Letter of Recommendation Template

letter of recommendation

Whether you need to write a letter of recommendation for a student, a friend, or a colleague, you’ll find some tips, templates, and examples below. It’s important to know what should go in a letter of recommendation, as well as the letter format. 

 

A good letter of recommendation is an insider tip for your potential employer. Sure, your resume and application highlight your qualifications and show that you’re competent for the position, but a word straight from your former employer makes everything you’ve written on paper believable. A recommendation letter serves as a vote of confidence from a person of stature in the community, such as your previous employer, professor, client, colleague, or teacher. The letter allows you the opportunity to shine a little brighter than other job applicants who don’t have the same benefit.

Let’s take a closer look at why a letter of recommendation is so important.

How Does a Letter of Recommendation Help You?

Builds Your Credibility

Evidence of your accomplishments, work experience, and skills are what your potential employer wants to see in a letter of recommendation. So, it’s best to have a letter that’s tailored to the specific position you’re applying for, as that shows your potential employer you have the required skills and you’re serious about the job. It’s also a good opportunity to provide in-depth information that you didn’t include on your resume.

Your Application is Easier to Evaluate

Checking references and contacting them can be tedious, and many employers prefer to give it cursory attention, while others may choose to skip it entirely. Having a recommendation eliminates the need to interview your reference since whatever needs to be said is there in writing. And it’s compressive because your reference had the time to compose their thoughts and lay down the facts. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that it’s well written or ask if you can help compose it.

Provides More Information About the Candidate

If you are a fresher, that means you have no work experience, you might not have a letter of recommendation from an employer either. However, that’s not the case with candidates who have worked for several months or years. This letter shows your employer that you’re not only experienced, but you were also a competent worker in your previous post.

So, it’s up to you to be on your best behavior and carry out your tasks well in order to get a good recommendation. Your previous employer can write all sorts of information about you, including your strengths and weaknesses. They can also include how he or she met you, for how long they’ve known you, the purpose of your relationship, and breakthrough, research work, or any other context you’ve achieved in your career under their watch. The idea is to help your recruiter in shaping the interview and making a more informed decision.

Bonus tip: There are certain letters of recommendation that can hurt your application instead of building it. Therefore, it important to ask for recommendations from people you’re on good terms with and those who can allow you to help compose the letter and submit it for signature. This gives you the chance to tailor the letter according to the job application and highlight your best skills, experience, and work habits that you think are valuable to your potential employer.

Do you know how to write a good letter of application that will increase your chance of being called in for an interview and put you in the best light over other candidates? This article contains detailed information about what you need to include when writing a letter of recommendation and examples of some of the best letters of recommendation in different fields. You can create a professional letter of recommendation by downloading any of the templates below and personalizing them. 

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation

A good recommendation letter should mainly focus on how the applicant being recommended suits the advertised job or the responsibilities involved. Before anything else, read the job requirements and always keep them in mind when writing the letter. This will help you pick and add in the letter the specific knowledge and skills the candidate possesses. Include their qualifications and accomplishments they got while working with you. Using examples is the best way to describe these accomplishments.

How to start a letter of recommendation

The introductory part of a recommendation letter should detail your connection to the individual you’re recommending. That includes how well you know them, the period you’ve known them, and your eligibility to write the letter of reference for them.

State your job title as well as the candidate’s job title during the time you two interacted and how you related – including if you supervised them or not. You should also add the company name or school, job, and the position the candidate is applying for.

In a nutshell, you need to start the letter with authentic enthusiasm and praise for the applicant. The hiring manager on the other end should feel you’re recommending an individual you sincerely and confidently believe in.

Letter of recommendation format

Any letter of recommendation should include the following:

Heading

This should be at the top of the letter and should include your name, company, title, address, contact, and date.

Salutation

If you don’t know the recipient of the letter, write Dear Hiring Manager or To Whom It May Concern. And if you know them, write Dear (Title) Last Name.

A short introduction

Here, you indicate who you are, how you relate to the candidate, and their personal expertise/experience.

Body

This should entail a summary of the candidate’s strengths in relation to the job they applied for. You can also add a personal story elaborating on their impressive traits.

Closing statement

This is a summary of why you think the person you’re recommending is a good match for the job. You can also indicate you’re available to share more information about the applicant should the hiring manager have any questions.

Signature

Sign off with your signature, name, title, phone number, and email address.

