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Letter of recommendations samples

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Letter of recommendations samples
August 21, 2019 1st Anniversary Wishes No comments

Review examples of positive recommendation letters for students, volunteers, and employees, with tips for what to include and how to write.

As a manager or supervisor, it’s likely that you will need to write a reference letter for an employee from time to time. During a job search, having the endorsement of a previous supervisor can be very helpful in landing a new position.

On the other hand, if you don’t feel that you can honestly strongly endorse this person for the position, you should politely turn down their request for a reference. It is better to not write a recommendation at all than to write one expressing anything less than full confidence in the employee.

Writing a Recommendation for an Employee

When a former employee asks you to write a reference letter for them, they should provide you with some information to help you make your letter specific and complete. If it’s been a while since they worked for you, they should provide you with an updated copy of their resume, so that you have the dates they worked for you handy and can see what skills they have added since then.

A job description, or job posting for the type of position they are applying for is also helpful. If they have the name of the hiring manager, they should let you know that as well.

If you are sending your letter in a business format, you’ll begin with your contact information, followed by the date and the hiring manager’s contact information. If you are sending an email, your subject should contain the person’s name you are recommending, that this is a reference, and perhaps the title of the position they are applying for; Subject: Jane Doe - Reference for HR Assistant.

Your salutation should be followed by the body of your letter, where you will begin with how long you have known the candidate, and in what capacity. You can then elaborate on their skills, strengths, and experiences that make them an exceptional employee. It can be helpful to use anecdotes and specific achievements to highlight the attributes which will be most applicable in the position they are seeking.

In your closing, mention your confidence in your candidate, and offer your strong recommendation for them in the position. Thank the hiring manager for their time, and let them know you are available for clarification or further questions, should they have any.

Reference Letter Sample for an Employee

Download the Word Template

The following is an example of a recommendation letter written by a manager for a former employee. It contains information on the person's qualities, attributes, and effectiveness on the job, as well as a strong recommendation for future employment.

Reference Letter Sample for an Employee (Text Version)

Subject: Recommendation for Laura Woods

Dear Ms. Lee,

It is my pleasure to recommend Laura Woods for employment with your organization. I have known Laura for over two years during which time she worked as a communications assistant in my office.

I have been consistently impressed with Laura's attitude and productivity during the time that she has worked in the office.

Laura is both very bright and quite motivated. I am confident that she will devote herself to a position with your organization with a high degree of diligence. She is a quick learner and has shown the ability to digest large volumes of information. Ms. Woods has demonstrated the ability to articulate information and ideas in both the verbal and written forms.

Laura has also been effective in her efforts to engage the media we outreach to. She has been able to write interesting press releases and articles and convince editors to publish those pieces. Ms. Woods is willing to take risks. She will reach out to people and involve them with projects. I particularly appreciate Laura's willingness to take initiative to help the office serve its constituents more fully.

I recommend Ms. Woods without reservation. I am confident that she will establish productive relationships with your staff and constituents. Please let me know if you have need for additional information about this outstanding young woman.


Raymond Rodriguez
ABCD Company

If you can write a glowing, positive recommendation for a former employee, it’s always a good idea to take the opportunity to help them out.

Your contact information should follow your name if you are sending an email, and it’s not at the heading.

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab serves writers from around the world and the Purdue University Annotated Sample Letter of Recommendation.

Write A Killer Scholarship Recommendation Letter For Your Student (With Example)

letter of recommendations samples

Writing a letter of recommendation for employment purposes can be both difficult and time-consuming. Not to mention, another person’s career could be riding on your words.

Our free downloadable recommendation letter templates can be quickly and easily customized to create a professional and persuasive letter. Or, use one of our many samples to find inspiration and write your own.

Trying to write a recommendation for a student or teacher? Check out our library of education related templates and samples.

See Also > How to Write a Letter of Recommendation – Samples, Templates, & Guide

Table of Contents:

  1. Written by a Supervisor for an Employee
  2. Written for a Coworker
  3. Character Reference (Written for Friend)
  4. LinkedIn Recommendation

1. Letter of Recommendation Written by a Supervisor

As a supervisor, a recommendation letter written by you for an employee holds a lot of weight. As such, it’s important that your letter is as convincing as possible. Our experts designed this template to hit all the most important parts needed to write a strong recommendation letter for employment.

Simply download the free template as a MS Word doc and customize it with your employee’s details.

Things to Focus on:

  • Since companies take the word of management much more seriously than anyone else, you should emphasize your position as your employee’s supervisor, as well as how long you have managed them. In doing so, everything you say in your letter will be strengthened.
  • Give detailed examples of how your employee used their skills and knowledge to benefit your company in an impressive way.
  • Make sure that the skills and achievements you include are relevant to your past employee’s target company or job.
  • When talking about a candidate’s personality traits, include those that not only help them contribute to a positive work environment, but also enable them to succeed professionally.

