How to write a good letter of recommendation? It’s a significant responsibility to write a recommendation letter for an employee or coworker since it may make or break their chances of getting the job. So how can you craft a reference letter that would be persuasive to a hiring manager?
How can someone’s job application stand out when employers often get a flood of cover letters and resumes? To give themselves an advantage, job applicants might request references from previous employers. Give your former coworker encouragement as he moves on to the next stage of his career. Your persuasive letter of recommendation will highlight the applicant’s professional background and distinctive abilities and contrast them with the position’s requirements, as stated in the employer’s job description.
This post will outline the steps in writing a recommendation letter for a job and include five real-world examples to help you along the way.
Why are letters of recommendation crucial?
Let’s first think about the function that recommendation letters serve in the job application process before moving on to example letters of reference. Why do recruiting managers request recommendation letters? What function do letters of recommendation serve?
Strongly support the job seeker
For starters, you can persuasively support a candidate in your letter. The hiring manager will observe that this individual has effectively collaborated with a supervisor or colleague in the past if you show that you are behind them.
Give your employment application some personality
Your letter can add character to a candidate’s application. Although a hiring manager may go through several resumes, your letter can assist the candidate stand out by highlighting their personality and working methods.
Ensure that the job seeker is hired
You might not be able to influence a hiring manager’s decision much if you create a generic, nonspecific letter. Or it can be easily surpassed by a letter of reference from someone else in which the author took the time to get attentive and particular.
But if you take the time to write a compelling, insightful letter, it may help the job seeker get the position, or at the very least get an interview!
Mention prior accomplishments
You may also demonstrate a candidate’s potential for future success by highlighting particular successes they have done. Sharing tales in your letter can assist the hiring manager get a better idea of the job seeker’s character if they decide to hire them. It is said that previous conduct predicts future behavior.
How to write a good letter of recommendation?
How can you write a letter that will make the job applicant’s application stand out, assuming you want to assist them as much as you can? Here are some tips for enhancing the impact of your recommendation letter.
1. Speak with the applicant before writing
It’s a big task to write a letter of recommendation, but you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Speak with the job seeker about their plans before you start writing.
Let them explain the new position to you and why they are enthusiastic about it. You may make sure your letter supports the narrative they’re giving in their application by asking them to share their cover letter and other application materials.
You might even request two or three particular tales from the applicant that you can include in your letter. You could definitely think of these on your own if you had a close working relationship with this person.
But having a conversation will enable you to better understand their objectives and create a letter that will be useful.
2. Make your letter specific to the position at hand
In the same way, that job seeker should tailor their cover letter to each position they apply for, you should also tailor your letter of reference to the particular position. A generic letter that doesn’t precisely address the position the applicant is looking for will come across as insufficient in comparison to one that was.
Let’s imagine you are endorsing a worker who formerly worked in marketing and is currently vying for a director position. Your letter won’t be effective if you only briefly discuss how it was to work with that particular person.
Instead, you should explain why you think they should be promoted to the position of director and why they are qualified to take on managing responsibilities.
Name the new role and employer in your letter to demonstrate that you are familiar with the position the applicant is seeking and that you totally support their selection for it. Always keep in mind that the hiring manager is seeking a candidate who would be a good match; your letter may do much to convince them that this is the person they have been looking for.
3. Make a list of skills
List the hard and soft abilities that are pertinent to the job description. Glowing testimonies are admirable, but not if they are convoluted, off-topic, and fall short of the qualifications needed for the position your colleague is looking to fill.
Ask about the job description and the particular abilities and experiences the candidate wishes to emphasize to acquire a clear understanding of the objective of your letter. These useful nuggets of knowledge might assist you in organizing your letter by highlighting the key elements you should concentrate on.
4. Give two or three clear examples
While describing the applicant as driven, responsible, or creative is fine and dandy, you want to support these adjectives with concrete instances. Let’s assume you mention how the applicant excels in coming up with original solutions to problems.
Discuss a particular instance where an issue arose and how the applicant resolved it. You may demonstrate the prospect actually possesses the attributes you claim they have by giving two to three concrete anecdotes.
Additionally, your letter won’t just be a restatement of the information in the applicant’s résumé. It doesn’t improve the application if it’s merely a list of titles and qualifications.
You may discuss the candidate’s prior accomplishments because you’ve already collaborated with them. Your recommendation letter will become much more beneficial and compelling by mentioning a few particular achievements.
Bonus points if one of the achievements you mention relates to job-specific core competence. For instance, if the new position calls for someone with initiative, pick a case in which the candidate demonstrated initiative.
5. Be fair and honest
Take into account your candid assessment of strengths and flaws. Your comments have the power to make or destroy someone’s employment application; this is a serious duty. You are allowed to refuse the request if you feel unqualified to write a recommendation due to a negative encounter or a lack of understanding of the candidate’s work ethic. If you do, however, have confidence in the applicant’s skills and talents, consider some of the projects you’ve completed together and describe specifically how the applicant contributed to the success of these partnerships.
