How to Write a Letter of Recommendation

Do you know how to write a letter of recommendation? Are you a college professor who’s been asked by one of your students to write a letter of recommendation? Or an Accounting Manager who’s been asked by one of your employees for the same thing? Whatever the current situation you’re in, today I want to share some tips on how to write a letter of recommendation.

Before I do I want to be sure that you understand some important principles first. In order to write a reference letter well, you should actually know the person. They should not just be an acquaintance. Your own reputation is on the line anytime you put something down on paper.

A recommendation letter can be called many things. You may have heard it called a character reference, reference letter, or even a referral letter. There are many sample recommendation letters floating around online. You want to be sure that yours is as original as possible so that you come across as being genuine. A sample recommendation letter can give you ideas, writing prompts, and proper formatting, but you must make it your own. Here is how to write a recommendation letter.

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation in 3 Simple Steps

how to write a letter of recommendationHere is a recommendation letter format that is simple and easy to follow. When it comes down to it, writing a letter of recommendation is straightforward and contains three sections:

  • Opening Statements
  • Assessment statements
  • Closing Statements

Opening Statement

This statement provides the name of the person you’re recommending. It could also state why you’re the person writing the letter. For instance:

  • I am very pleased to write this recommendation of behalf of (name).
  • I had the fortunate opportunity to work closely with (name) for x years
  • It is an honor for me to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of my former student (name).
  • The purpose of this letter is to commend (name) for her exceptional contribution to
  • I am writing this letter of recommendation to convey to you my professional assessment of (name) as an employee.

Assessment Statement

Most letters of recommendation will also contain your actual assessment of the performance and characteristics of the person you’re recommending. This is usually followed up with a few specific examples that back up your assessment statement. For instance:

  • (name) consistently produced high-quality work, on time, and within budget targets.
  • One specific strength that (name) demonstrated often was her leadership ability.
  • Based on my knowledge of him, I do not hesitate to state that (name) is a highly dependable individual with impeccable character.
  • I believe that (name) has the talent, willingness, and ability to be a highly productive staff member in the area of
  • (name) performed exceptionally well in every class he took with me. He is an intelligent, enthusiastic, well-prepared person who gets a lot out of his classes. He also gives back a considerable amount through his active participation.

Closing Statement

The closing statement of the reference letter makes a clear recommendation that flows naturally from the points made in the assessment section. It often begins with phrases such as “In closing,” “In summary,” “Accordingly,” and so on. For instance:

  • In closing, without hesitation I am pleased to recommend (name) for
  • In summary, I can enthusiastically recommend (name) as a prime candidate for your business school.
  • Accordingly, I believe that (name) would make an excellent addition to your organization.
  • I am sure that with her high level of commitment, combined with continued training, (name) will be a fine addition to
  • Since (name) is one of those rare students who clearly has the potential to make a difference, I cannot recommend her more highly.
  • These are the three parts of a letter of recommendation. Formulate them well, and you’re guaranteed to have a great letter.

By following the above tips, you should better understand know how to write a recommendation letter for an employee. I will admit that this is becoming a lost art.

Many employers today are constraining managers from writing letters of recommendation. It is still the right thing to do on my opinion if you are asked. People buy on the approval of others. Writing a reference letter can be a great boost to someone’s career.

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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