Recommendation Letter Templates
A recommendation letter is a reference letter, which is commonly required when applying for a job, scholarship or college admission. Recommendation letter template therefore shows all the elements to capture whenever you are asked for this type of letter. Notably, a recommendation letter is written by a different person and not the applicant to the employer, university or organization, which made the request.
When looking for a recommendation letter, remember that it highlights your relationship with the writer and offers insights into the following personal aspects:
- Your abilities
- Your ambitions
- Your professional skills
- Your educational background
- Your character
In case you are wondering how a recommendation letter looks like, this article has different templates, which you can use as reference. Keep reading for great ideas on how to get an appealing letter to win you a dream job.
What to look for in a good recommendation letter template
As you look for the best recommendation letter template, it is important to know the key elements, which make applicants stand out when applying for scholarships, admissions or employment.
Here are tips to help you overcome common pitfalls when writing recommendation letters:
Be specific. Inquire from the person requesting the letter the kind of recommendation they want, i.e. recommendation for skills, character reference or personal reference.
Be concise. Ensure that your letter is focused on the topic.
Use correct format. A recommendation letter has a format and deviation from this is unacceptable.
Be factual. Give details about the applicant, including the time you have known them, their achievements, the positions they have held, skills, character, and education among others.
Indicate the competences of the applicant. Capture their strengths and special abilities, which they posses.
Recommend the applicant. Always include a statement saying if you recommend the person for consideration.
Support your recommendation. Be sure to cite evidence why you support the applicant.
Give your contact information. This shows sincerity and helps the recipient to get back to you whenever need arises for clarification.
Don’t write if you cannot write. Be honest and refuse to write a recommendation letter if you are not comfortable to write. However, make it known to the applicant politely.
Take it seriously. A recommendation letter carries immense weight. It may have impact, either negative or positive on the recipient’s reputation.
Let us look at a reference letter template showing the important elements.
Your Contact Information
State, Zip Code
Use (Dear Mr. Jones or Dr. Ms. Elsie) when writing a personal recommendation letter. (To Whom It May Concern) is used when writing genera recommendation letters. Start your letter with the first paragraph in case you omit the salutation.
State your connection with the person you are recommending. Give reasons why you are recommending the person.
Give details about the person you are recommending including why they are qualified for the position and the value they are likely to add to the company if considered. You can use more than one paragraph to give this information.
For specific job vacancies, state why the applicant’s qualification make them fit fill the available chance. You may refer to the CV for more details.
State in brief why you recommend the person. Common phrases here are “I strongly recommend,” ” I recommend without reservation” or “the person has my highest recommendation” etc.
This gives room for the recipient to get back for more information or clarification.
The recommendation letter template above is for a formal recommendation letter for employment or educational reasons. A college graduate or job seeker can use this template. Use this template as a guide to develop excellent letters for all your reference needs. You can as well access the template in details by clicking here.
What makes a recommendation template letter useful
The nature and details of every recommendation letter depends on it purpose. However, some general elements cut across all the different types. In this section, we break down some of these elements.
Start a recommendation letter with overall impression and qualifications
A recommendation letter must have an introduction, stating the general impression of the candidate. In addition, the writer must indicate why they are qualified to write the letter. The writer achieves this by saying how long they have known the applicant and the existing relationship e.g. supervisor, manager, teammate, among others.
General impression could refer some particular traits that the candidate displayed during their time with you. For instance, the person may have had good work ethics, giving you a reason to recommend them for the job or chance.
Give a detailed assessment of the Candidate
Another important element of a recommendation letter template is the body, which details the applicant’s capability to perform as an employee in the position they are applying. In this section, the letter captures the characteristics, achievements and qualifications of the applicant.
The purpose of a recommendation letter is to set a candidate apart from the crowd. The writer achieves this by describing your strengths and achievements.
Bring out tasks the applicant performed and achieved good results willingly within a short deadline. Also, include how his workmates regard him. This section should be a maximum of two paragraphs.
In case you are recommending someone, you can consider using the following template as your guide to avoid making errors that may cost the applicant his or her dream job.
Re: Recommendation for XXXX
Dear Hiring Manager:
Field Service Manager
You can access this recommendation letter template here.
How to summarize your recommendation letter and give the applicant an appealing impression
The closing part of a recommendation letter gives your overview of the applicant, including additional competences they may have and your particular recommendation.
You may mention how punctual, polite, and industrious person the candidate is with a knack of getting along well with other employees.
For additional qualifications, bring out the seminars and training they underwent. In addition, mention their current educational endeavors like pursuing their Masters Degree, which cements their vision in the profession.
The letter should also invite the reader to get in touch with the writer for additional information or clarification at any time.
Stamping your credibility in a recommendation letter is important
Always write recommendation letters with confidence and credibility. You must state your qualifications to convince the reader that you are qualified to recommend the candidate.
Unlike other letters, a recommendation letter calls for facts and your tangible experience with the applicant.
As a rule, write a recommendation letter if you know the person you are recommending very well. Shallow knowledge limits the writer’s ability to market the applicant so that the reader makes an informed decision.
Inform the person early enough in case you cannot write an elaborate recommendation letter for them. Do not write it if you doubt your qualification to do so.
See how the following recommendation letter template captures these elements:
This letter serves to recommend ______XXXXXX__ for employment. I worked with him for YYYY years at XYZ Company, where we were both sales representatives.
_________________ is one of the diligent people I have met. He is organized and time conscious.
In our department, ______XXXXX______ set the standards high.
It was always a pleasure to have ________XXXXX______ in the office. His sense of humor and friendliness are irresistible.
I have no reservations in recommending XXXX for the job and any organization should be happy to have him.
This template for writing a recommendation letter was retrieved from lettersofrecommendation.net.
Additional elements that make an excellent recommendation letter template
A recommendation plays a great role in stamping the image of an applicant. While this may not guarantee you that job or scholarship, it makes you stand out as a potential candidate.
The writer of any reference letter should therefore include the following elements:
Focus on the applicant. The candidate is the subject of writing. Thus, he or she should be the theme of your letter.
Give the applicant’s record. The reader what to see, hear, and feel the capability of the applicant. Achieve this by describing the candidate’s record.
Evaluate his accomplishments. State what the applicant achieved during his time with you. Also, bring out how he realized the success, through hard work, teamwork, commitment, etc.
Have a limit when discussing personal characteristics of the applicant
A recommendation letter template missing any of these vital elements provides the reader with limited information to make a sound decision.
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