Letter of recommendation

Letter of recommendation

If a student, coworker, trainee asks you to write a letter of recommendation for them, then it is an honorable thing. You have made an impression on them, and they regard you enough to request your assistance in moving forwards in their profession, whether academic or otherwise. After you’ve complimented yourself, begin writing the type of letter of recommendation that will distinguish them as the best applicant for the role you are pursuing. That is the cornerstone to creating a viable recommendation letter: you must show that they’ll be a valuable resource to the corporation, school, or program to which they are applying. 

What is a letter of recommendation?

A letter of recommendation is a genuine reference for a person for a particular role, grant, or acknowledgment of a course. However the primary objective is to introduce the topic of the letter in the perfect light, the details must be presented straightforwardly.

Different kinds of letters of recommendation 

There are several typical factors why someone could request a letter of recommendation. Each letter of recommendation has a similar objective, to introduce the applicant as an optimal match for the role or training course they’re searching for. However, the appropriate subjects to contain in your letter vary depending on the type.

Academic letters of recommendation

If you are asked to compose a letter of recommendation for a pupil, your document must address both their educational attainment and the personality qualities that make them a solid applicant for the course or confer they are seeking. A student may request a letter of recommendation in many application situations;

  • Undergraduate college
  • A proper educational initiative within a university, like honors or a distinct major
  • Graduate, med or law university
  • A scholarship or grant
  • An internship

Whenever feasible, customize your recommendation letter to the particular college or program.

Professional recommendation letters

Professional letters of recommendation are also a form of a letter of recommendation that is pretty standard. Numerous applicants request that previous bosses and tutors assist them in their job hunting by suggesting their roles. Here’s the main distinction between an educational and a formal letter of recommendation: The emphasis of a recommendation letter must be entirely on the applicant’s career progression and suitability for the particular role they want.

Home rentals references

A recommendation letter for a home lease is another type of referral letter. Landowners usually ask potential tenants for feedback from past property owners regarding their experience with the occupants. If you are asked to compose this form of a letter of recommendation, hold the fresh landlord’s issues in mind while emphasizing the perspectives that formed your connection with the tenant an optimistic one, such as their timely payment of rent and the well-maintained property.

Format for a recommendation letter

The recommendation letter must be one page in length. It is similar to a cover letter: a few focused passages that convey your point clearly and concisely. A letter of recommendation must be formal in tone. Compose it in the tone as you might an email to a business contact or a reference letter. It must not be written in the same official tone as a portion of educational writing, but it must also not suppose acquaintance with the receiver or read like an informal letter. Applying the wrong tone in your letter of recommendation can impact negatively on the individual you’re endorsing, so ensure you get it right. In most circumstances, your letter of recommendation must be formatted as follows:


Address the receiver straightforwardly in the initial line of your letter. Try not to be too innovative here; a simple ‘Dear Mr./Ms.’ is the ideal option. If you don’t recognize who the receiver is, begin your document with ‘To whom it may concern.’


In the following line, explicitly specify the candidate’s name and the role for which you are mentioning them. In this segment, you can also introduce yourself. Here are some instances of solid opening sentences;

  • I am writing to suggest [Candidate’s initial and last name] for admission to [College name]. I’ve had the delight of tutoring [Candidate] at [High school name] for the previous three years.
  • It allows us to endorse [Candidate’s full name] for the role of the Content writer at [Company name]. Previously we have  Candidate] worked together at [Corporation].


In this part, simply define the qualities that make the applicant the best fit for the role being sought. Based on the sort of recommendation, it might be a combination of character qualities and skills, or it may be solely centered on the candidate’s abilities and achievements. 

Anecdotal evidence

Personal narratives that showcase the candidate’s knowledge and characteristics should be used to expand on the attributes you described in your overview. Be as precise as possible—if the applicant took charge of a particular project or if there are statistics you can communicate about their job, provide them here.

Final statement

Finish your letter with a declaration that reiterates your recommendation. A personal written statement can be added like the one stated below;

‘I can certainly recommend [Candidate] as a liable, considerate resident after subletting to him for the last three years.’


Sign your letter when you’re finished. Your recommendation letter must have a formal email signature. Although you most probably indicated your association with the candidate in your letter, involve your formal designation underneath your name. Make it simple for the letter’s receiver to notify you if they want to talk to the applicant further, so include your contact details in your signature. A mobile number and an email account, also with your work time, are generally the better options to incorporate.

Tips for writing a recommendation letter

Make it relevant

The recommendation letter is similar to a cover letter and must be brief. It should outline the main explanations for why the candidate is the best fit for the role they’re looking for, and any specifics you feature should back up these claims. Considering the candidate’s personality can be beneficial, but make sure it’s relevant to the job they’re applying for—for example, if they want to get admission to law school, defining their standards of conduct as it is an essential factor to provide. If it is for a grant to undertake archaeological studies, ensure to include the research initiatives they led when they were working with you.

Include appropriate stories, figures, and statistics

The more precise information you can share about the candidate’s job, the stronger your recommendation letter will be. For instance, if you’re writing a recommendation letter for a workmate looking for a job in online marketing, discuss specific lead generation they accomplished while collaborating with you. Likewise, if you’re endorsing a high school student to a college, give narratives about their results on class projects and co-curricular activities in your recommendation letter.

Keep an optimistic, friendly, and formal tone

As previously stated, the appropriate style for a letter of recommendation is presentable yet relatable. The tone of your writing must reflect your correlation with the applicant and your admiration for them.

Don’t write the letter if you are unsure

You may face a circumstance where you are unable to write a genuine, impactful letter of recommendation for someone who requests one. It could be due to a lack of familiarity with the individual or job, or maybe you noticed their work to be average or inappropriate. In either scenario, the most formal way to decline the request is to talk to them that you’re not acquainted enough with their job to have an appropriate discussion, or that you don’t think you are the right person for writing them a recommendation letter. Given the circumstances, you may refer them to someone else in your organization who is more relatable with their work and thus more competent in writing a proper letter of recommendation. If this isn’t possible, kindly tell them that you are unable to write a letter of recommendation for them. It’s not the moment to devalue their work or explain why you are dissatisfied with it.