Why are they important, and what makes some stand out over others? Why Are Recommendation Letters Important?
What is a Letter of Recommendation?
A letter of recommendation or reference letter is a document designed to add extra weight and merit to a job or college application.
They are usually written by a supervisor, colleague, teacher, or friend. There are various different types of recommendation letters, but the three main ones are those for employment, for university applications, and character references.
Who needs letters of recommendation? Why do they need them? Students Applying for University, Grad School, or Scholarships Almost all Universities and scholarship programs require at least two recommendation letters as part of the application process.
These reference letters should ideally be written by previous teachers or professors who are familiar with your academic achievements and abilities. Students need references because admissions officers and scholarship organizations want to get a better understanding of who they are as a person.
For more details on who you should ask to write your recommendation, check out our detailed guide on how to ask for one. RG Tip It is also acceptable to have your letter written by a coach, guidance counselor, or academic adviser who can speak to your strengths 2.
People Applying for Jobs That Require Strong References For most job applications, a well-written resume and cover letter are more than sufficient.
However, certain industries or companies may require a letter of recommendation in addition to these basic essentials. Teachers and physician assistants are two such examples of jobs that often need a written reference as part of the application.
Generally speaking, the most convincing reference letters will be those written by a supervisor. In cases where this is impossible or undesirablea recommendation from a coworker who is intimately familiar with your work is also acceptable.
This usually occurs when you have little or no work experience. In situations like these, a character reference from a friend, teacher, or family member can make all the difference when it comes to job hunting. Salutation As with any letter, the very first line should address the person or body of people you are writing to by name and title.
Check out the first step of our writing guide for a more detailed explanation of how to craft the perfection salutation. How you know the applicant Start by expressing your sincere recommendation of the applicant, explain who you are and your relationship with the person you are recommending, including how long you have known them.
The Academic, Personal, or Professional Achievements of the Applicant The second paragraph outlines the relevant academic or professional strengths of the applicant.
Include one to two specific and detailed examples that demonstrate the applicant truly does possess these strengths.
Personal Traits and Characteristics The third paragraph is all about personality. Include details of the applicants positive personality traits and examples that clearly showcase them. Such as relocating for family reasons, or outgrowing the opportunities at the company.
Call-to-action Reiterate your wholehearted recommendation of the applicant and encourage the reader to contact you with any questions they may have. The alignment, font size and style, and margins can all impact the impression you give the reader.
The following simple guidelines will ensure your recommendation letter looks professional: That being said, anything over two pages is definitely too much. Use a size 12 font to maximize readability and economical use of space. Using a size 11 font in order to maintain a one-page length is acceptable but should be avoided when possible.
Anything lower than 11 is too small. Avoid any overly stylistic fonts that could affect readability.
Maintain a left alignment throughout the entire page to ensure an organized appearance. RG Tip For more specific details on how to format a letter of recommendation, check out our comprehensive business letter format guide. Three Important Steps Before You Begin Writing Before you stretch your typing fingers, there are a couple of things you must do to ensure your reference letter is as compelling as possible.
Ask the Applicant for Information Ask the applicant for a copy of their resume, cover letter, personal essay, or any other such documents they are submitting as part of their application.
Read through them thoroughly and avoid repeating any of the information mentioned unless it is particularly important. Conduct Your Own Research Do some research on the company, university, or scholarship the applicant is targeting, and customize your letter based on their requirements. Think About the Type of Letter You are Writing Depending on the type of recommendation letter you are writing, the tone and contents will differ.
Following these steps will help you create a convincing letter of recommendation that is sure to be an invaluable part of any application.What does a good recommendation letter look like?
Below you’ll find a sample letter written by a direct manager for an employee who works in software sales. If you’re responsible for managing or leading a team, chances are you’ll be called upon to write similar letters.
Are you a job seeker?
This is what you need to know. What is a reference letter? Reference letter A reference letter is a letter from a trusted source, attesting to your worthiness for a specific job.
That means the writer needs to read the job description you are . When an employee asks if you will provide a letter of reference for them, ask them to give you a copy of their resume and, if possible, copies of the job advertisements to which they are applying.
These documents will give you additional information you can use to write a strong and effective letter of reference. character reference letter templates you can download and print for free.
We have tips on writing character references as well as example letters, sample character reference letters for court, employment, school, child care and character reference . Craft a professional recommendation letter (or reference letter) in minutes using our free downloadable templates and samples.
Our comprehensive guide covers everything from how to write a letter of recommendation to how to ask for one. Sample reference letter that is easy to adapt for your own use. Select the appropriate work reference letter from the sample letters and use it as a guide to writing your own employment reference letter for an employee.