Did someone ask you to write a recommendation letter? Are you a bit confused about how to write one? In need of guidelines for writing a good recommendation letter? You have come to the right website! We have that and more! Recommendation letters are as important as any other job application document out there so they need to be strongly written and they need to be effective enough to ensure that the candidate you are writing for ends up having a high chance of getting chosen to be employed, granted a scholarship, or granted a slot in a good university for further studies.
Now, it may seem like it is too much pressure to be assigned to write one especially if it is your first time to do so. You need not worry! A lot of those who have a ton of experience writing a recommendation letter have been in your shoes. They were also worried about ending up with a bad letter. Just keep reading the article. We will help you have a wider perspective about recommendation letters. Just in case you also feel that you are too unqualified to be writing one, we also have a few tips on how you can politely refuse a recommendation request letters.
Did we mention anything about the sample letters we have on this very article? Yes, we have handpicked sample recommendation letters that you can refer to and download for free! Yes, you read that right! They are all downloadable at no charge at all! You better buckle up and prepare yourself as you will gain a ton of information about recommendation letters through this article.
Basic Recommendation Letter Examples
Letter of Recommendation for Admission
Generic Recommendation Letter Format
Sample Recommendation Reference Letter
Recommendation Letter for Intern
Sample Employer Recommendation Letter
Applicant Letter of Recommendation
Sample Professional Recommendation Letter
Academic Recommendation Letter Samples
Academic Recommendation Request Letter
College Academic Recommendation Letter
Scholarship Academic Recommendation Letter
Sample Student Recommendation Letter
Academic Recommendation Letter Sample
Academic Advisor Recommendation Letter PDF
What Is a Recommendation Letter?
A recommendation letter is basically a letter that is written by someone who is considered qualified to write one. It contains a detailed information about an individual who is usually a candidate for employment, further studies, or scholarships. The details you would usually find in a recommendation letter are the following:
- Work ethic
- Involvement in the community
- Academic performance
The assessment done by the writer about the candidate is typically used by the employer or the institution as a factor to making a final decision about whether or not the candidate would be hired, granted admission in the institution, or granted a scholarship.
Different Types of Recommendation Letter
Recommendation letters are used by different people for a wide variety of circumstances. However, there are three common recommendation letters that are used a lot: academic recommendation letters, employment recommendation letters, and character reference recommendation letters.
In this part of the article, we will give you a quick and brief overview about the different types of recommendation letters with available templates that you can definitely find in this article.
Academic Recommendation Letter
An academic recommendation letter, as its name suggests, is a type of recommendation letter that is used for academic-related situations. Usually, two to three academic recommendation letters are expected from each candidate or applicant. Common situations that may be needing an academic recommendation letter are school admissions—both for undergraduate (college) and graduate, and scholarship applications.
You might be wondering why academic recommendation letters are needed. One of the main reasons why these types of recommendation letters are written is because the admission board or the admissions team makes use of the information that has been provided in the letter to get a better picture of what the student will be like once they accept him/her to become a part of the student community or if they can perform well academically.
Commonly, these letters are typically written by former teachers, principals, coaches, or other qualified individuals who have a good idea about the student’s performance in terms of academics and extracurricular activities. If the student applicant has working experience, a recommendation letter from employer is also considered to be a good reference.
Employment Recommendation Letters
One of the most common circumstances that makes use of recommendation letters are job application. Recommendation letters for employment are used by individuals who are looking into getting a new job. Just like academic recommendation letters, employment candidates are also expected to prepare about two or three of these letters.
In general, a letter of recommendation for employment contains information about the individual’s employment history, performance as an employee, work ethics, accomplishments, and achievements. With all of these being said, the most qualified person to write this type of recommendation letters are those who are witness to the professional behavior of the candidate. Qualified individuals will include former and/or current employers and direct supervisors. There are also times that a co-employee or former colleague may write the letter, but recommendations written by employers or supervisors are more desirable.
Recommendation letters for employment may be sent through direct mail, uploaded in a website, sent with a resume, or handed during the interview.
