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Letters of recommendations templates

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Letters of recommendations templates
May 02, 2019 1st Anniversary Wishes 2 comments

MBA applicants need to present at least one recommendation letter to admissions committees, and most schools ask for two or three. Letters of.

Table of Contents

  1. Template Library 1: Student, College, and Teacher Samples
  2. Template Library 2: Employment Related Samples
  3. What is a Letter of Recommendation?
  4. Format – Content Sections, Font, and Margins
  5. Important Steps Before Writing
  6. How to Write a Letter of Recommendation in 9 Steps
  7. Characteristics of a Strong Letter
  8. How to Ask For One
  9. When to Reject a Request

1. Letter of Recommendation Template Library 1: Student, College, and Teacher Samples

Click Here to View All Student and Teacher Templates

2. Letter of Recommendation Sample Library 2: Employment Templates

Click Here to View All Employment Related Templates

3. What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation (or reference letter) is a document designed to add extra weight and merit to a job or college application. They are usually written by a supervisor, colleague, teacher, or friend.

There are various different types of recommendation letters, but the three main ones are those for employment, for university applications, and character references.

Who Needs Letters of Recommendation? Why Do They Need Them?

Below we’ve outlined all the various types of people and reasons a person might require one, as well as who to ask for one.

#1. Students Applying for University, Grad School, or Scholarships

Almost all universities and scholarship programs require at least two recommendation letters as part of the application process. These reference letters should ideally be written by previous teachers or professors who are familiar with your academic achievements and abilities.

Students need references because admissions officers and scholarship organizations want to get a better understanding of who they are as a person. Recommendation letters help to shed light on the “full package” that is difficult to fully convey in a resume and personal essay.

For more details on who you should ask to write your recommendation, check out our detailed guide on how to ask for one.

It is also acceptable to have your letter written by a coach, guidance counselor, or academic adviser who can speak to your strengths.

#2. People Applying for Jobs That Require Strong References

For most job applications, a well-written resume and cover letter or letter of interest are more than sufficient. However, certain industries or companies may require a letter of recommendation in addition to these basic essentials. Teachers and physician assistants are two such examples of jobs that often need a written reference as part of the application.

Generally speaking, the most convincing reference letters will be those written by a supervisor. In cases where this is impossible (or undesirable), a recommendation from a coworker who is intimately familiar with your work is also acceptable.

#3. People Who Want to Beef Up Their Job Application

If you feel as though your resume and cover letter aren’t particularly strong, a letter of recommendation can help you land a job when it otherwise might be impossible.

A character reference from a friend, teacher, or family member can make all the difference when it comes to job hunting.

This usually occurs when you have little or no work experience. In situations like these, a character reference from a friend, teacher, or family member can make all the difference when it comes to job hunting.

On the other hand, if you’re applying for a particularly competitive job, a strong reference from a previous employer can turn the tide and help you stand out from the crowd.

4. Format — Content & Page Layout (Font, Margins)

Now that we know what a recommendation letter is and who needs one, let’s go through exactly how to structure the content of your letter, as well as the best page formatting and fonts to create a professional look.

Content Format Guide: 7 Basic Sections

No matter who it’s for, including these seven basic parts in your letter will ensure it hits every point needed to write a strong and compelling letter of recommendation.

Part 1. Contact Information and Letterhead

Ideally speaking, your own name, address, and contact information should go in a letterhead at the top of the page. If you don’t have a letterhead, place this information above the date on the top-left side of the page.

Otherwise, the first thing on the top-right side of the page should be the current date, followed by the addressee’s name, title, company or school name, and then address.

Part 2. Salutation

As with any letter, the first line should address the person or body of people you are writing to by name and title. Avoid vague salutations such as “To Whom It May Concern:” unless there are no other options available to you.

Check out the first step of our letter of recommendation writing guide for a more detailed explanation of how to craft the perfection salutation.

Part 3. Introduction: How you know the applicant

Start by expressing your sincere recommendation of the applicant, explain who you are and your relationship with the person you are recommending, including how long you have known them.

Part 4. The Academic, Personal, or Professional Achievements of the Applicant

The second paragraph outlines the relevant academic or professional strengths of the applicant. Include one to two specific and detailed examples that demonstrate the applicant truly does possess these strengths.

Part 5. Personal Traits and Characteristics

The third paragraph is all about personality. Include details of the applicants positive personality traits and examples that clearly showcase them.

Part 6. Explanation of Applicant’s Departure [Optional]

This optional section is only used when writing letters of recommendation for employment. It should also only be included in cases when the applicant’s reason for leaving their previous or current company is either neutral or positive. Such as relocating for family reasons, or outgrowing the opportunities at the company.

Part 7. Conclusion: Call-to-action

Reiterate your wholehearted recommendation of the applicant and encourage the reader to contact you with any questions they may have.

Page Format Guide: 5 Basic Rules

While the content of your letter is the most important element, the appearance of the page still requires some consideration. The alignment, font size and style, and margins can all impact the impression you give the reader.

