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How To Write A Letter Of Recommendation?

Team Pitch N HirePosted onMon Aug 08 20222 min read
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If someone you know is interested in getting a job, you might be asked to write a letter of recommendation for them, and when they do, you want to make sure it is well documented. 

A good letter of recommendation shows your knowledge of the person and their work and that you can write clearly and concisely. It is a formal letter that helps a recruiter or hiring manager decide whether or not to hire someone.

This guide will help you learn about the letter of recommendation, the different types of letters, some letter of recommendation templates, and tips to write a recommendation letter to beat writer’s block. It will also highlight some crucial tips to keep in mind when writing to enhance the effectiveness of your letter further.

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation is a letter that provides information about a person’s qualifications and accomplishments to a potential employer. It typically includes information about the writer’s education and training, work experience, skills, and achievements. 

In many cases, the letter of recommendation will also indicate what potential employers are looking for in a candidate for the position they are hiring for. The letter of recommendation is typically written by someone who has worked with the candidate or knows the candidate well. 

The letter of recommendation should be written professionally, using good grammar and spelling. 

Types of Recommendation Letter

There are a variety of different types of recommendation letters, each designed for a different purpose. Some are used to apply for a particular position or job. Others are used to increase the overall appeal of a candidate when applying for a placement. 

Some demonstrate a candidate’s qualifications for a position when the candidate has already been hired. In contrast, others are used to increase a candidate's appeal when applying for a post again.

However, the two sorted ones are:

1. Academic Letter of Recommendation

An academic letter of recommendation provides information about the candidate’s academic qualifications. This type of letter typically includes information about the candidate’s grades and performance in class and about the candidate’s extracurricular activities and accomplishments.

An academic letter of recommendation is usually written by the professor or academic advisor who has had the opportunity to observe the candidate’s performance in class and with other students. 

When writing an academic letter of recommendation, the recommender should focus on the candidate’s ability to perform and learn rather than the candidate’s personality or interests.

2. Professional Letter of Recommendation

A professional letter of recommendation provides information about the candidate’s qualifications for a particular position. It typically includes information about the candidate’s education, experience, skills, and achievements. 

When writing a professional letter of recommendation, the recommender should focus on the candidate’s ability to perform the job and learn new skills rather than the candidate’s personality or interests.

Most professional letters of recommendation are written by the job candidate, though job recruiters, managers, and other business professionals sometimes write professional letters of recommendation.

Now that you know what kind of letter best suits your needs, let us look at how to write one. A letter of recommendation consists of sections that show the reader why you recommend the candidate for a specific position. 

The Best Way to Write a Letter of Recommendation

1. Greetings

The first section of a letter of recommendation is the greeting. This part of the letter provides a polite way of introduction and the purpose of the letter. It also provides a method of closing the letter, so the reader knows when they can expect the rest of the letter.

2. Introduction

The second section of a letter of recommendation is the introduction. The introduction of the letter of recommendation explains the letter's purpose and provides a way of closing the letter. 

It also provides a way of starting the body section of the letter. The introduction should focus on the purpose of the letter, not the candidate. It should be written professionally, using good grammar and spelling.

Introduction example

“For the past three years, I have enjoyed teaching [Candidate] at [Institution/University].

Pro tip: Starting the letter with positive statements about the candidate grabs the hiring/admission committee's attention and encourages them to discover more about why you are enthusiastic about recommending them. So make sure you start your letter with a positive tone, so the reader is inclined to read the rest of the letter.

Letter of Recommendation
Letter of Recommendation

3. Main Body/Overview

The body of the letter of recommendation is where you provide a summary of the candidate’s academic and extracurricular experiences. It should include information like the candidate’s GPA, awards and honours, internships, activities, and volunteer work. 

In most letters of recommendation, the maximum letter size is one page.

So keeping the limit in mind, the main body of a letter of recommendation should be a short, concise, and informative summary of the candidate's academic and professional background, skills, and experience. 

This part of the letter should be written in a professional but personal style and relates directly to the candidate's position.

4. Letter Closing

This section is where you write a concluding paragraph that summarises the letter of recommendation and provides the recruiter with a clear and concise affirmation of the candidate’s suitability for the position. 

Concluding the letter with your note is an excellent way to get the reader's attention and encourage them to consider the candidate further.

You might say, "I am pleased to write for [Candidate] as I've seen for myself the qualities and skills he possesses. I am confident he would be an outstanding addition to the [Department] team.”

5. Signature and Contact Information

End the letter with your signature and provide your contact information such as phone number, email address, and any social media handle(optional).

This part of the letter is where you provide a way to close the letter. It’s a common courtesy to include your name, contact information, and a closing remark. This helps the reader remember who the recommender is, so they can reach out if they have additional questions or need further details.

Professional Letter of Recommendation Templates

1. Employee Type

Dear [name]

I’m writing to you for recommending [name of candidate]. As a [employee job title] for [company], [he/she] [reported to me/worked with me] in the capacity of [job title].

[Name] was always [insert good quality] as a worker. [He/she] were able to [example] while on my team.

I've always placed a high value on [another quality] among my team members, and [name] has never let me down. When [good example], that was one instance.

Working with [Employee name] is a pleasure, and I wouldn't think twice about hiring [him/her/them] again.

Contact me at [phone number/email/ID] if you have further inquiries about [NAME].

Thank you,

[Your signature and name]

2. Student Type

Dear [fill in name]

I'm sending this letter to suggest [student name]. I hold the title of [job title] at [institution], and [student name] worked with me for [months/years] as a [student, post, lab assistant, etc.].

[Student name] was always [insert good quality] as a student. He/she worked on [insert projects] while in my class and was successful in [insert simple example].

I have always expected [insert another quality] from my students, and [student name] has never let me down. When [insert recent example], that was one instance.

I wouldn't think twice about working with [student name] again because [insert good personality trait] is something [NAME] is.

Contact me at [phone number/email/ID] if you have further inquiries about [NAME].

Thanking you,

[Your signature and name]

Tips to Write a Recommendation Letter

1. Observe the Conventions of Formal Letter Writing

Always follow formal letter-writing rules and try to be more concise. Your name, contact information, job title, employer, and business address will be in the top left corner. Use their name at the beginning of the letter if you know them.

2. Brief Salutation

As mentioned earlier, positive statements significantly impact the recruiter's perspective. Use words like "excited," "thrilled," "enthralled," etc., to promote the candidate.

3. Explain Why the Candidate is the Best Fit

Describe the candidate's past achievements, activities, involvements, abilities, etc., that are more relevant to the job position for which the candidate has applied.

4. Create a Concluding Paragraph

The concluding paragraph should be short and sweet. It should summarize the letter and thank the reader for their time.

5. Include a Formal Signature and Closing

Close the letter with a formal statement about why the person you are recommending is the best fit. Include your signature and, in the end - your name with the designation.

6. Check Spelling and Grammar

For writing a good letter of recommendation, careful attention to grammar and spelling is an essential aspect of letter writing because it looks more polished and is better written. It is also important to proofread and edit your writing, as this improves your writing skills and helps you avoid mistakes.

Also Read: 

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