How long should a letter of recommendation be?

Like any other formal letter, a recommendation letter should be short and precise. One page (between 300 and 400 words or three to four paragraphs) is the average length of a typical official letter. That’s sufficient space to elaborate on the candidate’s strengths and convince the hiring manager that the person is worth considering for the job.

If the letter is too short, it may suggest you either don’t fully endorse the applicant or don’t know them properly. A longer one may take much of the reader’s time, and they can easily ignore it. Most hiring managers usually receive tons of applications, and you should aim to grab their attention straight away.

How to ask for a letter of recommendation

When asking for a letter of recommendation, the following steps can help you make the process easier and more professional.

Pick your reference keenly

Create a list of about five individuals who you think are suited to write your recommendation letter. The reason for choosing several references is in case one rejects your request; you already know who to approach next time. Another reason is a reference may give you an unfavorable review, lowering your chances of getting your next job.

Think about people who are above you on the corporate ladder and know you well. You want to choose somebody who can write about your talents and career and convince your potential employer. Otherwise, a generic recommendation letter may sabotage your likelihood of landing a new job.

If the letter is for academic reasons, professors and counselors are best placed to write positively about your abilities in the classroom.

Ask early & nicely

Generally, you should send a request for the recommendation letter approximately two weeks prior. That way, you’d have given your reference sufficient time to prepare and write an exceptional recommendation letter for you.

While at that, ask politely for the recommendation letter since your references don’t have any obligation to write one for you.

Use some flattery

A little flattery can help encourage your reference to write a superb recommendation letter for you. It also helps you to maintain a healthy relationship with your reference for a long time. For instance, you can tell your reference you enjoyed working with them, the lessons they taught you, and how highly you regard their opinion. Even so, be careful not to go overboard, or else you’ll appear insincere.

Give all the required details

Provide the necessary information about the advertised job to your reference to make their work easier. Include the following details in your request:

  • Your full name, email, and postal addresses
  • The recipient’s details
  • The reason for seeking the recommendation letter
  • Your qualifications and how they relate to the job
  • What you’re engaged with presently
  • Relevant skills, successes, and work habits
  • The date when you need the letter
  • An updated resume

Who should I ask?

When requesting a recommendation letter, you should ensure it’s relevant to the job and company you’re applying to. While you can have someone outside of your prospective industry write the letter for you, its content should directly relate to the role you’re applying for.

Your reference should be someone who can confidently vouch for your abilities and skills at the workplace or school. Ordinarily, your first choice should be your former employer or professor. However, other people can also write you a recommendation letter depending on its purpose. They include colleagues, volunteer leaders, teachers, business associates, vendors, clients, friends, and neighbors.

Examples of Letters of Recommendation

A good letter of recommendation is helpful and strong enough to build your job preference in any company whatsoever. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure it’s done right. Here are examples of letters of application.


Letter of recommendation for college

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Steve Johnson
Math Teacher
Bridge High School
Boss grand 66 Street
Nattrabby 541826
Sweden

April 28, 2021

Kingston College Admissions Committee
652 Sherman Road
Spanish Town
Jamaica

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am delighted to write this letter of recommendation for Kristi Hines. I have known Kristi for four years now and taught her Math at Bridge High School and mentored her at a personal level. She has always portrayed unrivaled determination and drive at everything she does.

Kristi has always maintained her spot among the top students in class ever since she joined Bridge High School. She possesses the ability to quickly comprehend challenging concepts and find solutions to problems instead of waiting for other people to solve them for her. She also has admirable interpersonal skills and played a major role in teaching new students who were having difficulty with their schoolwork. Coupled with superb time management skills, it’s without a doubt that Kristi has inborn leadership tendencies that will take her far.

Apart from academic excellence, Kristi is also good at extracurricular activities. She played football and has won the school team numerous trophies. It’s always a great joy to watch her play; she always has a strong presence and unique skills at the pitch.

Kristi has a lot to offer, and I believe she would be a great asset to your college. I’m willing to share more about her in case you have any questions. Please contact me via stevejohnson@gmai.com or (123) 456-7890.

Sincerely,
Steve Johnson

Download this letter of recommendation example by clicking on the link above


Letter of recommendation for a friend

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Taylor Roberts
352 Access Road
Rockdale, WI 45221

April 20, 2021

Elizabeth Walker
Human Resources Manager
Outland Bank
845 York Street
Creek, CA 16213

Dear Ms. Walker,

It’s my pleasure to recommend Martha O’Brian for the Relationship Manager position at Outland Bank. I know Martha too well since she relocated to my neighborhood 12 years ago, and shortly after, she reported to my company, and I became her immediate supervisor. She is a responsible young woman and a hard worker too.

