What is a recommendation letter or letter of recommendation?
A letter of recommendation is a letter written by someone to recommend or suggest someone for a job title or post in the organization he or she working or related in some way. This type of letter is written by either of the following:
- Previous employer
- Any person who can recommend an individual work’s or performance
The main purpose of a recommendation letter is to focus on the skills, acknowledgments of the person who is being suggested for the job post. These letters are the symbol that the recommended person is the best fit for the job post and have the essential qualifications needed for the job. This letter is sent to the hiring manager to help them with their interview by introducing the best candidate.
Why recommendation letter is necessary?
The recommendation letters are necessary to help the employers to know about the overall background and capabilities of the candidate who are applying for the job post. It is a solid, well written and organized letter that is important to give the potential employer more information about the candidate as compared to simple hiring. It is necessary to ask the writer to send the letter before a few months when the actual need of the letter. It should contain the overall work history including the past performances.
Where is the recommendation letter required?
The recommendation letter is required in the office or organization where there is a vacancy for a post and you want to get recommended for that particular post. Letter of recommendation is also sometimes required for getting admission in the college or school.
Types of recommendation letters:
Recommendation letter also known as reference letter is something that provides information about the candidate’s character. It might have an explanation about your individuality, work ethic, community participation, and educational achievements.
Recommendation or reference letters are used by a variety of people according to their needs and in different occasions. The basic categories in which recommendation letters are divided are academic recommendations, employment recommendations, and character recommendations. Let’s understand each type of reference letter deeply along with other important details.
- Academic recommendation letters: Academic recommendation letters are normally used for admission purposes. These type of letters are used by the students while they wish to take admission is certain specific college or school. Many schools and colleges wish to see at least one or at most three reference letter for each student who applied for the admission.
The recommendation letters contain even those information that might not have included in the application form. These letters might include accomplishments in
- Work and academics
- Character references
- Personal details.
The persons who can help students for the recommendation letters are:
- Other education professionals
Who are aware of the academic and achievement details of the students. Employers, mentors also can serve as recommenders.
- Employment recommendations letters: Letter of recommendation serves as an important tool for the job seekers, who are wishing to get employed, to get their best and desired job. The employment recommendation letters can be:
- Hand over during interviews.
- Utilized as a part of a portfolio.
- Sent after filling the application form
- Sent along with the resume
- Uploaded on the website
Most of the companies ask the applicants to submit at least three letters of recommendations for employment. So it is beneficial for the job seekers to keep the letter of recommendations in advance.
The ingredients that are included in the job employment recommendation letters are:
- Personal accomplishments
- Job performance
- Employment history
- Work ethic
These type of letters are normally acceptable by former or current supervisors or employers. The applicants in the absence of reliable work experience can ask to write recommendations from the community or volunteer organizations.
- Character reference letters: These recommendation letters are mostly used for the purpose such as:
- Child adoption
- Legal situations
- Housing accommodations and other similar conditions.
- Other such situations where it is necessary to understand a person’s character.
This is the requirement of every person at a certain point if time. These letters are drafted by either of the following:
- Business Associates
- Former employers etc.
It depends on you and your need for which person you need to choose.
How to write a good recommendation or reference letter?
A letter of recommendation writing work can be threatening, especially because the person you’re writing it for is counting on you to pull through for them.
- Writing the letter:
- Use standard formal letter writing conventions to begin: The letter of communication is written in the same manner just as any other professional communication. It follows the same convention and rule.
- The address should be put on the right from the top, put a date after that.
- Put the name and address of the recipient below the date and on the left side.
- The letter should be started using formal business greetings. As an instance:
Dear Ms. Jennifer
Dear sir or madam (in case the recipient name is unknown)
- Open with a short, but enthusiastic, a bit of praise: Through your letter of recommendation, the company should be known that you believe in this person. The letter should be started on a positive note to make it unique. You don’t need to show your insincerity while writing the same.
- “I am extremely happy to recommend Jenniferas a content writer at XYZ organization.”
- “The company would definitely feel proud by having an employee as bright, friendly, and dedicated as Gina”
- “No matter which position Jennifer holds, she always proves her best”
- Explain how you related to that person: Give a brief introduction about your relationship with the person you recommend. Explain the reader about your first meeting with the recommendation, have you ever worked together and the basic qualification that you hold.
- As the general manager of the content development team, I was leading a team which has Jenniferand five other members from 2016 to 2019.
- “I served as the guide and teacher of Jenniferin his college life. She was very brilliant both in the classroom and office hours.”
- “I served as the dean and I used to deal with so many young talents within the period of the entire day. I feel lucky that I got the opportunity to spend a few days of time with Jennifer and I was really impressed by the personality she holds and her working enthusiasm.
- Be specific about the candidate’s qualifications and successes: Explain the qualifications and achievements of the candidate by taking specific examples and incidents. Give stories to back up yourself.
- When Jennifer comes to know about the impossibility of some work. She finds out every possible aspect to make it possible and search the best solutions to the problem.
