. Who needs a recommendation letter?
Depending on when or where it will be used, a recommendation letter may be needed by students applying for internship, scholarship or high school students applying for college, peopl applying for a job, and people who wants to amp up their application.
2. Why is there a need for recommendation letters?
In general, recommendation letters allow employers or council/committee members to understand who the applicant is as a person. It also helps ensure that a credible person can support the content of the candidate’s cover letter and resume or CV.
3. How to ask for a recommendation letter?
In order to formally ask a reference person to write you a recommendation letter you need to send a letter of request. The letter should contain a formal and courteous request for a recommendation letter along with the necessary information or details that should be included.