Character Reference Recommendation Letter
Situations such as housing, adoptions, and similar legal situations will need a character reference letter of recommendation. These letters are typically written by former employers associates, neighbors, acquaintances, etc.
These types of recommendation letters are intended to let the reader know more about you in terms of character and personality outside of your work.
When Should Recommendation Letters Be Written?
Recommendation letters can either make or break the candidate’s application letter, which is the reason why these letters should be given utmost importance and should be written carefully with words chosen appropriately.
When you have been asked to write a recommendation letter, you should ask the individual who requested for the letter when the letter is needed. Once you know, you should ensure that you have enough time to write a few drafts and have someone review it to ensure that you end up with a strong letter that will surely increase the individual’s chances of getting accepted in the company, getting admitted in school, or being granted a scholarship.
If you are someone who is planning on requesting a recommendation letter from a qualified individual, make sure you do not ask for one at the last minute. Start seeking for letters in a timely manner. If you are applying for a new job, make sure you ask your employer or supervisor/s for recommendation letters right before you leave your job. You may also ask for character recommendation letters from qualified individuals so you have a few on hand for future reference.
Tips for Writing Recommendation Letters for Employment
To write a captivating recommendation letter for employment, a certain amount of effort should be done in order to be able to do so. The most effective recommendation letters are those that speak the employer’s language. This means, that the recommendation letter mentions the requirements of the position that the candidate applied for.
It will always be a good idea to refer to the job posting in order to match the candidate’s skills, personality, and character with what the job is requiring. Make sure that you focus on the needs of the job and being able to match it with the strengths of the candidate.
It is really important that you collect all the necessary information about the job and the candidate. Set a meeting with the candidate if you can and ask for a copy of their sample resume or curriculum vitae (CV) before you start writing the letter. You also want to do a little bit of research about the industry that the company is in to be able to match all the marketable skills of the candidate to the job they have applied for.
Just remember that the more information you have about the candidate, the job applied for, and the industry that the company is in, the stronger and more effective your letter will be.
Employment Recommendation Letters
Employment Recommendation Reference Letter
Profesional Employer Reference Letter
Student Employee Recommendation Letter
Employment Reference Letter from Professor
Teaching Position Recommendation Letter
Sample Professor Recommendation Letter
Graduate School Recommendation Letters
Scholarship Recommendation Letter for School
Printable Recommendation Letter for Graduate School
Graduate School Letter of Recommendation Sample
Sample Letter of Recommendation from Professor
Recommendation Letter for Graduate School from Manager
Basic Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School
Graduate Student Recommendation Letter Sample
Recommendation Letter for Graduate School Admission
Letter of Recommendation Form for Graduate School
Letter of Recommendation from Former Employer
HR Letter of Recommendation from Employer
Employment Recommendation Letter from an Employer
Letter of Recommendation from Supervisor
Recommendation Letter from Employer in PDF
Academic Letter of Recommendation from Employer
Employer Recommendation Letter for Nurse
Employer Personal Recommendation Letter
Sample Recommendation Letter for Intern
Scholarship Recommendation Letter Examples
Scholarship Recommendation Letter for Student
Scholarship Application Recommendation Letter
Nursing Scholarship Recommendation Letter
Student Scholarship Recommendation Letter
Scholarship Recommendation Letter from Professor
Scholarship Recommendation Letter from Parent
Scholarship Recommendation Letter of Appraisal
Scholarship Recommendation Letter in Doc
What Is Included in a Recommendation Letter?
Just like any other type of letter, a standard recommendation letter will have parts. Such parts are as follows:
A ton of times, a recommendation letter will be written from scratch. A header consists of the following:
- Writer’s details such as name, address, contact number, and email address.
Date that the letter was written.Recipient’s details such as name, designation, company/institution name, and address.
The salutation can be the typical “Dear” followed by the last name of the recipient. Make sure that you make use of the correct titles such as Mr., Ms., Dr., Atty., etc.
Early in the letter, you should already be able to explain to the reader what your relationship with the candidate is and how long you have known him/her. Explain to the reader why you are deemed to be a qualified candidate.
- I have been Candidate AAA’s direct supervisor in Company BBB for about 5 years.
