The act of writing a recommendation letter is beset with difficulties, especially if one is new to the task. Since we understand the plight of previous professors, previous employers, or manager who are placed in such a situation, we have come to pull you out of a writing rut. This article explains fully how you can format a recommendation letter. Moreover, we offer you some helpful tips on how to make sure that your recommendation letter is able to successfully convince the hiring manager into believing that the applicant you are recommending is of great value to their company or organization.
Read on below and download our recommendation letter templates as your guide!
Sample Employment Recommendation Letter
Sample Recommendation Letter Basic Format
Sample Recommendation Letter for Job Application
Who Can Write a Job Recommendation Letter?
A recommendation letter for employment has the power to move hiring managers into considering job applicants whose resumes are either mediocre or unappealing. Due to the significance of recommendation letters, it is advisable to pick the right individuals who possess the ability and authority to write an effective one. Below are the individuals who can write a job recommendation letter or a recommendation letter for employment:
- A current or previous professor of the job applicant
- A previous manager
- A previous coworker
- A previous employer
- A previous team leader
- Internship advisers
- Tutors and mentors
Basic Format of Recommendation Letter
A recommendation letter follows, more or less, the format of business letters. There are variations when it comes to the body of the letter as it must be organized in a way that effectively realizes its purpose—which is to convince the reader that the job applicant you are recommending is a good addition to their company. If you need a refresher on how to format a recommendation letter, read the items below:
This comprises of the following:
- The Return Address: The return address is basically the block that consists of 2–3 lines. This is where the name, address, position title, affiliation, and contact information of the person writing the letter is written.
- The Inside Address: This contains the complete name, address, position title, the name of the company, and contact information of the letter-recipient.
This part is otherwise known as the salutation. This is the standard greeting of any formal letter. Usually, this starts with a “Dear” followed by the name of the recipient and his/her proper title (e.g., Mr./Mrs./Atty./Dr./Engr.).
The Body of the Letter
- The Introductory Line: The first sentence of the body of the letter can be a short and formal nicety such as, “Good day!” or one can go ahead to the heart of the matter by introducing one’s self. This is where the writer introduces himself/herself and explains how he/she has come to know the job applicant. The nature of their relationship must be clearly explained.
- The Enumeration of Attributes Line: This is the most important aspect of the letter. It provides an honest picture of the applicant’s skills that are related to the job position being applied. Aside from the pertinent skills and qualifications, other characteristics of the applicant that may prove valuable to the company can also be stated here. For example, if an applicant is applying for an editing job, the primary emphasis would be placed on his/her linguistic prowess. However, other attributes are also useful to anyone in such a position such as communication skills and organizational skills since editors are usually tasked to consult writers and publishers. Moreover, their editing tasks also require them to create daily, weekly, or monthly reports—in which case, they must also possess good organizational skills. Hence, this line or rather, this section of the letter’s body must be meticulously written.
- The Citing of Proofs Line: This part is where further discussions on the attributes claimed must be expounded through the narration of specific instances when the applicant has successfully applied the skills enumerated in the previous paragraph/line.
- The Concluding Paragraph: This part serves as the closing. It reiterates the writer’s hopeful wish that the applicant be considered for the position. The writer can also express his/her willingness to entertain the hiring manager’s questions should he/she want to know more about the applicant.
This is where the formal closing remark must be written a few spaces below the last sentence of the letter’s body.
The Signature Line
Below the closing remark, the signature and name of the writer must be written.
Sample Student Employee Recommendation Letter
Sample Professional Recommendation Letter
Sample Job Recommendation Letter
Tips in Writing a Captivating Recommendation Letter for Employment
Writing a recommendation letter for employment does not have to be an intimidating task. We are here to show you how to write a captivating recommendation letter without breaking a sweat, with our properly researched and time-tested tips and guidelines on how to write it.
The following tips can help you fabricate a recommendation letter that is effective:
Are you up for the job?
Before you would even think about writing a hasty line or two in favor of the job applicant, you have to carefully consider your readiness first. Ask yourself whether or not you genuinely consider the applicant as worthy of your recommendation. Then, assess your time schedule if you can fit a sufficient amount of time for letter-writing before the deadline set by the applicant. If you are not ready or if you think you cannot provide a truthful positive account of the applicant’s character, then it is best that you politely decline the request. You can tell the applicant the reason for your decline so that he/she can discuss with you the possible courses of action he/she can take.
Familiarize the company.
If you have already decided that the applicant is worthy of the effort, then you may proceed with the essential preparations to be done prior to writing your recommendation letter. Ask your job applicant for the name of the company that he/she wants you to send the letter to. Then conduct a thorough research on the culture of such a company so that you may get a feel on how you should tone your letter. Moreover, get a copy of the job description of the job position that your applicant wants to apply for. If you can’t grab a copy from the company itself, you can search the Internet for samples of job descriptions for the specific position.
Ask for a copy of the job application documents.
Of course, you have to make sure that your recommendation letter glows of your depth of understanding and knowledge of the applicant’s character. Far be it from you to simply regurgitate information, which can be found in the applicant’s resume or cover letter. That is why you must ask the applicant to send you a copy of the resume, CV, and cover letter that he/she has prepared for the job application process in order for you to know which information you need to highlight and which ones must be omitted.
Employment Recommendation Letter from Previous Professor
Sample Teaching Position Recommendation Letter
Get to know the person you are recommending.
Set up a meeting with the applicant in order to get to know him/her more. You may know the applicant at a certain level, however, it is always best to refresh your memory of his/her past performance so that you can obtain more material for your recommendation letter. Another reason why it is important for you to converse with the job applicant lies on the fact that the applicant might have changed and gained new skills and achievement during the span of time that has stretched between the moment you first knew him/her and the moment when he/she has asked you to write a recommendation letter. The hiring manager would not want to read a recommendation letter that raves about the applicant’s actions ten years ago. There needs to be a sense of timeliness in your letter for it to be relevant.
Format it properly.
Refer to templates of recommendation letters in order to know the proper format. You may download the templates on this page and refer to the basic formatting guidelines stated in this post.
Seek objective review.
The primary problem of most recommendation letters is that the writer tends to have a myopic view of how an effective recommendation letter should look like. A lot of hiring managers, especially wizened ones, have developed a distaste for recommendation letters that are filled with vacuous raving statements about a job applicant. Indeed, you don’t want your letter to get thrown into a pile of rubbish recommendation letters. So what you can do is you can ask someone who has experienced writing recommendation letters, to read the draft you have written. Be open to suggestion and edit your letter accordingly. Lastly, you must not forget to proofread your letter for grammatical errors, and always check the spellings and the appropriateness of the words used.
Now that you know the basics of writing a good recommendation letter, go ahead and write one that can dazzle the hiring manager! For more information on writing recommendation letters, you may check out our website’s wide collection of recommendation letters.
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