The following simple guidelines will ensure your recommendation letter looks professional:

  1. Don’t exceed one page in length unless the extra paragraphs and details you are including legitimately strengthen your recommendation. That being said, anything over two pages is definitely too much.
  2. Use a 12-point font to maximize readability and economical use of space. Using an 11-point font in order to maintain a one-page length is acceptable but should be avoided when possible. Anything lower than 11 points is too small.
  3. Stick to basic font stylessuch as Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, and Garamond. Avoid any overly stylistic fonts that could affect readability.
  4. 1”–1½” is the sweet spot for margins. You could arguably go slightly over or under these limits to fit everything onto one page, but it’s best to avoid anything too excessive.
  5. Maintain a left alignmentthroughout the entire page to ensure an organized appearance. 

For more specific details on how to format a letter of recommendation, check out our comprehensive business letter format guide.

5. Three Important Steps Before You Begin Writing

Before you stretch your typing fingers, there are a couple of things you must do to ensure your reference letter is as compelling as possible.

Step 1:Ask the Applicant for Information

Ask the applicant for a copy of their resume, cover letter, personal essay, or any other such documents they are submitting as part of their application. Read through them thoroughly and avoid repeating any of the information mentioned unless it is particularly important.

Ask the applicant if there are any particular points or examples they’d like you to mention.

It’s also a good idea to ask the applicant if there are any particular points or examples they’d like you to mention.

Step 2:Conduct Your Own Research

Do some research on the company, university, or scholarship the applicant is targeting, and customize your letter based on their requirements. If you’re writing a letter for a job application, reading through the job description is a great way to get an idea of the specifics you should emphasize.

Step 3:Think About the Type of Letter You are Writing

Depending on the type of recommendation letter you are writing, the tone and contents will differ. If you’re a manager writing for an employee, the tone will be much more formal and contain a lot of detail regarding an applicant’s professional achievements.

On the other end of the spectrum, a character reference from a friend will be written in a more casual tone and focus more on an individual’s personal strengths and characteristics.

If you’re pressed for time, ask the applicant to do all the research for you and then provide a summary of all the important information.

6. How to Write a Compelling Recommendation Letter — 9 Step Guide

Now that we’ve gotten all the little nitty-gritty details out of the way, it’s time to put pen to paper. Following these steps will help you create a convincing letter of recommendation that is sure to be an invaluable part of any application.

Step 1: A Polite and Personable Salutation

The way you greet someone when meeting them for the first time has a huge impact on their first impression of you. The way you address someone in a letter is no different. As such, it’s important to use a polite and personable salutation to start your letter off strong.

A proper salutation should be structured as follows:

Dear+ Title+ Name of Recipient

The title will vary depending on the individual you are writing to. For example, if you are addressing a hiring manager, you would use a general title such as Mr., Mrs., or Ms.

Example #1:

Dear + Mr. /Mrs. /Ms. + Hiring Manager’s Last Name

On the other hand, if you were writing to a Professor or someone with a Phd, you should use their professional title such as Dr. or Professor.

Example #2:

Dear+ Professor+ Professor’s Last Name

Ideally the applicant requesting the letter should provide you with the name of the person who the letter should be addressed to. If not, a bit of quick research on linkedin, or the company/university website should yield some results.

What Should I Do if I Don’t Know the Name of the Recipient?

When you don’t know the name of the recipient, you should still make your salutation as personable as possible. This means avoiding weak openings that make no attempt to directly address the reader.

Even if you don’t know their nameyou should never use “To Whom it May Concern” when addressing the recipient.

Here’s What You Should Do Instead:

Dear+ Titleof Recipient

For example, if you are addressing a university’s dean of admissions whose name you don’t know, write Dear Dean of Admissions. Whereas if you are writing to the hiring manager of a company, write Dear Hiring Manager.

How Should I Address a Letter to a Body of People or an Organization?

When addressing a body of people such as an admissions committee or board of directors you should follow the same principles as those outlined above. The only difference is that the title of the recipient should be replaced by the name of the group or organization.

Here is the exact formula:

Dear+ Name of Group or Organization

The following examples give you a better idea:

  • DearAdmissions Committee
  • DearBoard of Directors
  • DearRhodes Trust

Step 2: Start Your Introduction With a Punch

The first sentence of your recommendation is arguably the most important because it sets the tone for the entire letter. The best openers are those that immediately express the heartfelt and enthusiastic recommendation of the applicant.

Here are some useful phrases you can use to write a strong first sentence:

  • It’s my pleasure to recommend…
  • It’s my pleasure and honor to…
  • I couldn’t be more pleased to…
  • I have absolutely no reservations about recommending…
  • I wholeheartedly recommend…

In comparison, a generic sentence that lacks enthusiasm such as “I am writing with regards to the recommendation for…” is both boring and weak.

Step 3: Establish Your Relationship

The remainder of your introductory paragraph should be devoted to describing who you are and your relationship with the applicant. This is an essential step because it establishes the relevance of your letter.

If you have known the applicant for a good length of time — and are in a good position to evaluate their strengths — then the potency of your letter multiplies. When establishing your relationship, you should include the following points:

  • Your position and company/school
  • The capacity in which you know the applicant
  • How long you have known the applicant

By including these details in the very beginning of your letter, the reader understands the foundation of the relationship that your words are coming from. This context makes everything you say afterwards much more powerful.

Including some anecdotes about your relationship will help strengthen this important foundation.

Step 4: Give Words of Praise

Finish your introduction with a sentence or two highlighting some of the applicant’s key strengths or personality traits.