During the period she has lived in close proximity to my house, I’ve witnessed her achieve tremendous success in her academic journey and accomplishments in her career. I’m sure you’ve looked at her transcripts that show how bright she is. The professional recommendations from her supervisors also speak for themselves.

Martha has always demonstrated entrepreneurship and leadership skills. She enjoys finding solutions to problems and actualizing business ideas. A few years ago, she founded a carpet-making business, recruited and taught the craft to underprivileged young men and women. She has managed the team well and enabled them to eke a living for themselves.

I’m confident Martha would be a great addition to Outland Bank. Her deep understanding and experience in financial matters will make her thrive in any business environment. If you want to know anything else about Martha, kindly call me at 462-261 2021 or send an email at taylor.roberts@gmail.com.

 

Sincerely,

Taylor Roberts

 

Download this sample letter of recommendation by clicking on the link above


Letter of recommendation for scholarship

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Grow Society Foundation
232 Dark Street
Atlanta, GA 42145

March 20, 2021

Jane Brooke
Public Relations Lecturer
Ontario University
521 Pipe Dream Road
Clifford, 61260

To Whom It May Concern,

I write this letter to recommend Brian Quinn for the Grow Society Scholarship. I taught him Communication & Public Relations at Ontario University. I have closely monitored his academic progress, and I must admit I am impressed by his keen eye for detail and impeccable abilities in the classroom.

Ever since I started teaching his class, I noticed unparalleled focus and determination in Brian. Unlike many other students, he always sought clarifications for concepts that weren’t clear. He would also sacrifice his free time to seek further assistance from his lecturers, and this made him emerge the best student overall. His passion and interest in the Public Relations field is evident in his grades and knowledge of the concept.

Brian also interacts with other people well, regardless of their background, race, or academic abilities. He got along pretty well with practically anyone he would come across. He is patient, kind, and respectful and always gave a helping hand to other students whenever they needed help.

I’m certain that Brian’s personality and abilities will make him successful in whatever path he chooses to pursue. He undoubtedly deserves this scholarship, and I believe he will continue impacting the community where he goes.

I am one phone call away if you need me to shed more light on the person Brian is. You can contact me at 451-952 6522 and reach me via email at jane.brooke@ontariouni.ac.ca.

 

Best regards,

Jane Brooke

 

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Letter of recommendation for graduate school

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

John Lock
Senior Lecturer
Oxford University
Oxford OX1 2JD

January 31, 2021

Catherine Reynolds
Office of the Registrar
California University
251 Brush Street
Los Angeles, CA 36622

 

Dear Ms. Reynolds,

I am writing to strongly recommend Jack Burrows for the MBA program at California University. As the Head of the Department for Business at Oxford University, I have taught Jack and worked with him on different projects. I can confidently say he is indeed a brilliant and talented person.

I know Jack as a person who always gives his best in everything he does. He maintained a GPA of 4.0 at Oxford University, and I’m confident he’ll continue that way at your institution. He always attended classes and was eager to attend seminars and conferences to gain more knowledge.

Apart from being a devoted student in class, he also interned at Rolls Royce in the sales department and got valuable experience from there. He interacts with others well and always ready to help solve problems whenever he can. He’s respectful, and his caring traits have made him a likable person.

For these reasons and without any reservation, I believe Jack will be a worthy asset to your program and institution altogether. If you have any questions about his qualifications or academic background, I’m offering to answer them. Feel free to reach me via email or phone call.

 

Sincerely

John Lock

492-484 9521

johnlock@oxford.ac.uk

 

Download this sample letter of recommendation by clicking on the link above


Letter of recommendation for a student

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Justin Silva
French Teacher
Golden State Prep School
562 Nil Road
New York, NY 95623

 

June 6, 2021

 

Snowflake University
123 Old Lane
Chicago, IL 65252
 

Dear Admissions Committee,

I take great pleasure in recommending Gracie Novin for admission to Snowflake University. I have taught Gracie French for three years at Golden State Prep School. During that period, she has developed into an outstanding person in her academic work as well as personal relationships.

