When it comes to job applications, a good recommendation letter can definitely go a long way in boosting a job candidate’s chances of getting hired. It has the power to influence the minds of hiring managers into considering a job candidate for hiring. It is exactly for this reason that job applicants would usually ask a trusted someone to write a recommendation letter on their behalf. Not only is a recommendation letter able to provide an outsider’s perspective on the job applicant, it also allows hiring managers to peer into the character of the job applicant whose qualifications are being assessed.
If you are asked to write a recommendation letter for employment by a previous student, worker, or colleague, then you must approach this task with the seriousness that it deserves. Indeed, the importance of writing a good recommendation letter cannot be ignored. You have to be careful in writing a recommendation letter that can perfectly capture the attention of the hiring manager. Do you need any help in writing an effective recommendation letter? You need not worry if you are new to the task for we are here to help you. In this article, we provide you with the key features that can set your letter apart from other recommendation letters. Moreover, you can also download our recommendation letter templates on this page!
Recommendation Letter for Employment
Recommendation Letter for Customer Service
Recommendation Letter for a Colleague
Key Features of an Effective Recommendation Letter for Employment
You are probably here searching for some goldmine of insightful ideas on how to perfect your recommendation letter. Indeed, writing a recommendation letter may seem like an easy task—that is, if you are only aiming to comply with the favor asked of you. However, if you want your recommendation letter to have any value at all then you have to make sure that it is able to cover all the features that are essential to an effective recommendation letter. Below is an enumeration of the key features of an effective recommendation letter. Go ahead and read these features so that you may keep all these in mind when writing your recommendation letter.
When it comes to the art of recommendation, most hiring managers are intent on reading only those that have objective value. This means that a hiring manager is less likely to take a recommendation letter seriously if it came from a job applicant’s neighbor or cousin, unlike if a recommendation letter came from someone who has known the job applicant in a supervisory capacity. Those who have known the applicant in a supervisory capacity such as previous managers, employers, and project team leaders are placed in a higher standing. This is so because previous professors, managers, and employees of a job applicant have interacted with the applicant in a professional or academic setting. These settings are known to be where an individual is constantly challenged to think of ways to solve certain problems and perform certain tasks and obligations. Hence, a clear description of how a job applicant has fared in such settings holds a lot of weight.
Above all else, a good recommendation letter must subscribe to the proper formatting rules of writing formal letters. You must use proper spacing, font size, margin sizes, etc. While it is easy for you to simply follow the format you can find in generic recommendation letter samples from the Internet, you must also take care that the content of your recommendation letter is arranged in a manner that makes it easier for the hiring manager to digest the information that you are providing them. Aside from the spacing and fonts, proper formatting also means that you must be able to arrange your recommendation letter’s content following these rules:
- First, you must illuminate the thoughts of the hiring manager regarding your relationship with the job applicant that you are recommending.
- Secondly, highlight the attributes of the applicant that are responsive to or correspondent to the qualities that the hiring manager is looking for.
- Thirdly, show the hiring manager what happened in the past that has made you conclude that the applicant possesses such qualities that you have mentioned.
- Lastly, mention how much you are willing to entertain further questions about the applicant’s qualifications.
Other than the arrangement of content, proper formatting also means that you must avoid using any informal terms and improper or obscene language. You must also keep your letter short. It must not exceed three pages. The advisable length of a good recommendation letter is two pages long since a one-page recommendation letter may also be too short and it would give the impression that you are not really serious about recommending the job applicant. Aside from these formatting rules, there are still other nuances in letter-writing that you must be able to capture and apply during your process of writing a recommendation letter. Check out our website for employer recommendation letter templates that can serve as your guide.
Employee Recommendation Letter
Professional Recommendation Letter
Employment Recommendation Letter
Just like any piece of writing, the power is in the opening line. Remember that reading a recommendation letter takes a lot of time. That is why you have to make sure that your opening line is able to capture the interest of the hiring manager so that you won’t bore them to the point of them not reading your letter fully. While it is tempting to use the customary line, “I am writing to recommend Person A for the position of X…,” it is hardly noticeable as you are merely subscribing to a boring formality that reflects how little effort you have given to writing a recommendation letter. You may start your letter with a warm greeting then proceed on talking about the most endearing experience you had with the job applicant. It does not have to be an experience or a description that is directly relevant to the qualifications that the hiring manager is looking for since you have the rest of the letter for doing exactly just that. In fact, this is the part wherein you can narrate your first impressions of the applicant when you first met him/her.
Another element of a strong opening is the clear pronouncement of your authority as a recommender. You must be able to cement your authority to provide a clear and honest opinion of the job applicant’s qualities work-wise. Describe how you have worked with the applicant or if the applicant was your previous student, you can then describe which subject you were teaching him/her and on what year specifically. You have to provide the name of the company or educational institution from which you have met the job applicant as this can help the hiring manager understand your role in the applicant’s life.
So you have established your authority as a reputable recommender, the next thing you need to do is to give an honest account of the applicant’s qualifications for the job position he/she is applying for. So that you may have a fair idea of the qualities you need to discuss in your recommendation letter, you must know beforehand the nature of the company and of the job position that the applicant is applying for. Try to do some research on the culture of the company, its visions, and goals. You can also check its standing among its competitors so that you can gauge their standards. Then you can discuss with the job applicant for the job description of the position he/she is applying for.
It is not enough for you to babble on the positive qualities of the applicant. A letter that merely raves about the applicant’s qualities in generic terms such as stating that the applicant is intelligent and hardworking can barely hold water. It doesn’t matter that those claims may be true, you must successfully convince the hiring manager that your claims have a factual basis. You may do this by stating instances wherein the applicant has displayed all these qualities that you proclaim for him/her to have possessed. Do not go overboard with your description but always be specific. If you can, give a time range when these instances happened or you may describe what was going on in your company at that time if it has any relevance to the instance you are narrating.
Openness for Further Inquiries
At the end of your letter is the conclusion. While you may have written a forcefully persuasive letter, you must always keep in mind that some hiring managers are careful decision makers. Since you have already piqued their interest, they would want to gather more information on the job applicant so that they can make a decision that is most beneficial to their company. A good hiring manager understands the necessity of hiring only those job candidates who can add great value to their company’s success and completion of goals. It is for this reason that you must always include in your letter’s conclusion a statement or two indicating your willingness to answer further questions from the hiring manager regarding the job applicant’s qualifications.
Recommendation Letter for Former Student
Job Recommendation Letter
Basic Formatting Rules for Writing Recommendation Letters
If you need some quick reminders on how to properly format your employee recommendation letter, here are the basic rules on formatting an effective employment recommendation letter:
- Write the heading, which contains the return address (your name, position title, company, and complete address).
- Write the inside address (the hiring manager’s name, position title, company, and company address).
- Write the date then the formal salutation.
- Start your letter’s body with a warm greeting.
- Describe in what manner you have known the job applicant.
- Enumerate the specific characteristics that the applicant possesses that are aligned with the qualifications that the hiring manager is looking for.
- Provide a description of the instances that can serve as proof of your claims.
- Conclude your letter by expressing your willingness to answer the hiring manager’s questions about the applicant’s qualities.
Now that you have an idea of the basics of writing recommendation letters, go ahead and write one now! To obtain more knowledge about writing an effective recommendation letter, you can check out our website’s article that clearly discusses how to write a captivating recommendation letter. Should you be approached in the future to write a different kind of recommendation letter, you may browse our website’s collections of scholarship recommendation letter, academic recommendation letter, and employee promotion recommendation letter templates.
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