The following examples will give you an idea of how you should write yours:

  • During that time, I watched Zach grow into an exceptional individual who excels in both his academic and personal pursuits.
  • Gregory was always an outstanding member of our team, and I have always been impressed by his professionalism and admirable personal qualities.

Don’t worry about going into detail. The purpose of these sentences is to round out the first paragraph, while simultaneously serving as a sneak peak of what’s to come in the body of your letter.

Step 5: Showcase the Applicant’s Professional/Academic Strengths

Your first body paragraph should start by mentioning 2–3 of the applicant’s specific skills, talents, or experiences that are relevant to their target job position or college program.

It is essential that these points are then followed up with detailed and descriptive examples of the applicant’s accomplishments that prove the aforementioned abilities.

Take a look at the difference between the following two examples from a reference letter written for a project manager:

No details:

  • Zach is great at managing projects.

Specific and detailed:

  • Zach’s in-depth knowledge of Scrum Methodologies helped increase the amount of projects completed on-time and within budget by 23%

Not only is the second example far more compelling, but it also showcases the professional accomplishment the applicant has that would benefit her target job. When the reader sees these kinds of examples, they think to themselves, “This is the kind of performance I need at my company.

Whenever possible, include interesting anecdotes about the applicant that demonstrate the strengths and abilities you described. This will create a more personable tone that makes the reader feel as though they are getting to know the applicant — one of the key aspects of a strong recommendation letter.

Make sure the achievements you mention are ones that you personally witnessed. Otherwise, they will carry far less weight for the reader.

Step 6: Highlight the Applicant’s Best Personal Qualities

The next body paragraph should focus on 2–3 of the applicant’s positive personality traits and characteristics — particularly those that would be beneficial or desired by their target company or school.

One of the chief reasons universities and certain companies request letters of recommendation is because they want to get a more holistic understanding of the applicant as a person. Thus, only including their academic or professional achievements is not enough to create a persuasive letter.

Much like with the previous step, include relevant and specific examples or anecdotes to backup your claims. Let’s take a look at some examples:

No Details:

  • Joyce is a selfless and compassionate person.

Specific and Detailed:

  • As a member of habitat for humanity, Joyce demonstrated her compassion and selfless nature by providing invaluable tutelage and mentorship to countless underprivileged children.

In case you’re having trouble thinking of compelling ways to describe an applicant’s personality, we’ve created a table containing some of the best personal qualities to include in a letter of recommendation:

AdaptabilityEnergyHonestyResourceful
CompassionEnthusiasmIntegrityResponsible
CharismaFriendlinessIntelligenceTrustworthy
DeterminationGenerosityLeadershipVibrant

Just be sure that you prove that the applicant possesses the personal qualities you mention with specific and detailed examples.

Step 7: Explain Why the Applicant is Leaving [Optional Paragraph for Job References]

This paragraph is only relevant if you’re writing a letter of recommendation for employment purposes. That being said, you should only include this section if the reason the applicant is leaving your current company is either neutral or positive.

The following are a few examples of the types of reasons that would be acceptable:

  • Relocating for family reasons
  • Outgrowing opportunities available at current company
  • Medical reasons
  • Skillset would be put to better use at another company

After reading through a letter describing how amazing an applicant is, it is quite normal for a hiring manager to think to themselves, “If this candidate is so great, why are they no longer at the company?” By including the reason for an applicant’s departure, it helps to assuage some of these doubts.

If you’re unsure whether or not the reason might be seen in a negative light, then it’s safer to exclude this section altogether.

However, if you’re unsure whether or not the reason might be seen in a negative light, then it’s safer to exclude this section altogether.

Step 8: Encourage the Reader to Accept the Applicant

Begin the concluding paragraph by reiterating your complete, unreserved, and enthusiastic recommendation of the applicant. Follow this up by emphasizing the value of the applicant as an asset.

Use strong, authoritative, and confident language when writing this sentence. Take a look at the following examples:

  • I am confident that Jon will make an outstanding member of your university’s community.
  • There is no doubt in my mind that Allison would quickly become an invaluable asset for your team.
  • It is my strong opinion that Matthew would be a tremendous addition to the University of Virginia’s graduate program in Theoretical Physics.

Finally, conclude by encouraging the reader to contact you if they have any questions about the applicant.

Step 9: Politely Sign-off

Your letter closing should be formal and polite. Sincerely, Regards, and Best regards are all great examples. Sincerely is widely considered to be the best sign-off because not only is it undeniably polite, it also carries a warm, friendly tone. In cases where the closing is more than one word, only the first letter of the first word should be capitalized.

Ready to get started? Save yourself some time and effort by downloading and customizing one of our free templates or samples:

Templates and Samples for Students & Teachers

Templates and Samples for Employment & Jobs

7. The Six Characteristics of a Strong Recommendation

Regardless of what kind of content you end up including, keeping these six characteristics in mind throughout the writing process will help take your recommendation to the next level.

#1. It Is Personable:

Your letter should sound like it was written by a real person. The chief reason why colleges and employers request reference letters is because they want to get an idea how an applicant’s qualifications and personal qualities are perceived by another person.

#2. It Comes from a Credible Source:

If your mom writes you a college recommendation letter outlying how you are such a good, nice boy” it is unlikely to be very convincing to the admissions board. It needs to come from an authoritative source and be written in a strong, confident tone.