Gracie is one of the most determined students I’ve ever taught. She always has the drive to keep growing her skills and expanding her knowledge, something that has made her a role model for other students. She’s also calm, kind, and a great planner.

In addition to excellence in classwork, Gracie also played to the institution’s basketball team, which I coach. I’ve witnessed her humility, zeal, positivity, and real sportsmanship at the court. She was the team’s captain and has always had good relationships with other athletes, both within and outside the university. I must say that her character has enabled us to emerge victorious in a number of tournaments.

I have no doubts that Snowflake University will gain so much from Gracie’s friendliness, ambitious nature, and leadership tendencies. I’d be delighted to share more about her academic and extracurricular accolades. You can email me at jsilva@goldenstate.ac.zx or call 541-481 2626.

 

Kind regards,

Justin Silva

 

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Letter of recommendation for a coworker

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Smith Laurent
Programs Officer
XYZ Ltd
512 Business Street
Clayton, CA 16213

May 7, 2021

Lionel Rich
Human Resource
Buck Eye Ltd
512 Lone Street
Philadelphia, PA 05162

 

Dear Rich,

I’ve had the honor to work with Tim Rose at the XYZ’s Ltd Programs Department for the past five years. Having served at XYZ for 11 years now and worked with many professionals, none of them matched Tim’s program management skills. He always showed outstanding work ethic, problem-solving skills, the ability to manage numerous projects, and meeting set deadlines.

As much as he was my coworker, I managed to learn a lot from the way he does his work. He would first seek to understand the nitty-gritty of the company’s programs, then liaise with relevant stakeholders before coming up with execution plans. That way, he made sure everything ran smoothly. At one time, he managed to single-handedly organize an international event that made the company receive praise and attracted more clients.

To add to his professional performance, Tim is also a humble individual, a team player, and a natural leader. He is always upbeat and willing to help his colleagues to complete their tasks successfully.

I highly recommend Tim for the Programs Manager position at your company. He has never been disappointed in the roles he had before, and I believe he will also excel at Buck Eye Ltd. If you’d like to discuss more about Tim, please call me at 262-626 9262 or send an email at smith.laurent@xyz.com.

 

Sincerely,

Smith Laurent

 

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Letter of recommendation for immigration

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Tracy Harris
Senior Data Analyst
Delta Inc.
Redmond, WA 95636

July 8, 2021

Department of Immigration
First Lane
Seattle, NY 84547

To Whom It May Concern,

I am pleased to endorse Mercy Lowry’s pending application to become a recognized citizen of this country. I have worked with Mercy at Delta Inc. for 11 years. During that time, I’ve considered her one of my best friends. She is a diligent person who genuinely cares a lot about other people around her.

At work, she has always worked to help others and remain committed to the company’s goals. That has made her a critical part of our team and earned her promotions thrice. She came as an intern and she now heads the Cybersecurity department.

Mercy has also taken part in numerous development projects at the community level. She is always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need, including strangers. She once started a drive to raise funds that were and are still used to feed school children who come from poor backgrounds.

I feel I was lucky to know Mercy and be close to her for years. I am certain that if you accept her citizenship application, she would devote more energy and make a greater impact in this country. If you have any questions or clarifications about Mercy, please feel free to contact me.

Warm regards,

Tracy Harris
521-496 4923
tracyharris@delta.com

 

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Letter of recommendation for medical school

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Jack Bill
Professor of Medicine
Stanford University
Ithaca, NY 62623

January 23, 2022

The John Hopkins University School of Medicine
733 N Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205

Dear Admissions Committee,

It’s with immense pleasure that I write this letter to support Brian Shaw for the residency program at your university. Brian has been my student, and I’ve closely monitored his performance since I noticed he’s not your average medical student.

As you may have seen in his academic transcripts and professional recommendations, Brian has had enviable success in class and his career. I can say undoubtedly say that he possesses the qualities necessary for your residency program. He is well informed in clinical medicine matters, has gained clinical skills, cares for his patients, and exhibits great leadership skills. I’ve watched him excel and leave an impact in both outpatient and inpatient settings.

Brian is also an engaging person who strives to share his knowledge with his peers. On several occasions, he showed up at the clinic with handouts on various topics and held discussions with the medical team. In addition to wanting to help others, he is inclusive, motivated, and constantly curious to learn more.