Body (Middle Paragraph)
This is where you get specific about the candidate. The middle part of the effective recommendation letter is where you explain in detail the personal characteristics of the employee, work ethic, strengths, skills, etc. Be as specific as possible. This is the part where you embed a good picture of the candidate in the reader’s mind. You can even mention any specific example to make whatever it is you are saying in your letter about the candidate more concrete.
Summarize everything that you have mentioned in the earlier parts of your letter. Reiterate why you are recommending him/her for the scholarship, admission, or employment. Do not forget to also leave your contact number as well as the most convenient time for you to be contacted should the reader have any additional questions about the candidate.
Do not forget to sign your letter with a nice black or blue pen if you are sending a hard copy. However, if you are writing an email recommendation letter, a typed name would serve as a signature or if you have an e-signature available, you may also make use of that.
How to Present a Recommendation Letter Professionally
How your recommendation letter looks like is just as important as what is written in it. There are a few things that you should remember for a recommendation letter format such as the following:
“How Long Should a Recommendation Letter Be?”
This is one of the most common questions about recommendation letters. Honestly, it does not have to be very long. All you need is one page.
You may also ask how you can fit all the details in one page. You just actually have to pick out the most relevant details regarding the applicant. You are not writing the applicant’s biography anyway, so just stick to what’s relevant and expound on these as much as you can. Keep the sample letter to about three to four paragraphs and you’re good to go.
- Each paragraph of your letter of recommendation should be single-spaced.
- Keep the margins to about 1/2″ to 1″. This is ideal as it makes use of white space and helps to make your letter easier on the eyes of the reader.
- Align all of your text to the left.
- Use fonts that are considered to be traditional such as Times New Roman, Arial, and Georgia.
- Keep the font size between 10pt and 12pt. Any smaller than 10pt will make it hard for the reader to see the text while sizes beyond 12pt are also considered to be too large for formal documents such as this.
What to Do When You Can’t Write a Positive Recommendation
Okay, so you have tried your best to try and convince yourself that you will write that recommendation letter but you still end up having doubts about yourself and you feel as if you are not qualified enough to be the one to write that recommendation letter. It’s okay. There is no need for you to feel bad about it. You are not perfect anyway, and you know what? It is okay to actually say “No” to that recommendation request. It does not make you a bad person and it definitely does not make you not knowledgeable about how to write one.
Take note that knowing how to write a recommendation letter and knowing what to write about the person who requested the letter are two different things. Instead of feeling about it, think of it as helping the person out. You see, if you force yourself to write a recommendation letter against your will or if you do not know the person well enough, you will end up with a mediocre letter that is insincere and does not have any value. That kind of letter example is something that an employer or a university admissions board will definitely throw to the bin. This makes the candidate lose his/her chance at a good employment or good education. You definitely do not want to take that away from the candidate.
What you can actually do is politely tell the requester that you cannot do it. There’s no shame in being honest. However, you have to make sure that you tell him/her early on so that there’s room to look for someone else to write the recommendation letter. If your reasons are on the negative side such as you just do not like the person, which is the reason why you are unwilling to write the academic recommendation letter, say a reason that is vague and will not hurt the feelings of the requester. One of the reasons can be that you do not feel comfortable and that you feel that someone else who has better qualifications can supply a better and more compelling recommendation letter.
How to Download the Samples
As we have mentioned earlier, all of the samples are downloadable for free and at absolutely no cost. You can definitely download one or all without having to worry about burning a hole in your pocket. Downloading the samples is also fairly easy. Just follow these steps:
- Click on the green DOWNLOAD button found on the right side of the sample/s you have chosen.
- After clicking, you will find that the DOWNLOAD button is now red and was replaced with a VERIFY button. This is because you will be asked to fill out a simple captcha and you have to click on the VERIFY button.
- After verifying, the VERIFY button will be a red DOWNLOAD and once you click on it, you will now be asked to save the file.
There you have it! You now have a better idea about recommendation letters, how to write them, what to include, as well as turning down a request for such letters. By following the tips and the guidelines we have, you are sure to end up with a good recommendation letter. Good luck and just take your time in writing one.
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