Download This MS Word | Template & Sample

Click below to read a completed example and get inspiration.

Sample Recommendation Letter Written by Supervisor (Text Format)

January 29th, 2018

Ms. Carolyn Dearie

Hiring Manager

Target Robotics Inc.

123 Company Address

Los Angeles, CA, 90005

Dear Ms. Dearie,

It is my pleasure and honor to recommend Ileana Flores for the role of Project Manager at Target Robotics. I have worked with Ileana for 4 years as her manager at Dolphin Technologies, where she used her excellent leadership skills to deliver spectacular results in the role of Assistant Project Manager. I am confident that Ileana’s exceptional skills, professional experience, and personal qualities will make her a powerful asset at Target Robotics.

As an Assistant Project Manager, Ileana constantly demonstrated an extensive knowledge of project management tools and techniques, as well as superb communication skills. In particular, her in-depth knowledge of Scrum Methodologies helped increase the amount of projects completed on-time and within budget by 23%. Moreover, her uncanny ability to facilitate clear communication between different teams and departments ensured misunderstandings were few and far between.

What’s more, Ileana’s extraordinary focus and strategic way of thinking always made her a stand-out member of the team. Whenever there are problems or flaws in the production process, she showcases her superb analytical qualities to quickly identify the issue and deal with it before it can become too serious.

[Optional Section(don’t include if reason for departure could be seen negatively)]:

Unfortunately, due to her mother’s medical condition, Ileana had to move out west and we no longer have the pleasure of working with her. Her loss is greatly felt, but she will undoubtedly continue to thrive at Target Robotics.

Ileana has my highest recommendation for this position. I have no doubt she will make a strong addition to your team. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding her candidacy or past work.


Your Signature

Your Name

2. Recommendation Letter Written for a Coworker

When a colleague asks you to write a letter of recommendation letter for them, it can be a little daunting. You may feel like you aren’t really qualified to write such a letter. We’re here to tell you that that’s not true at all.

Our handcrafted template and sample will show you exactly the kind of points you can focus on to write a powerful and persuasive letter from your position as a coworker.

All you have to do is download the free template as a MS Word doc and customize it with the details of your colleague.

Things to Focus on:

  • Create a strong base for your recommendation by outlining your working relationship. For example, perhaps you were on the same team or worked on certain projects together.
  • Cite detailed examples of your colleague’s achievements and skills that you witnessed firsthand when working with them.
  • If you worked closely with your coworker for a long time, highlight the positive aspects of their personality that make them a desirable person to work with.
  • Emphasize the value of your colleague as an asset to their target company and maintain a positive and enthusiastic tone throughout the letter.

Download This MS Word | Template & Sample

Click below to read a completed example and get inspiration.

Sample Recommendation Letter Written for a Coworker (Text Format)

January 29th, 2018

Ms. Sandra Adams

Hiring Manager

Ion Software

123 Company Address

Los Angeles, CA, 90005

Dear Ms. Adams,

I am more than pleased to have the opportunity to recommend Zachariah Scott for the role of Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at Ion Software. I was honored to work alongside Zach for 3 years on the marketing team at Genos Tech. Zach was always an outstanding member of our team, and I have always been impressed by his professionalism and admirable personal qualities.

As an Online Marketing Specialist, Zach constantly demonstrated his exceptional analytical skills and extensive knowledge of best SEO practices. In particular, his intimate familiarity with the intricacies of Google Analytics enabled him to reduce the bounce rate on our most essential pages by an average of 20%. Moreover, he consistently produced top-quality content that ranked highly for all of our target keywords.

In addition to Zach’s impressive portfolio of professional accomplishments, he has one of the best personalities I have ever had the joy of working with. He is a fun-loving and friendly individual who always treats everyone in an amicable and welcoming manner. There is no one at our company that does not think of him fondly.

Unfortunately, due to his wife’s need to relocate for her job, I will no longer have the pleasure of working with Zach. Having witnessed his long track-record of success and admirable character, I assure you that he will more than excel in the role. The words “our loss is your gain” have never been more true.

I wholeheartedly recommend Zach for this position. I am confident he will become an invaluable addition to your team. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding his character or past work.


Your Signature

Your Name

3. Sample Character Reference Letter & Template Written for a Friend

Writing a character reference (or personal letter of recommendation) for a friend can be a huge aid when it comes to helping them land a job. However, figuring out exactly what to write can often be difficult. Our expert’s template and sample letter will show you exactly what to include to write a professional and convincing personal reference.

Just download the free template as a MS Word doc and customize it with your friend’s details.