- Jennifer is very dedicated to her work. She has an answer to almost all the questions of all the students. She had motivated many students to deal with their struggle life. I also had many satisfactory conversations with her both as her peer and her mentor.
- Make comparisons to demonstrate their success: Comparing the successes of the person you are recommending will give knowledge to the hiring manager, the reason behind recommending the person.
Jennifer’s way of writing the content is always better and unique as compared to other content strategists in the company.
The best student is the one that is always ready to learn new things. A student who always push themselves towards learning and enjoys every second.
- Don’t exaggerate – show where and how they can improve: Do not only show the positive side of the candidate, as it will set the high expectations that sometimes become almost impossible to accomplish. Also, show the possibilities for improvement.
- Be focused on your writing action: Each paragraph should get started with a terse, active affirmation depicting the quality and character of the candidate. Using strong verbs is always the best.
- Never write, ‘during the period of past few years, I was very blissful to see the continuous talent development of Jennifer’. Instead, you can write, ‘Jennifer has continuous development is her skills during the period of past few years’.
- “Jennifer always fights for the right and against wrong, even it doesn’t matter for her. This selfless attitude makes her future very bright.”
- Give the closing to the letter affirmatively: Restate your recommendations about the candidate. If required, ask the recipient to contact you.
- You can write, “Due to all these reasons, I think Jennifer will be the best fit to your team. In case you have any queries or questions, I would like to solve it, you are always welcome to contact me at the above-mentioned address or contact number.”
- “Jennifer is a very enthusiastic person. I would like if she will work for me and I am very sure that she will be an incredible asset for you.”
- “I have no doubts while recommending DaJenniferid for this position. Please do contact in case of any questions.”
- Use a business closing and sign your name: It is important to sound professional. In case, you are sending a hard copy, take a print out and sign it by hand. If not, just typing the name can work.
- Thank you.
- Best regards.
- Starting to write:
- Split the letter into short but specific paragraphs: Include all your key points without rambling. Always try to include all the specific details and recommendations in brief by using one single page.
Introduction: Your qualifications, how you relate with the candidate, general recommendation.
Professional success: Reasons for which they will prove as efficient and dynamic employee. Instances of their successes.
Personal testimony: What will make them the best fit to the work and office culture.
Closing: Reaffirm your willingness for the recommendation. Invite them to contact with a contact number.
- Target the recommendation: Whatever is the purpose and post of your recommendation, always write the letter by keeping your focus clear. As an instance, in case you are writing the letter for a job application package, write it by focusing on the professional qualification and conduct of the candidate.
- Familiarize yourself with the position: To write an effective beneficial recommendation letter, it is necessary to make yourself familiar with the post for which you are recommending. Ask for the copy of the job ad or description and have a healthy conversation with the person you are recommending. If you are familiar with the hiring manager of the post, have a conversation with them to understand more about the position. The more you get familiar with the post, the better you will be able to craft the letter matching the needs of both the parties.
- Inform yourself about the person you are recommending: It is worth informing yourself about the person you are recommending. Give enough time to get yourself aware of their goals and the post for which they are applying. Collect all the information that you have about them such as their current resume, any memos or notes, etc. The best recommendation should have all the information about the candidate in deep. Your reputation is also based on your recommendation letter. If you have a feeling that you don’t know the person well enough, or they are not in your good book, decline their request to write the recommendation letter.
- Get feedback: If you feel that you don’t hold the effective letter writing skills or if your recommendation letter carries great weight for the candidate career, it is recommended to ask for feedback from the person who also knows the candidate. Your recommendation letter can impact your reputation, so always give your best to write the letter.
What should be included in a recommendation letter?
A recommendation letter should contain a description of the person’s qualifications and skills in terms of job or education. The letter contains all the qualities of the candidate that makes him or her the best fit for the job post, college or graduate school program. It gives references to a particular person for the job, college or graduate school.
A recommendation letter should contain the information about you, your relation with the person you are recommending, what makes them the best fit for the post, and their special skills and accomplishments. Also, include the relevant examples. A normal template of the recommendation letter should contain the following:
- Salutation: The salutations such as Dear Ms. Jones can be used while writing a character reference letter. Write ‘To whom it may concern’ while writing a general letter or in this case, there is no need to add the salutation, you can also start with the first paragraph.
- Paragraph 1: The first paragraph of the recommendation letter should contain your relation with the person you are recommending, your qualification to write the recommendation letter, etc. You get the authorization to write the personal letter if you know the person and their character, not if you have the direct experience with their work and education.
- Paragraph 2: This paragraph consists of the relevant information about the person for whom you are writing the recommendation letter such as their qualification for the particular post, what they can contribute to the organization, and what makes you give a reference for the person. Make use of relevant examples. You can use more paragraph for the description if required.
- Summary: This part of the recommendation letter contains information about what makes you recommend this person for a particular post. You can write, you “highly recommend” the person or you “recommend without reservation” or something similar.
