How to Write a Letter of Recommendation

A recommendation letter can be useful for several reasons, particularly when applying for a job or a school. Both a recommendation letter for job and a letter of recommendation for student help provide the reader with a better sense of who the applicant is. It is particularly powerful when coming from someone who has influence, such as a professor or well known person of power.

The Importance of Letter of Recommendation

Letters that recommend someone provide a glimpse at more than just the skills and resume facts offer. For potential employers and college admissions staff, the recommendation letter lets them know if the student or employee is a good fit for their establishment. Word of mouth is very powerful and it can be used to a great advantage if done right.

A recommendation letter for scholarship applications is just one reason you might need to write a letter. It is similar to a recommendation letter for college and the recommendation letter for graduate school. All of them can make or break a person’s chance at an education in the school they desire.

A personal letter of recommendation is often more powerful than any awards or test scores. While everything is considered, having one or more people telling them that the student or employee is an excellent choice is your best bet for making this work.

Letter of Recommendation Template

Every recommendation letter for teacher applications, student applications or more, should include specific examples of the person’s behavior. Don’t just say the student is amazing. You need to spell it out. Why is this person amazing? Why do you feel they should be accepted for the job or scholarship? Drill down to the real reason this person deserves what they’re applying for.

Looking at a recommendation letter template will show you everything that needs to be included and ensures you won’t forget anything. It’s a good idea to use a letter of recommendation template to write everything down.

Writing the Recommendation Letter

Start the letter of recommendation with your relationship to the student or employee. It matters who is writing the letter and you should also consider sharing how long you’ve known them. Someone who has known the applicant since they started school will have more credibility than a teacher who met the student last week.

Your letter shouldn’t be over the top. Keep it realistic and truthful. You may not have the best student in the world, but you can still write a glowing recommendation letter. Just focus on the positive skills and characteristics of the student. For example, if they are rather stubborn, you might word it as “persevering” or “able to concentrate intensely on one subject.” The trick is turn their characteristics into something positive.

Look for things you can recommend about the student or employee, as well. If they don’t get the best grades, but study longer than anyone else in class, mention that they are excellent at studying. An employee who works carefully, albeit slowly, can be described as “meticulous.

Again, give very specific examples so people will see exactly what you’re talking about. Both employees and students should have plenty of anecdotes that can be shared.

A letter of recommendation should always focus on the positive. Look at what the person is good at and where they excel. This is the information that the recruiters like to read and it will help them make an informed decision.

In most cases, more than one person will be providing a letter of recommendation. This means not all the weight falls on you alone. Write the best letter you can and let it do its job.

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