Things to Focus on:

  • Although a character reference written by a friend will have a much less formal tone, you should still keep your letter as professional and polite as possible.
  • Think of some of your friend’s skills and achievements outside of the workplace that would be useful when applied to their target job.
  • As a friend, you are intimately familiar with the applicant’s personality, so your primary focus should be on highlighting their strength of character and positive personal traits.
  • Mention how your friend’s positive personality traits would be of benefit in a professional setting.

Download This MS Word | Template & Sample

Click below to read a completed example and get inspiration.

Sample Character Reference Letter (Text Format)

January 18th, 2018

Mr. Erik Epiciano

Owner & Manager

Italian Pasta House

123 Company Address

Los Angeles, CA, 90005

Dear Mr. Epiciano,

I couldn’t be happier to recommend my close personal friend, Bianca Jones, for the open wait staff position at the Italian Pasta House. I have known Bianca for 8 years and can confidently say that she is a person of impeccable character.

Ever since we first met, Bianca’s incredible friendliness and interpersonal skills have always impressed me. I remember one instance in particular when she accidentally bumped into an angry man who subsequently began spouting curses at her. She utilized her exceptional ability to remain calm in the face of confrontation to diffuse the situation with a warm smile and a sincere apology.

More importantly, everyone who interacts with Bianca is always blown away by her selfless, kind, and warm-hearted nature. Whenever there is any need for volunteers in our town, Bianca always enthusiastically signs up without the slightest hesitation, eager to help in any way she can.

It is truly a privilege and an honor to be considered Bianca’s friend and I wholeheartedly recommend her for this position. I assure you that her commitment to her professional career, as well as her high moral values are without question. I have no doubt she will make a strong addition to your team. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Your Signature

Your Name

4. LinkedIn Recommendation Sample & Template (For Colleague)

A lot of people get confused about exactly how to write a recommendation on LinkedIn. At first glance, they seem like a completely different animal from a regular recommendation letter, but they are essentially just a more concise version.

Our professionally crafted sample and template will give you the exact formula for writing a stellar LinkedIn recommendation. Download the free template as a MS word doc and fill in all the necessary details.

Things to Focus on:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Potential employers browsing LinkedIn profiles want to be able to get a good idea of the strength of a candidate in as little time as possible.
  • Think about what paragraphs you would include in a full letter, and then convert each one into 1-2 sentences. For example: how you know the candidate, their professional strengths, their positive personal traits.
  • Make your recommendation personable. Try to tell a story that makes the potential employer feel like they are getting to know the candidate better.
  • Although you want to keep your LinkedIn recommendation short, make sure you include an example or two that demonstrates the candidate has the abilities or traits you mention.

Download This MS Word | Template & Sample

Click below to read a completed example and get inspiration.

LinkedIn Recommendation Sample (Text Version) (Text Format)

Few people are fortunate enough to have the chance to work with a Sales Associate as outstanding as Jim Harding. I met Jim when we worked together at Viper Tech, and I had the pleasure of working with him for 4 years.

I was constantly impressed by his exceptional ability to close a deal, and I’ve never seen anyone exceed sales quotas as effortlessly as Jim.

Not to mention, his bright and jovial personality always improved the mood in the office. I would highly recommend Jim for any position he chooses to pursue.


Regardless of your position, downloading and customizing these free templates and samples is a surefire way to quickly and easily write a compelling recommendation letter for employment. If you’d like some more details or want to write your own from scratch, our comprehensive list of letter of recommendation samples and writing guide has everything you need to know.

Written by Matthew Kerr

Matthew Kerr is a career adviser at Resume Genius, where he reinvigorates client's careers and saves resumes from the trash heap. His career expertise has been quoted on countless publications across the web, including... more

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letter of recommendations samples

Use this sample reference letter when a colleague, former team member, student, or acquaintance asks for a personal recommendation. Be sure to modify this reference letter template with specific examples from your experience with that person.

How to write a reference letter

First, when someone asks you for a reference letter, think whether you can actually give them a good recommendation. If you’re not sure you can recommend them without thinking twice, it’s best to politely decline sending the referral letter rather than be forced to lie (or make negative comments ruining the other person’s chances).

If you’re sure you can write a positive professional reference letter, follow this process:

  1. Refresh your memory about the person. For example, ask HR what their exact title was when they worked in your team and for how long they stayed. Consult your own records to see if there are useful notes about them.
  2. Write down two-three qualities that characterize this person. If you can recall specific examples that prove these qualities, put them in your reference letter too.
  3. Think about specific experiences you had with that person. Especially instances where they showed positive attitude or knowledge. Include one example in your letter if possible.
  4. Use our reference letter template to shape your own letter of recommendation format.

At any case, you might need to spend half an hour or so to write a good recommendation letter, but if you have good things to say, this person is worth it.

Here’s our reference letter template:

Dear [insert name],

I am writing to recommend [employee_name]. [He/ She] worked with us at [company_name] as a [employee_job_title] and [reported to me/ worked with me] in my position as [insert your job title].

