Writing a recommendation letter can be an intimidating task; when someone you know asks you to write this type of letter to help them in finding employment or for some other reason, you may find it daunting. If you are truly not comfortable writing about their skills or qualifications or feel that you would not be telling the truth, politely decline. However, if you do know that they would make an exceptional employee, these tips will help you in writing a good recommendation letter.
If the requester has worked for you in the past or you know them well enough to know that they really are not a good job candidate, it is actually not a good idea to agree to write a recommendation letter, and may prove detrimental in the requesters search for employment, as your letter may sound insincere or vague. This can actually harm an individual’s attempt in getting a job.
1. Get the pertinent details first. Before you begin writing, ask the requester for their resume or a listing of their skills and previous job experience. This will help you write a recommendation letter that makes a good impression on the recipient.
2. Write your letter in a professional manner. It’s best if you type the recommendation letter so that it makes a good impression. Use simple, easy to read fonts and leave plenty of white space around borders so that the appearance is crisp and clean. You will find a sample outline below.
3. Proofread your work. Check your letter for spelling or grammar errors, read through it and see if it needs any editing. Also have the requester read the letter to make sure the information you included is accurate.
Sample recommendation letter
City, State, Zip
City, State, Zip
Dear (Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms.) followed by last name,
In the first sentence or two of your recommendation letter, explain your reason for writing. Tell the recipient that this is your personal recommendation of (requesters name), and briefly explain your relationship with the individual you are recommending.
The main body of your letter should describe the requester’s skills and qualifications, along with examples of how they have used these skills in past employment. Mention any special achievements or accomplishments, and describe any characteristics or traits that make the individual a good candidate for the job, such as good communication or people skills.
In the closing paragraph, recommend the requester for the job, and express how you feel that he/she would be an asset to the company.
Title (if applicable)
Sign your name above the typed signature. If you are a former employer, explain this is your recommendation letter and type it on company letterhead. Once you have completed the letter, mail it or give it to the requester in a timely manner.