How to Write a Letter of Recommendation? Best Tips
A letter of recommendation is a written and signed document that provides feedback on the performance, partnership, or leadership of a person that someone has worked with.
Letters of recommendation hold a significant value and weight in our administrative decisions. A well-written letter is all you need to get an outstanding applicant.
There are different types of recommendation letters, but there are three most commonly known. These are for employment, university applications, and character references.
Students Need Recommendation Letters
Almost all universities and scholarship programs require a recommendation letter as a part of the application process. The reference letters should be written by previous teachers or professors who know about your academic achievements.
Students require to provide these references because the admission officers and scholarship organizations want to have a detailed understanding of the student’s background.
Job Applicants Need Recommendation Letters
A well-written resume and a good cover letter are thought to be sufficient for a job application. However, companies require a letter of recommendation in addition to these basic documents.
This usually happens when you don’t have a lot of work experience. A character reference from a friend, a teacher, or a family member can make a difference.
The Easy Way
It’s the easiest way to download a template when preparing a letter of recommendation. People are busy with their lives, and it’s not easy to have a lot of time you can spend writing down all the qualities of a person.
This way, you can write a recommendation letter for yourself and ask the individual to sign easily. This saves extra time and hassle.
How to write a recommendation letter yourself?
Now that you’ve known about the importance of a recommendation letter, let’s see how to create a recommendation letter:
It’s important to know how to structure the content of your letter as well as do formatting to give your letter a professional look. Include the important sections given below to write a strong letter of recommendation.
Contact Information and Letterhead
Your name, address, and contact information should be included on the letterhead at the top of the page. If you don’t have a letterhead, place the information above the date on the left side of the page.
The first line of your letter should be the address of the person or body of people you are writing to by the name as well as the title. Also, make sure you avoid vague and unclear salutations.
Start the introduction with an expression of your sincere recommendation of the referred person and explain your relationship with him/her. Also, include how long you have known them.
Achievements of the Applicant
The second paragraph highlights the academic and professional plus points of the applicant. Also, include one to two specific and detailed examples to emphasize that the applicant really possesses the strengths mentioned.
The third paragraph should be about the personality of the person and showcase their qualities and traits that will be good for their career or education.
Explanation of departure of the applicant
This section will be optional and is used only when letters of recommendation are written for employment. It should be included when the reason for quitting the previous job is neutral. It can be family reasons or other opportunities.
Reiterate your recommendation of the applicant and encourage the reader to contact if they have any queries.
Fundamental Rules to Follow
- Although content is the most essential element of your recommendation letter. The alignment, font size, and style, and margins.
- It would help if you were not exceed one page in length unless extra paragraphs and details strengthen your recommendations. A letter longer than two pages.
- Using a 12-point font will increase the readability and good use of space. You can use 11 point font to keep the length on one page. However, you shouldn’t use points less than 11.
- Use basic font styles like the Times New Roman, Arial, and Garamond. Avoid overly stylish fonts that are not good for readability.
- You could go lightly over and under the limitations discussed so that everything fits well on the page. However, you can avoid making things excessive.
- Maintain the left alignment throughout the page so that it gets an organized appearance.
Steps to Consider Before Writing
- Ask the application about information and documents like a resume, cover letter, and personal essay.
- Do some research on the institute the applicant is targeting.
- Choose the tone of writing depending on the type of recommendation letter you’re writing.
Ways to Make Your Recommendation Letter Compelling
Now when you know about all the details you must include in the letter, the next thing is to learn to make your recommendation letter convincing.
A polite salutation
- Use a polite and personable salutation to start your letter in a strong way.
- Use the pattern as follows:
- Dear + Title + Name of Recipient
Start with a Punch
The way you write your first sentence is important because it’s the tone of your letter. Here are some phrases to write a strong sentence:
- It’s my pleasure to recommend
- I wholeheartedly recommend
Build a Relationship
If you have known the applicant for a good amount of time, you can evaluate their strengths.
Highlight the key strengths and traits of the applicant you’re recommending.
Encourage the Reader to Accept the Applicant
Use confident language and emphasize the reader to accept or consider the applicant you’re recommending.