#3. It Uses Supportive, Positive, and Enthusiastic Language:

A powerful recommendation needs to be enthusiastic and sincere. If the reader feels like you don’t wholeheartedly recommend the applicant, your letter will be weak and unconvincing.

When describing the applicant’s strengths, enhance them with adjectives such as “exceptional,” “outstanding,” and “superb.”

Using adverbs such as “sincerely” and “wholeheartedly” will inject some passion into your words. When describing the applicant’s strengths, enhance them with adjectives such as “exceptional,” “outstanding,” and “superb.”

#4. It is Specific and Detailed:

You should avoid empty cliches such as, “Mollie is the best student/employee I’ve ever had.” Everything you say needs to be specific and backed up by evidence. If Jim really was the best student you ever had, then you need to describe exactly how and why that was the case.

#5. It Contains a Narrative:

By the end of the letter the reader should feel like they have gotten to know both you and the applicant better. Your relationship with the applicant, and your description of their strengths, should feel like a story. Also be sure to include anecdotes demonstrating the applicant’s abilities and traits whenever possible.

#6. It Is Relevant to the Applicant’s Goals:

A strong recommendation should focus on the strength’s an applicant possess that are relevant to their pursuits. For example, in the case of a student applying to a mechanical engineering department, avoid writing about their exceptional literary masterworks and focus on their achievements in science.

8. How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

Asking for a recommendation letter can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re not sure whether or not the person will accept. This guide will show you exactly how to properly ask for a reference letter, as well as who and when to ask.

If you’ve been asked to write a recommendation and you’re not sure whether or not you should accept, go to the next section for details on exactly when and how to reject a request.

When Should I Ask for One?

You should only ask for letters of recommendation when an application specifically calls for one, or when you believe your application would be weak without one.

The following are examples of when a reference letter would be required or useful:

  • Applying for University
  • Applying for Graduate School
  • Applying for a Scholarship
  • Applying for a job that request ones
  • Applying for an entry-level job with little or no work experience
  • Applying for a job as a teacher
  • Applying to work at a volunteer organization

Who should I ask?

Generally speaking, you should ask someone you have a solid relationship with who can also accurately speak to your strengths from a position of authority. That being said, the best person to ask for a recommendation will depend on the type of application you are making.

Tips on who to ask if I’m a…

a. Student Applying to College or Scholarship:

Pick a teacher who has taught you for a long period of time and whose classes you performed particularly well in. If you are applying for a specific major, consider asking a teacher who taught you a subject related to your target field.

b. Student Applying to Grad School:

Ask a professor with whom you have had extensive interaction, such as one from a course which involved a lot of discussion. Even if you performed exceptionally well in a certain professor’s course, if there were 300 people in the class they would be unable to write an effective letter for you.

If you wrote a thesis paper as an undergrad, your adviser is likely the professor most well-equipped to write your recommendation.

c. Teacher Applying for a Job at a New School:

Ideally, you should ask the principal of your previous school because they can write you a letter from a position of authority. However, if you’d rather not ask the principal or feel they don’t know you well enough, asking the head of your department is a great alternative.

d. Recent Grad Applying for a Teaching Job:

If you specifically studied to become a teacher in college, then you will have already taught some courses under the guidance of a professor or two. One of these professors is by far the best candidate to ask to write your recommendation.

e. Applying to a Job with Little or No Work Experience:

Ask a friend or extended family member to write a character reference for you. A reference from a direct family member will be seen as “too close to home” and will not be taken seriously by any potential employer.

f. Applying to a Job with Experience:

The ideal writer would be someone who has directly supervised your work such as a manager. In cases where asking your manager is not ideal, a colleague who you have worked with closely is also acceptable.

If you’re still not sure who to ask, use the following formula: pick the person in the highest possible position with whom you have the strongest relationship.

How Should I Ask? (6 Expert Tips for Proper Etiquette)

In many cases, how you ask for a letter of recommendation can be the difference between a person saying yes or no. These six tips for proper etiquette will help you ask in a way that makes it hard to decline.

#1. Ask in Person:

Whenever possible, always ask for a recommendation in person. The person you ask will appreciate that you took the time to make a personal, face-to-face appeal.

#2. Explain Your Situation:

Don’t jump straight into asking for a reference. Start by explaining exactly what you are applying for so that they understand why you are asking in the first place.

#3. Use Polite Language:

Use indirect turns of phrase to ensure your tone is as polite as possible when asking someone for a recommendation, even if you know the person very well.

Don’t say: “Hey can you write me a recommendation letter?

Do Say: “I was wondering if it might at all be possible for you to write me a letter of recommendation.

In almost all cases, politeness is the most important factor in convincing someone to accept your request.

This is by far the most important tip, so pay extra attention to it. In almost all cases, politeness is the most important factor in convincing someone to accept your request.

#4. Give Them an Excuse to Say No:

In case they are unwilling or unable to write your letter, always follow up your request with a statement that allows them to easily decline. Don’t put them in an awkward position where they have to directly refuse.

Example: “If you’re too busy with other tasks to write it, I perfectly understand and please don’t hesitate to decline.

#5. Emphasize Why You’re Asking Them:

Explain why you chose to ask for a recommendation from them. Many times this will help convince them to accept your request even if they are busy.

Example:I understand that you might not have time, but since you have taught me for 2 years and are familiar with my work, I believe that no one is more qualified to write my recommendation than you.”