- Conclusion: This part of the reference letter contains the information with the offer of contact for information. You should add your contact number or email address within the paragraph or at the return address section of your letter.
Things you should know to avoid for a recommendation letter:
- Sometimes people think that if they choose a very senior person to write their recommendation letter, it will leave a very good impact, but this is not true, in return it could be the biggest mistake. Mostly it is seen that the person with a big post such as CEO, include only some general phrases related to the positive impressions of the candidate. They don’t provide the thorough and required information.
- You should not choose a person to write your recommendation letter who is unable to offer an objective opinion to write the same for you. However, this can work if you are working in a family business. Asking your wife to write the letter of recommendation could sound very sweet but on the other hand, it doesn’t hold any weight.
- If a recommendation letter is for job purpose, Always try to avoid recommendations from academic references. But it is the exception to the doctoral program. Your hiring manager definitely wants to know your professional achievement, not the academic one. If you are a working person, you should always offer a professional recommendation. Knowing your academic achievement is tough for the hiring manager to understand your professional one and working ability.
- Don’t try to ask the recommender to write the letter in so hastily. Give them enough time along with a specific deadline. You can give a gentle reminder about the deadline, don’t behave very eager. Also, you need to make sure that the recommendations should be completed before any long-planned vacations. If you want to make a good impression, never call in a panic worrying about the missing deadline.
- If you use a very old recommendation, it can challenge your reliability. Recommendations for jobs many years back does not hold any weight. It should only be based on your recent job performance and accomplishments.
- Never write a recommendation letter for yourself. It can lead your education or job life in a dilemma.
If now you are thinking that who you should choose to write your recommendation letter, then the best person is your immediate boss.
Tips on writing a personal recommendation letter:
- Think carefully before saying yes: Only say yes for writing the recommendation letter, if you are able to recommend the person without reservation. If you are not feeling comfortable to give a reference for any person, it is recommended to politely decline.
- Follow a business letter format: While writing the recommendation letter, always use the formal business letter format. If you are dealing with a shortage of time, then you can send the letter through email instead of in the form of a letter. Review the information that is to be included in the letter.
- Focus on the job description: Always have the copy of the job description for which you are writing the recommendation letter. It helps you to understand and stay focused on the requirements of the job post. In the case of writing the general recommendation, you still can ask the person about the type of job for which they will apply in the future.
- Remain positive: Always stay positive throughout writing the letter. Give a statement that according to you, this person is a sturdy candidate. You might say something like, “I recommend this person without reservation.” You want to help this candidate stand out from the other applicants.
- Share your contact information: Give an offer to the employer to contact you in case of any further questions. Add your email and contact number either here or at the end of the letter.
- Follow the submission guidelines: Ask the submission guidelines from the person for whom you are writing the recommendation letter. Make sure that you write the letter in the asked format and send it in the right address. Always make sure to submit the letter before the deadline, in case of any.
Tips and tricks for writing a recommendation letter:
- Make a list of attributes that you want to include in the recommendation letter. But remember not to present them in front of the recommender as a requirement but refer them as a guide. The best place to communicate about this is your thanksgiving email. You can write the statement “I know the requirements for the candidate and their required skills and accomplishments by the hiring manager if you think I am appropriate for the post on a positive note, so kindly do this for me”.
- Ask a friend to proofread your communication with the recommender and the final recommendation letter. Pay close attention to the spellings of students assignment help and other branded entities. Never give a chance of flaws and rejection for your recommendation letter, so it is always better to take the second opinion.
- If you find any mistakes such as in dates or in the student’s assignment help, it is always best to ask the recommender to give little more time to fix it. Submitting a letter filled with errors is really awful.
Difference between a recommendation letter and reference letter:
The letter of recommendations is written mostly by co-workers, supervisors, professors, etc. While this is not the case for a reference letter. A recommendation letter is written to give a description of the surroundings, education, experience, and accomplishments of the candidate. It describes the skills and attributes of the candidate.
We can use both the recommendation and reference letters interchangeably. The main difference between both is that the recommendation letter is more specific in nature and is written for one person and dedicated to a specific post. While a reference letter is general in nature and is applicable for multiple posts.
So in this whole article, we have understood the significance of the recommendation letter. A recommendation letter is required by the person to take admission in a school or college or to get their desired job. It helps the admission cell, in case of admission to understand the academic achievement of the student and he or she deserves to get admitted. In the case of job recommendation, it helps the hiring manager to understand the professional willingness, skills, and accomplishments of the candidate.
Always remember not to wait for the last minute to ask for the recommendation letter. It is necessary to give enough time to the writers of your recommendation letter to craft a letter that can leave a positive impact. For academic recommendations, ask the writer two months before you actually need it. You can collect recommendation letters throughout your life.
If you are quitting from a job, first ask your employer to provide a recommendation letter. If you are an active job seeker and worked in many organizations, you should ask each of your employer or the supervisor to provide a recommendation letter. Recommendation letters also should be asked by the landlords, to whom you pay money, people, with whom you were engaged in business. All these work as on hand character references for you.
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