As an employee, [employee_name] was always [insert quality]. During [his/her] time in my team, [he/she] managed to [insert example].

I’ve always put a premium on [insert quality] among my team members and [employee_name] never failed to deliver. An example was when [insert example].

[Employee_name] is a delight to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to hire [him/her] again.

Should you have any further questions about [him/her], feel free to reach me at [phone number].


[Your name and signature]

How to use this reference letter format:

  • Flesh it out. Use one or two sentences to give context to each of your examples.
  • Be flexible. Use the template as a guide, but write in your own voice and say what you think is important.
  • Be honest. Your former employee or colleague may be asked about the examples you provided. Don’t embellish to make them look good since this may come out eventually.
  • Be targeted, if you can. If you have information about the job or program the employee is applying to, tailor your letter to reflect specific requirements. For example, if you know this job requires leadership skills, give relevant examples.

Here’s a reference letter example based on our template:

Dear Mr. Skywalker,

I am writing to recommend Leia Thompson. She worked with me at Acme Inc. as a Senior Product Manager and reported to me in my position as VP of Engineering.

As an employee, Leia was always reliable and resourceful. During her time in my team, she managed to conduct high-impact user research and make a number of key recommendations that resulted in an improved product (and subsequently increased sales).

I’ve always put a premium on initiative and willingness to learn among my team members and Leia never failed to deliver on both fronts. An example was when she suggested we create a regular internal meetup where more senior employees could answer questions from other employees about their work. She was the first to take advantage of the knowledge these meetups offered and implemented it in her own work.

Leia is a delight to work with – a team player with a positive, can-do attitude all the way. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire her again if the opportunity arose.

Should you have any further questions, feel free to reach me at +10000000.


Sarah Long

VP of Engineering, Acme Inc.

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It's best to download a template that gives you guidance when preparing a Letter of Recommendation. You need to show some effort before asking someone to.

Letter of Reference Template

letter of recommendations samples

Things to Keep in Mind

It is important to ask yourself if you’re able to write the student a meaningful and positive letter. If you feel that you don’t know the student well enough or don’t have enough to share, then your letter may end up hurting their chances to win the scholarship. Don’t hesitate to turn down writing the letter if you feel this way.

If you feel like you don’t know the student well enough, there are a few things you can do. You can ask the student for a copy of his or her resume or set up a meeting with the student to learn about their interests.

Keep in mind that some websites tell students to write the letter of recommendation on their own and ask their recommender to sign it. So, don’t be surprised if your student makes this request. If your student does prefer to write it and have you sign it, remember that you don’t have to sign something that isn’t realistic.

Finally, you should ask the student how to submit the letter. Be sure to follow all the requirements, including correct format, and where and when to send it.

Remember, your goal is to make the student stand out as a top candidate that the scholarship committee would want to invest in. So, make sure that you follow all the instructions to make the student look professional and punctual.

A Sample Scholarship Recommendation Letter

To Whom It May Concern,

It is my great pleasure to recommend Maria for the HENAAC Scholarship. I got to know Maria as her 11th grade AP biology teacher at Mark Twain High School. Maria was also a member of the science club which I am the head of, during her sophomore, junior, and senior year.

From the first day of class, Maria impressed me greatly with her focus and determination. She never hesitated to ask for help when the course material wasn’t clear and would stay after school for additional assistance. She showed great interest in the course and her passion for the field of science is evident.

I was also very impressed by the way she worked with her classmates. Maria got along well with everyone. She is both caring, respectful, and patient. She often sat with other students who needed extra help and explained to them the concepts they didn’t understand.

Maria is enrolled at the University of Michigan and will be starting in the fall of 2019. She plans to major in biology. It is her hopes and dreams to go to medical school following her undergraduate degree.

There is no doubt in my mind that Maria will succeed in whatever she path she chooses to take. She was one of my most motivated students who never succumbed to the pressure of school work and external commitments.  

Maria comes from a family of immigrants and will be the first one in her family to get a college degree. Her parents work very hard to support the family, but finances are a big strain on her family. Maria worked at a coffee shop during all four years of high school as well as babysat to help her parents out. She also helped take care of her brother who is 6 years younger than her.

Maria is very proud of her Hispanic roots. She was a member of the Hispanic club for all four years of high school. She hopes to encourage other Hispanic students to go to college and enter the field of science.

Her hard work and effort will get her very far in life and there is no doubt in my mind that she will succeed. She is very deserving of this scholarship and will greatly contribute to any community that she’s a part of.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at [email protected]


Julie Randalls

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Letters of Recommendation

This guide to writing recommendation letters offers helpful tips and a list of things to include in a letter of recommendation.

letter of recommendations samples
Written by Shazahn
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