When was the last time you said something honest and true about someone? How kind were those words? Or did the throw pillow skip you at those birthday and engagement parties because you were not a good judge of character and moments to act polite?

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

This is a document written about or for someone listing qualities, characteristics and abilities best suited for the letter. This purpose could be for employment or educational purposes regarding admission and scholarship eligibility. A letter of recommendation can also be referred to as a letter of reference.

About our introduction, the letter of recommendation is often intentionally required by the applicant with trust that you will speak highly of him- I mean you would not tell that frenemy you denied lunch to say nice things of you at a dinner and award party now, would you? An honest letter of reference is written from personal experiences with the applicant, providing details and affirming the qualities to match the role he is applying for.

But before you accept to write a letter of recommendation, consider these:

  • What is your relationship with the applicant?
  • From your observation, what relevant strengths can you highlight?
  • Can you cite instances or provide samples from your previous dealings with an applicant?
  • Can you physically Stand to affirm all you have written?

You must be willing to give a positive recommendation letter before accepting a letter request; where you cannot think of positive experiences you’ve had with the applicant, inform them politely that you are not in the best position to write quality recommendations for them, and by doing so early, they can find an alternative solution that early.

How to request a letter of recommendation

To seem more professional and to strengthen your chances at the opportunity you are applying for, sometimes you may need the influences of managers or friends in high places; hence, the need to be thorough in placing your requests.

Consider the following steps to guide you through placing an effective request:

  • Contact who will be writing your request and speak with them politely.
  • Agree on a medium to send your other credentials.
  • Include the job description and a requested deadline.
  • Attach your resume.
  • You might also send samples to speed up the process.

Basic contents of a recommendation letter

  • A brief introduction of who you are, stating your relationship to the applicant and your expertise- exhaust your experience in just a few points.
  • An overview of the applicant`s strengths and how they are purpose related.
  • Include a story in the body of the letter explaining a few distinctive qualities the applicant possesses.
  • Summarize in the next few lines why your candidate is suitable for such an opportunity.
  • Include basic personal details like name and contact information.

Remember to review all added files before you begin writing. This should help fill the gap in missing information of even someone you know so well- yes, it happens!

Quality letter of recommendation writing tips

  • Be positive. Being positive has its ways of showing that your candidate comes in highly recommended. This is not that time to criticize, most especially destructively, no! Lock your intolerances in a jam jar.
  • Pick a letter format. Browse templates, select professional font styles, format your address, respect your margins and spacing, etc. Remember to be polite.
  • Highlight your candidate`s important qualifications and only address the necessary ones.
  • Agree on a submission/ retrieval mode. Emails are the most efficient as it advocates for real-Time delivery, but physical submission is the most effective as it can be previewed and corrections effected.

An example of a letter of recommendation (from indeed.com)

`To Whom It May Concern:

I am pleased to strongly recommend Annie Chiu for a position as a data analyst for L&Q International.

I am Robert Cunningham, a regional manager at Mountain View Unlimited. I have 15 years of experience working as a statistician and client services specialist and have seen many young professionals come and go. Annie Chiu is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.

During our time together, Annie displayed great talents in technical applications, such as ArcGIS, R coding, Python and several other data visualization tools. When we first met, I was immediately impressed with Annie and her technical skills on day one, but during the time worked together, her understanding of data analysis and the tools of the trade grew far more than that of her peers.

My first experience with Annie’s adaptability came shortly after being hired. Last year, we had one client who sent data in Excel that needed extensive cleanup. At that time, Annie’s experience with Excel was limited, but she worked extra hours to learn how to clean up data in Excel using functions properly. Within the week, the client’s data was properly formatted to be effectively analyzed and visualized. Annie handled the data visualization skillfully, and the client was praised for the result.

It’s not just her technical skills that impress me, however. Annie was a joy to work with because of her amazingly positive attitude and eagerness to adhere to deadlines. Her can-do attitude and team-building skills were also necessary and valued by me and her peers, who often relied on her to get the job done.

I am confident that Annie would be a great fit for L&Q International. Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, but she will also quickly become an asset and help L&Q International grow in any way she can.

If you need more information or specific examples, please do not hesitate to contact me at 555-123-4567 or by email at rcunningham@mvunlimited.com. As a recommendation letter likely only provides a snapshot of her talents and achievements, I would happily elaborate further on my time working with her.

Robert Cunningham
Regional Manager
Mountain View Unlimited`

IGBAJI U.C.https://igbajiugabi.com
Igbaji Ugabi Chinwendu, from Cross River State, Nigeria. As a Business Educator, he is profoundly interested in teaching and managing business. Started blogging 2010 and officially 2013. He holds the esteemed positions of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director at Freemanbiz Communication and Writers King LTD, demonstrating his leadership and expertise in the field.


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