#6. Express Your Gratitude:

Tell them how appreciative you would be if they would take the time to write your letter. However, don’t give them the impression that you expect them to accept (as outlined in tip 4).

Example: I would really appreciate it if you were able to write a letter of recommendation for me, if you are unable to do so, however, I completely understand and please don’t worry about it.”

In the end, as long as you ask with a polite and sincere attitude, most people will be more than happy to write a recommendation for you.

How to Ask via Email (with Template)

If you are in a situation where you can’t ask for a recommendation in person, write a request via email. Simply follow the same guidelines outlined in the section above and your request will be golden.

If you’re still unsure of yourself however, we’ve created a professional template for writing a letter of recommendation email request below. Simply copy and paste the template and then fill in your own details.

Subject Line: Request for Letter of Recommendation

Dear [Title + Name of Person You are Asking]

First of all thank you for taking the time to read this email and I hope that this request does not cause you any inconvenience.

I am applying for [university program/job position] at [target school/company] and was wondering if it would at all be possible for you to write a letter of recommendation for me.

As my [relation with requestee], I sincerely feel that no one else is more suited to writing me a recommendation and I would truly appreciate any kind words you might be willing to say on my behalf.

That being said, I know that you are extremely busy and if you are unable to find the time to write a letter I would completely understand.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

What Information Should I Provide to the Person Writing My Letter?

Once your writer has accepted your request, you need to provide them with as much useful information as possible. This will not only make things more convenient for your writer, but also ensure that they write you the best recommendation possible.

Here’s a list of some of the info you should provide:

  • Your resume & cover letter
  • Your personal statement (if you’re a student)
  • The name of your target university or company
  • A link to the description of your target job or program
  • Personal strengths or characteristics you’d like them to focus on
  • Specific achievements you’d like them to mention

9. When and How to Reject a Request for a Recommendation Letter

When:

Of course, there are always times when you may be exceptionally busy and finding the time to write a letter can be difficult. In these situations accepting or rejecting a letter is completely up to you.

There are two situations in which you definitely should reject a request for a reference letter.

Other than that, there are two situations in which you definitely should reject a request for a reference letter.

#1. You don’t know enough about the applicant to write them a strong recommendation.

Even if you are aware that an applicant has exceptional abilities and personal qualities, you may not be familiar enough with the specifics of their accomplishments to write a proper letter.

#2. You know a lot about the applicant but can’t think of enough positive things to say.

It sounds harsh but there are times when an applicant’s performance at your company or school has simply not been ideal. If you’re struggling to come up with a way to portray them in a positive light, it’s better to decline the request and let someone who is more familiar with their strengths write their recommendation.

How:

Of course, if you want to just flat out reject a request, that is completely acceptable. However, if you’d like to soften the blow a bit, coming up with an excuse is remarkably easy.

Simply apologize to the student and tell them that you are too busy, and feel as though you lack the time required to write them the letter they deserve.

Simply apologize to the student and tell them that you are too busy, and feel as though you lack the time required to write them the letter they deserve.

Now that you know everything there is to know about recommendation letters, feel free to check out our professional templates and samples. Our experts have created a comprehensive library of examples for both studentsand employment.

If you need more inspiration for writing your letter, we also have extensive guides for writing cover letters, business letters, and even letters of resignation.

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

While some universities provide templates for writing a letter of recommendation, these templates don't reveal much about what the.

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation (With Examples)

letters of recommendations templates

A letter of recommendation is a letter where the author details and vouches for the capabilities, character traits, and overall quality of the person being recommended. This can be from a professional, employment, academic, or personal perspective.

These letters are also called a reference letter, recommendation letter, letter of reference, or just reference. They are most commonly used in the hiring process as part of the employment verification step where they are called an employment reference or job reference.

3 Perfect Letter of Recommendation Templates:

1. Basic letter of recommendation.

[Today’s Date]

Dear [Mr./Mrs./Ms./To Whom it May Concern],

I am writing to recommend [full name of person you’re recommending] for [what you’re recommending them for].

I have known [person you’re recommending] since [date] as [capacity in which you’ve known the person, i.e. “good friend,” “co-worker,” etc.].

I have always known [person you’re recommending] to be [qualities the person has, such as “honest,” “loyal,” “hard-working”].

Based on our experience together, I can confidently recommend [person you’re recommending] for [thing you’re recommending them for].

Sincerely,

[Your Name + Signature]

Here’s the secret about letters of recommendation. No one wants it to be long and complicated. The last thing anyone wants is a multi-page letter. The person receiving the letter is busy too, and chances are the letter is a formality. They just need to be sure that you really recommend the person, and that you’re in a position to provide a strong recommendation.

2. Personal or character letter of recommendation.

Dear [Mr./Mrs./Ms./To Whom it May Concern],

I am writing to recommend [full name of person you’re recommending] for [thing you’re recommending them for].

I have known [person you’re recommending] for [number months or years] as a [friend, coach, neighbor, etc].

From my experience, [person you’re recommending] is [qualities the person has, such as “honest,” “kind,” easy to work with,” etc].

One example of [his/her] character is when [he/she] was [something specific he/she did that showed character].

Based on our experience together, I can confidently recommend [person you’re recommending] for [thing you’re recommending the person for].

