How to Write a Recommendation Letter for an Employee

How to Write a Recommendation Letter for an Employee

Wondering how to write a recommendation letter for an employee? If so, you need to ask yourself what the letter is all about. A recommendation letter for an employee is a document written to help employer asses the characteristics, capabilities and qualities of the person being recommended in regards to a particular job or task.

How to write a recommendation letter for an employee and what it entails

A recommendation letter for an employee offers a vehicle for a former employer to provide a credible history of abilities, skills, job performances and accomplishments. Through the letter, a potential employer will be able to make sound decisions on available vacancies.

Therefore, one of the most important tips on how to write a recommendation letter for an employee is credibility. It is essential to write a credible letter in regards to character or individual reference. A good employer will always write a positive recommendation and the news of an employee leaving will not affect the credibility of information he or she will include in the letter. As a matter of fact, the employer will draft an effective letter that;

  • Verifies the experience of an employee
  • Confirms an employee’s competence
  • Builds credibility in every sense and
  • A letter that bolsters confidence

When writing a recommendation letter for an employee, it is also imperative to provide details on

  • Positions held previously in the company
  • A clear summary of job responsibilities
  • Skills, strengths and talents
  • Information on an employee’s dedication to work, initiative, reliability and integrity
  • Ability to work with or as a team and
  • Ability to work independently

The above information should also be backed with evidence to convince a potential employer beyond reasonable doubt that the person being recommended is best suited for the position.

How to write a recommendation letter for an employee that is effective

When asked to write a recommendation letter for an employer, it is very important to draft an honest letter. The rule of thumb is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential employer and to consider what he or she wants to know while reading the letter. It is essential to be upfront with the person requesting a recommendation letter especially if you have concerns on specific areas.

Remember, a good reference letter doesn’t offer any surprises. Therefore, a good way to start your letter is to;

Be honest about your concerns, intentions and feelings. This will not only save you time when writing the reference letter but it will also save you the embarrassment that you cannot draft a good recommendation.

Whenever you have doubts on what to include in the letter, seek the information you need from the applicant. It will help you to work on a rough draft, review it, edit the letter, finalize and sign it.

Similarly, recommendation letters have a deadline. For this reason, be sensitive about it to avoid disappointing a potential employer.

Writing a recommendation letter for an employee format

An employee recommendation letter should be written in a classic format. This includes the starter/introduction, the body and conclusion. However, it is essential to explore all the tips on how to write a recommendation letter for an employee because there are letters that may call for more specific requirements. A well-organized format for the letter is in any case highly acceptable because it offers the most important details in regards to an employee. For this reason, consider the following format when writing a reference letter for an employee.

The introduction

  • Introduce yourself in the introduction as the recommender. State your current professional position, your relation with the applicant, for how long have you known him or her and any other pertinent details to help build your credibility as a contributor who is truly knowledgeable.
  • Additionally, provide a very clear overview on your overall impressions of the person you are recommending. Once again, be honest and straight to the point.

The body

When writing the body of an employee reference letter, it is essential to cover one exceptional characteristic or quality of the applicant. State the other features in the following paragraphs.

  • In the body, provide specific details and qualities to show the manner in which you observed each quality
  • When writing about the qualities, it is good to address each in the order of importance
  • Similarly, write the body of the letter by keeping it short and straight to the point. This means that the body should be two or three paragraphs.

The conclusion

The conclusion part of a reference letter is important just like the starter and the body. Get the best idea on how to write a recommendation letter for an employee that ends by

  • Confirming that the applicant is indeed a desirable employee
  • Add any other relevant comments that you feel appropriate
  • Conclude by encouraging the reader to contact you for any additional information or with any questions and
  • Do not forget to personally sign the letter

How to write a positive recommendation letter for an employee

As you recommend someone in a letter, it is wise to keep in mind that the job market is highly competitive. Therefore, it is more valuable to an employee to present not only an effective but a positive letter to a potential employer. For this reason, give a considerable thought on how to write a positive recommendation for an employee and how you will present the applicant

By checking on the policy of the organization regarding employee reference letters- ensure the details you provide are acceptable by top management to help you draft a glowing letter that will not generate any issues in the future.

Know the applicant well enough to provide an honest and detailed reference- get more information on job performance of an employee to ensure that the letter doesn’t hurt but helps the applicant.

Always tailor the recommendation letter based on the job that the employee is interested in. this is because there are employers who are only interested in applicants with specific information pertaining the applicant.

Write a recommendation letter for an employee from an employer’s point of view. Prove to the reader that the applicant is someone dependable understands and knows the industry well and even state if you would happily retain the employee or re-employ the individual in the future. You can state that this is based on the positive contributions that the applicant brought to the organization.

Last but not least, avoid personal subjects when writing the letter. One of the best strategies on how to write a recommendation letter for an employee is to stay positive and professional. Focus on things related to work such as leadership skills, ability to beat deadlines and ability to resolve disputes among colleagues. Avoid statements regarding marital status, religion, health and personal life because they are an invasion of privacy.

Recommendation letter for employee examples

Example 1

To Whom It May Concern

Anita Job was employed in 2001-2005 as an Administrative Assistant in my organization. During her time at Intec Communications, Anita was a reliable and responsible employee. She carried out her duties exceptionally well in regards to office support, scheduling of appointments, creating brochures, word processing, creation of newsletters and other office literature.

Anita also fulfilled her employment tasks with little supervision. Her position required interaction with clients and the general public. She was also expected to liaise with different departments. What’s more, success in her department largely depended upon strong interpersonal and communication skills…… Click here to read the full letter and other guidelines to writing a good recommendation letter.

Example 2

To Whom It May Concern

I would like to recommend Muriel Mackenzie as an ideal candidate for a position in your company. Muriel was employed in our organization in 2005-2015 as Administrative Assistant.

She did an excellent job in her position and proved to be one of the most competent employees. She has been an asset to our organization during her entire tenure.

She has excellent communication skills, works independently, is extremely organization and can multitask to ensure that all the work she is assigned to is completed on time. She also works and relates well with other employees and this has made team work in our organization very successful.

Muriel would be an asset to any employer and I strongly recommend her for her dedication and commitment to quality service delivery. For any endeavors that Muriel wishes to pursue, I will always recommend her because she deserves it.

Yours Sincerely

Mark Johns

Click on this link to read the above reference letter.

Example 3

To Whom It May Concern

This letter is my personal reference for Cathy Douglas. For the past seven years, I have been Cathy’s immediate supervisor. I found her to a competent, pleasant and consistently active employee when tackling all work assigned to her. She works with a smile and dedication.

Besides being a committed to her work and success of the organization as a public relations officer, she is an asset to our organization. She has successfully designed successful promotion campaigns and marketing plans for our company. As a result, we enjoyed increased profits during her tenure.

……I strongly recommend Cathy for employment because she deserves it. She is a team player and would be an asset you wouldn’t want to lose.


Feeney Sharon

Marketing Manager, ABS Productions

To view the above sample letter,  click on this link.

If you are still having problems on how to write a recommendation letter for an employee, you can always contact our experts to add a more professional touch to your letter.