To conclude, I am certain Brian will provide much value to your institution if you admit him to your residency program. He has always been among my top students, and I believe he will extend his excellence to your university. If you need more information or have any questions about Brian, you are free to contact me any time.

Sincerely,

Jack Bill
846-955 6260
Jack.bill@stanford.edu

 

Download this sample letter of recommendation by clicking on the link above


Letter of recommendation for law school

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Christine Pope
Christine & James Advocates
Greek Street
Phoenix, AZ 84512

July 3, 2021

Yara Law School
712 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 62013

To Whom It May Concern,

I am happy to write this recommendation letter on behalf of Elizabeth Wayne, who interned at Christine & James Advocates for one year. Our recruitment process is usually thorough as we keenly look at the class ranking, GPA, communication and interpersonal skills, self-drive, and recommendations from lecturers and mentors. Elizabeth’s credentials and abilities convinced us to take her instantly for an internship. She went ahead and performed beyond our expectations.

I always enjoyed working with Elizabeth as she always exhibited an extraordinary flair for legal matters. Although we usually assign interns with administrative tasks only, she requested to take part in huge projects and performed well in them, even better than some seasoned lawyers.

What made Elizabeth outstanding is her immense passion for law. I can’t recall the number of times she came to my office to seek clarifications on things that weren’t clear. She is curious and has a great desire to use her training to make an impact in her work.

I can assertively say Elizabeth has the full qualities of a practicing lawyer. Her intellect, maturity, diligence, and commitment have enabled her to provide us with exemplary services while still young. It’s difficult to imagine the kind of success she’ll achieve if you give her a chance to pursue further education. Should you want to know anything else about Elizabeth, call me at 481-412 0516 or send an email to christinepope@cnjadvocates.com.

Kind regards,

Christine Pope

 

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Letter of recommendation for nursing

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Lilian Spice
Chief Nursing Officer
Capital Hospital
Peg Ave
Huntsville, AL

March 27, 2021

Jeff Rodriguez
Human Resource Manager
Maryland Memorial Hospital
Ocean City, MD

Dear Dr. Rodriguez,

I am writing to support Michael Whistler’s application to join Maryland Memorial Hospital. Michael worked at Capital Hospital under my direct supervision for five years. I’ve known him as a hardworking Nursing Assistant who consistently executed his responsibilities with great passion. He is attentive to details and able to maintain calmness when working under pressure.

When we interviewed Michael, he proved to us beyond any reasonable doubt that he was the right fit for the job. While most nurses take some time to settle in, Michael understood almost everything that lay in front of him and got used to the environment shortly after arrival.

He has an exemplary academic background and people skills that enable him to engage easily with people of all cadres. He is good at managing crises and solving problems as soon as they occur. Michael is always ready to offer assistance to patients no matter the time of day and whether he’s on duty or not.

Even though we will dearly miss him at Capital Hospital, I’m sure he’ll be an asset to your hospital. If you need more information about Michael, I’m willing to help with that. Reach me via my contacts below.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lilian Spice

490-510 8410

lspice@capitalhosp.com

 

Download this sample letter of recommendation by clicking on the link above


Letter of recommendation for teacher

Microsoft Word Letter of Recommendation Template

Joseph Murdoch
Principal
St. Etienne School
Stone Street
Trifecta City, AZ 51205

May 10, 2021

Diana Hughes
Principal
Alpha School
Trailer Road
San Francisco, FL

Dear Ms. Hughes,

I am writing to support Jennifer Carlton’s application to join Alpha School as a Geography teacher. She taught Geography at St. Etienne School for three years and directly reported to me as the school principal. During that period, I witnessed her students excel in their exams and tremendously improved the school’s mean score.

Jennifer has always demonstrated exceptional zeal and enthusiasm in her work. She’s organized, reliable, and innovative. She came up with new ways of teaching her students to make them easily comprehend complex Geographical concepts. She also completed the syllabus early enough and spent a lot of time helping her students revise for exams.

As the Principal, I value honesty and integrity, and Jennifer never disappoints in delivering both. One time a parent, whose child had performed dismally, wanted to bribe Jennifer to give the student high marks, but she politely turned down the offer.

In conclusion, I can say Jennifer is someone you can count on any day. We will truly miss her dedication and charisma, but I’m certain she’ll be a great addition to your staff. If you need to know anything else about her, please email me at jmurdoch@stetienne.edu or call at 648-906 8464.

 

Best wishes,

Joseph Murdoch

 

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