Sincerely,

[Your Name + Signature]

3. Academic letter of recommendation.

[Today’s Date]

Dear [Mr./Mrs./Ms./To Whom it May Concern],

I am writing to recommend [full name of student you’re recommending] for [thing you’re recommending them for].

I have known [Person you’re recommending] for [number of semesters, months or years]. [He/She] has been a student in my [list classes of your student has taken] classes. We’ve also worked on [any other projects you’ve worked on together].

I have always known [person you’re recommending] to be [qualities the student has, such as “a dedicated student,” “hard-working”].

I was especially impressed with [his/her] work on [specific task or project performed] where [he/she] was able to [something specific he/she accomplished].

Based on our experience together, I can confidently recommend [student you’re recommending] for [thing you’re recommending the student for].

Sincerely,

[Your Name + Signature]

FAQs:

How do I write a letter of recommendation?

  • State that you’re offering your recommendation.
  • State what you’re recommending the person for.
  • State the nature of your relationship (supervisor, teacher, etc).
  • State the length of time you have known this person.
  • List a description of the traits that make the person recommendable.

Learn more about writing a basic letter of recommendation.

How do I write a recommendation letter for myself?

  • Create an outline of your letter by listing all of your strengths, abilities and skills.
  • Write in the voice of your recommender.
  • State the purpose of the letter and the relationship with your reference at the start.
  • Highlight all of your relevant skills and make use of metrics to back up your accomplishments.

Learn more about writing a basic letter of recommendation.

How do I write a personal recommendation letter?

  1. Always start with the date.
  2. State who you are recommending and what you are recommending them for.
  3. Describe how long you know the person and in what capacity.
  4. State their best qualities.
  5. Give details about the person's character, morals, and values.

Learn more about writing a personal letter of recommendation.

What is the format for a letter of recommendation?

  1. Date.
  2. Dear Sir/Madam.
  3. State who you are recommending and for what.
  4. Describe the capacity in which you know them.
  5. List their most applicable qualities/traits.
  6. Conclude by confidently recommending them.
  7. Yours sincerely.

Learn more about writing a basic letter of recommendation.

How do you address a letter of recommendation?

  • Write your address in the top right section of the letter, followed by a spelled out date.
  • Under the address, on the left side of the page, write the recipient's name and address.

Learn more about writing a basic letter of recommendation.

How do you sign off a letter of recommendation?

Start your closing state with "In conclusion," or "In summary," before going to give your full backing for the person you are recommending. Finally, sign off with "Yours sincerely."

Learn more about writing a basic letter of recommendation.

Does a letter of recommendation need a date?

Yes, the date should always be the first line in your reference letter.

Learn more about writing a basic letter of recommendation.

What should a grad school letter of recommendation include?

  1. Start by stating the name of the student and the institution they are being recommended for.
  2. Describe how you know the student, how long you know them, how many semesters you've taught them, and the name of those classes.
  3. List the qualities that make them a great student.
  4. Describe work they did in your class that impressed you.
  5. Describe how, based on your experience working with them, you are confident that they will succeed in graduate school.

Learn more about writing an academic letter of recommendation.

Any advice on how to request for a letter of recommendation?

  1. Give them plenty of notice that you’ll need a letter.
  2. Ask for the recommendation by phone or in person.
  3. Provide information to help them, such as dates you worked with them.
  4. If it needs to be mailed, provide stamped and addressed envelopes.
  5. Be very clear about what the letter is for and who they should address it to etc.

Learn more about writing a basic letter of recommendation.

What kind of information should be included in a recommendation letter?

  • An explanation of how you know the person who the letter is being written for.
  • An evaluation of his or her character. Usually, character and skills are evaluated by sharing information about your professional or personal relationship with the person.

Learn more about writing a basic letter of recommendation.

How do I end a personal reference letter?

At the end of the letter, you should clearly state whether or not you would recommend the person in question for the position that they are seeking. Your recommendation (positive or negative) should reflect what you have said about the person in the main text of your letter.

Learn more about writing a personal letter of recommendation.

Letter of Recommendation Template Download.

Download this free letter of recommendation template in Word format, and get your letter written fast.

Download LetterInstant download. No email required.

Letter of Recommendation Template - PDF

Use this PDF template to create your own letter of recommendation.

Download NowInstant download. No email required.

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5 Tips for a Great Recommendation Letter for Your Master’s Application

letters of recommendations templates

A business reference letter is a document which contains a recommendation and it’s given on behalf of a vendor, a client or any other type of business associate. As some point, you may have to provide such a letter which is also known as a business recommendation letter or a company recommendation letter. Read on to learn more about this letter and how to compose one.

Contents

Business Reference Letters










When to use a business reference letter

A business reference letter is a written recommendation given by one entity on behalf of another entity which can either be an individual or an organization. It verifies the quality of goods and services or the dealings offered by the organization or individual to a potential client who plans to hire them.

Nowadays there are so many businesses available that it can be extremely challenging to compete without reference or business recommendation letters. If you’re a business owner, you know that there are a lot of generic partners or employers who want to learn more about your business and your reputation.

The best way they can learn about your business is through written references and recommendations. Therefore, it’s important to have a company recommendation letter before attempting to knock on the doors of clients or businesses you want to offer your services to.

You can also use such a letter when looking for a new job, a business partner or a service contract. The letter:

  • Acts as your endorsement in written form.
  • Explains in detail the qualification of the person who wrote the letter.
  • Provides insight into the reputation of the entity referred to.