6. Clarify why is your opinion important
Let’s face it: a letter of reference from someone’s mother won’t be as credible as one from their manager. A hiring manager wants to see that the letter is written by a reliable source who has previously worked closely with the applicant.
Therefore, introduce yourself and the reasons why you are competent to propose this individual anywhere in the letter’s opening. Your reader will be able to appreciate your perspective and knowledge to take you seriously if you do this.
7. Demonstrate your own credibility
By thoroughly reviewing your recommendation letter in addition to listing your own professional expertise, you may increase your credibility as a resource person. Ask your coworker if you should present the letter to the applicant or the hiring manager directly.
Indicate whether there are any further specifications, such as supporting paperwork needed from your end. These straightforward actions show both the candidate’s and your own high standards of work.
8. Start out with energy
Starting your letter with a strong declaration of support is another effective technique to capture the reader’s attention. Several effective openings are,
It gives me great pleasure to suggest Rajon for the position since I was his former manager at XYZ Company.
It gives me great pleasure to suggest Casandra for the job of…
Even if it’s simple, to begin with, “I’m writing to recommend,” that sentence will sound weak in comparison to a stronger opening. So make an effort to excite your reader right away.
9. Emphasize previous employment
Hiring managers want to learn a general summary of the jobseeker’s work history from your reference letter. How can you say this clearly and honestly? Although generic praise may appear fine on paper, supporting it with specifics can make your testimony stand out.
Give specific instances where your colleague demonstrated this wonderful quality, for instance, if you wish to emphasize his or her strong sense of initiative.
Narrate the accomplishment’s components—how it was carried out and the outcomes it attained—in a succinct manner while adhering to the truth and avoiding hyperbole.
10. Correctly format your letter
It’s crucial to style your letter professionally even if some businesses are more formal than others. If at all feasible, write on official letterhead and be sure to mention your name, title, employer, and contact details.
Include the recruiting manager’s contact details at the top (see samples below). If at all feasible, address your letter to a particular individual.
Your letter shouldn’t be more than a page long and will likely consist of three to five brief paragraphs with spaces between them.
Invite the reader to contact you again through phone or email if they need any further details at the conclusion
Check out these recommendation letter samples to see these strategies in action so that you have a better understanding of what makes a successful recommendation. While your letter should be personalized, you may use these samples as templates to help you create your own.
How to write the greatest possible letter of recommendation
You now have a generic recommendation letter template to use as a model after reading the example letters for recommendations.
- Address your letter to a specific individual and begin by providing the recruiting manager’s name, position title, and business address.
- Explain why you are writing and how you are connected to the job candidate in your introduction.
- Describe what makes the applicant unique in two to three brief paragraphs, and try your best to back up your claims with concrete anecdotes.
- Finally, express your gratitude and urge the recruiting manager to get in touch with you by phone or email if they have any more queries.
Sample of a Recommendation Letter
A letter of recommendation normally has three sections: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. View the example below.
Here’s an example:
Hello, Mr. Lee
I have the distinct pleasure of suggesting Ms. Michelle Chua for the post of communications officer in your business. She served as head of communications at the Children’s Art Foundation for over ten years.
Ms. Chua has demonstrated her exceptional comprehension of communication on both internal and external channels over the three years she spent directly under my direct direction. We were able to regularly monitor, provide input, and follow up on our several projects thanks to her internal job tracker application, which she started in her second year of employment. This was a difficulty made harder by the fact that we were working from home throughout the epidemic.
With the software, it was much simpler for me to keep track of the daily duties and make sure we were on track to meet our goals. Ms. Chua frequently served as the host during our video conferences, providing succinct yet thorough visual aids and allowing all team members to offer input and ask questions. We were able to better disseminate the word about our causes and activities thanks to her success in growing our media partners from five to an amazing twelve before she departed our organization.
Having Ms. Chua on your team will be a huge advantage to your business because of her ambition, unwavering drive, and natural kindness for her coworkers, clients, and our project partners.
If you have any more queries, don’t hesitate to contact me by phone or email.
Make sure your recommendation letter is factual and positive, and consider how you can make it stand out from the rest of the letters that could be in the stack. Employers are given a peek at your genuineness and the candidate’s talents outside of the cover letter and résumé when you personalize your recommendation.
Also, remember to adjust your letter to the particular position. Perhaps the job seeker would flourish in a remote position where they could have a flexible schedule, or perhaps the new organization has a cause that the job seeker is really enthusiastic about.
You may create an effective letter of recommendation for your employee or colleague by paying attention to the advice given below. Your letter may perhaps be the winning formula that gets them the position!
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