Writing a business reference letter can be quite a challenge, especially when you don’t have an idea of where to start. The good thing is that you can either download a template or read letter samples to learn more about such letters. After doing this, you’ll realize that such a letter is very simple.

To write an effective reference letter, you must include the following elements:

  • Your name and contact details as well as the ones who will receive the reference letter.
  • The name of your business or organization and the name of the business which will receive the reference letter.
  • The date you wrote the letter.
  • A formal salutation.
  • Your qualifications as the author of the letter.
  • Your general impressions about the organization or person referred to in the letter along with their responsibilities and character.
  • The nature of your relationship with the one referred to in it.
  • Details which show why the person or organization qualifies for the job.
  • Your willingness to work with the one referred to in the letter again.
  • How the reader can reach you in case of questions or follow-up.

As long as you include all of these basic elements in your letter, you can send it and expect positive feedback from the recipient. When you have to compose a reference letter for a former service provider or employee, just keep these elements in mind. You can also download a template and customize it as needed.

Business Recommendation Letter












Rules to follow when writing a business reference letter

Whether you manage a small business or a big one, you must learn how to write an effective business reference letter. You would have to compose this letter for any employees who have decided to search for other employment opportunities. Providing a great business recommendation letter gives them an edge over the competition.

Although there are no standard guidelines for writing reference letters, there are some rules you must follow:

Structure

There is a basic structure to follow when writing business reference letters. It starts with the mailing address of the recipient followed by a formal salutation. After this comes the body of your letter. Of course, this is where you provide details about your recommendation or referral to the recipient.

After the body, the next part is a closing statement after which, you type your full name. Proofread your letter, print it out, then affix your signature right above your name.

Details

In the body of your letter, include a statement which confirms or verifies the employment details and the qualifications of the person you’re referring to in the letter. Some important details include employment dates, the job title and capacity, and even the salary of the employee if needed.

You may also share details about the employee’s attitude and performance too. If the employee’s performance was more than you expected, you might want to include this in the letter along with some details.

When you write the letter as a reference for one of your previous employees, you would have to provide recommendations for them to get a good position in another organization. In such cases, you may also want to include the previous responsibilities held by your previous employee in the company.

Other details to include are the employee’s professional strengths and skills. Also, indicate your willingness to hire the employee again if he re-applies to your organization. If you still have space in the letter, you may share specific projects or situations which show the skills and strengths of the employee you’re referring to in your letter.

Formatting

When it comes to formatting, reference letters vary. But just like with the structure, most people follow a basic style. Align the recipient’s mailing address, the salutation, the body, your name, and signature on the left side of the document. For the date, align this on the right.

Company Recommendation Letters












Tips for writing a business reference letter

You may have to compose a business reference letter for companies or organizations which you’ve tried working with in the past too. In such cases, they would require the letter for the purpose of confirming the operational soundness of the company and their ability to perform as expected. Here are some tips for you:

  • You can use a basic business recommendation letter template for the structure of your document. Then input the contents as needed after some consideration. As aforementioned, you must include honest comments about the capabilities and quality of service of the company you’re writing about.
  • Provide specific details regarding your relationship with the company. Such details include the goods you have purchased, the services you availed of, how long you worked with them, and when you worked with them. Also, give a clear statement about Your reason for writing the letter.
  • Then provide detailed information about the performance of the company and any other details which the reader may find useful. Be as specific as you can when writing these details. Remember that the reader will use the information in the letter as a deciding factor on whether or not he will work with the company.
  • If you had a good experience with the company, then you may want to write about all those good things in the letter. Of course, if you had a bad experience and the company asks you to write a business reference letter for them, you should politely decline instead of composing a letter which contains inaccurate information.
  • When describing the strengths of the company, make use of concrete examples. The more you use illustrative comments, the more the reader will understand the business. This is a lot better than giving too many praises and sentiments which, in some cases, may come off as insincere.
  • Close your letter with a summary of the strengths of the company along with a clear, concise recommendation. This wraps up your letter in the best way possible as it fulfills the purpose of the document.
  • As you’re composing the letter, don’t make it too short or too lengthy. Stay away from language which is too general, effusive or superlative. Instead of describing the traits of the company using adjectives, provide concrete examples of how you saw those traits firsthand.
  • Make sure to proofread your letter before printing it out or sending it through email. A letter which contains too many grammatical and spelling errors won’t be as credible as one which has been perfectly checked and polished.
  • Don’t forget to include your contact details in the letter. In some cases, the recipient would like to reach out to you and ask you more questions about the business or person you wrote about. In case the recipient gives you a call, answer all of their questions as honestly as you wrote the letter.

Sometimes, a person or business may convince you to write a reference letter even though you have nothing good to say. Although the first thing you must do is diplomatically decline, there are some cases when you just can’t. Therefore, you would still have to compose a letter and be as professional as possible.

In such a case, you may want to do a bit of research about the person or the organization. Learn more about their strengths so you have something good to say about them. Focus on these strengths no matter how small they are. In doing this, you’re still giving a positive letter without providing inaccurate information.











Posted on May 7, 2019In Documents

Tags:Business, Documents, Letter, Reference

A recommendation letter for a co-worker is a letter, which a person would submit to a workplace. It highlights the qualities and skills of this.

Employee reference letter sample

letters of recommendations templates

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What is a letter of recommendation?

A letter of recommendation is a document you may be asked to prepare for someone who is applying for a job, internship, college application, leadership position or volunteer opportunity. The purpose of a recommendation letter is to validate what the employer has learned about the applicant and get answers to outstanding questions about their performance or habits.

An honest recommendation provides the recipient with a personalized account of your experiences with the applicant. You should, therefore, have at least some knowledge of how the candidate acts and performs in a work environment. Consider the following before you accept a request for a recommendation:

  • Have you worked with or directly observed the applicant?
  • Do you know relevant strengths and skills you can personally elaborate on?
  • Do you have specific examples of the individual’s work?
  • Can you provide positive feedback about this individual?

It’s important that to consider whether or not you can provide a quality recommendation letter before accepting a request. If you do not have enough experience with or positive stories to tell about the applicant, let them know quickly and respectfully that you are unable to meet the request. This way they have plenty of time to find an alternative solution.
 

Recommendation letter format: what to include

Your letter of recommendation should include four items:

  1. A brief introduction that states who you are, your relationship to the applicant and your personal experience or expertise.
  2. An overview of the applicant’s strengths as you’ve experienced them and as they relate to the recipient.
  3. A personal story that elaborates on one to two traits the applicant possesses.
  4. A closing statement that summarizes why the individual you are recommending would be a good fit for the opportunity.

If the candidate hasn’t provided you with an up-to-date resume and the job description, ask them to send those so that you are fully prepared to write the recommendation. You can use their resume to get a full understanding of their experiences and achievements.

Related: How to Ask Someone to Be Your Reference: Email Examples

You should review the job description to understand what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Use the description to decide what you should include from their resume and your personal experiences working with them.
 

Letter of recommendation template

When writing a letter of recommendation for students or working professionals, your letter should include a brief introduction, the candidate’s background and experience, a personal story, and a closing statement.

Use the following recommendation letter template as inspiration when drafting your own:

To Whom it May Concern:

It is my pleasure to strongly recommend [Applicant Name] for [Position With Company or Acceptance to Institution].

I am [Your Name], a [Your Position] at [Your Institution or Company]. I have [Number] years of experience working in [Your Industry or Academic Focus], and have seen many young professionals come and go. [Applicant Name] is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.

During our time together, [Applicant Name] displayed great talents in [Skill, Trait, Experience, Class, etc.]. When we first met, I was immediately impressed with [Applicant’s Name], but during the time worked together, her understanding of [Key Topic] grew far more than that of her peers.

[Insert Personal Story Elaborating on Key Skills, Trait, Experience].

It’s not just her technical skills that impress me, however. [Applicant Name] was a joy to work with because of her amazingly positive attitude and [Positive Trait]. Her [Positive Trait] and [Positive Trait] were also necessary and valued not just by myself, but by her peers, who often relied on her to get the job done.

I am absolutely confident that [Applicant Name] would be a great fit for your [Institution/Company]. Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, she will quickly become an asset and help your [Institution/Company] grow in any way she can.

If you need more information or specific examples, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Contact Information]. As a recommendation letter likely only provides a snapshot of her talents and achievements, I would be happy to further elaborate on my time working with her.

Sincerely,

[Your Name, Company, and Title]

 

Letter of recommendation example

There are many formats recommendation letter can have. Here’s a specific example of what a completed letter may look like for a job applicant using the above framework:

To Whom it May Concern:

It is my pleasure to strongly recommend Annie Chiu for a position as a Data Analyst for L&Q International.

I am Robert Cunningham, a Regional Manager at Mountain View Unlimited. I have 15 years of experience working as a statistician and client services specialist and have seen many young professionals come and go. Annie Chiu is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.

During our time together, Annie displayed great talents in technical applications, such as ArcGIS, R coding, Python, and several other data visualization tools. When we first met, I was immediately impressed with Annie and the technical skills she had on day one, but during the time worked together, her understanding of data analysis and the tools of the trade grew far more than that of her peers.

My first experience with Annie’s adaptability came not long after she was hired. Last year, we had one client who sent data in Excel that needed extensive cleanup. At that time, Annie’s experience with Excel was limited, but she worked extra hours to learn how to properly clean up data in Excel through the use of functions. Within the week, the client’ data was properly formatted so that it could be effectively analyzed and visualized. Annie even handled the data visualization with skill and the client had nothing but praise for the end result.

It’s not just her technical skills that impress me, however. Annie was a joy to work with because of her amazingly positive attitude and eagerness to stick tightly to deadlines. Her can-do attitude and team building skills were also necessary and valued not just by myself, but by her peers, who often relied on her to get the job done.

I am absolutely confident that Annie would be a great fit for your L&Q International. Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, she will quickly become an asset and help your L&Q International grow in any way she can.

If you need more information or specific examples, please do not hesitate to contact me at 555-123-4567, or by email at [email protected] As a recommendation letter likely only provides a snapshot of her talents and achievements, I would be happy to further elaborate on my time working with her.

Sincerely,

Robert Cunningham
Regional Manager
Mountain View Unlimited

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WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Great MBA Letters of Recommendations with Caroline Diarte-Edwards

Recommendation letter template, with examples, and writing tips to use to write and format a letter of recommendation for employment or educational purposes.

letters of recommendations templates
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