Recommendation Letter Format
Are you responsible for writing a recommendation letter, but aren’t sure how to organize your thoughts? I’ve created an easy recommendation letter format you can follow and explanations for each section to make your life and letter writing easier. Keep reading to learn how to assemble your thoughts into a powerful recommendation letter to help your colleague, employee, or former student land the job of his or her dreams!
The Perfect Recommendation Letter Format
Stuck on how to start writing that glowing recommendation letter? Or maybe you’re just pressed for time? Just copy and paste my recommendation letter format below and you’ll be on your way to sending off a strong, flattering letter for the person who approached you.
[First and Last Name of the person you’re writing to]
[Their job title]
[The Street address of their workplace]
[Sometimes it has two lines]
[City, State, Zip Code]
[The date you’re writing the letter]
Dear Dr./Mr./Mrs./Ms. [Last Name],
It is my absolute pleasure to write this recommendation for [the Name of the person who asked you for this letter] for [position] with [Company]. I [worked with/supervised/taught] [Name] for [amount of time] at [location] where [Name’s pronoun] impressed me with their [one or two traits that relate to the position they’re applying for]. I am confident [Name] will be an amazing addition to your company.
I worked with [Name] on [project name] where we [accomplishments/duties]. I also partnered with them to [accomplishments/duties] and found [Name’s] contributions to be [describe]. [Mention any award or special distinction they won/achieved while you knew them]. [He/she/they] is [positive trait], [positive trait], and [positive trait]. From these experiences, I believe [Name] to possess the necessary skills to become a [position].
[He/she/they] are passionate about [specific subject related to job], something I experienced first-hand when [give an example]. It was clear from this that [Name] enjoyed [subject] and took it one step further by [related example]. They also improved [class/the office] by [soft skill] and [example of using soft skill]. I know [Name] will bring this skill set to [Company] and actively participate in its growth.
Along with [his/her/their] incredible talents, [Name] has always conducted [his/her/themselves] in a [trait] and professional manner. [He/she/they] is actively involved in [volunteer/extracurricular activity related to position] where they used their [positive trait] and [soft skill] to improve the world around them. [Name] speaks about [volunteer/extracurricular activity] with ample enthusiasm and has [achievement/duty]. These additional experiences and passions make [him/her/them] the perfect fit for [position] with [Company].
[Name] has my wholehearted support with their application to your company. [He/she/they] is [repeat positive trait], [repeat positive trait], [repeat positive trait], [repeat positive trait], and [repeat positive trait]. I have no doubts that [Name] will make an [positive adjective] [position]. Please feel free to contact me at [your contact information] if you have any additional questions about [Name]. I would be happy to speak with you about [his/her/their] qualifications in more detail.
[Your Name][Your job title]
[Your Work Address]
Breaking Down Each Section of the Format
Now that you have the perfect recommendation letter format, you might need a little more explanation about why each section is important or want to try creating your own! Whatever the reason, let’s break down what a letter of recommendation absolutely must have:
An Official Format
Does this seem a little out-dated? Probably. But it’s still important to use an official format when you’re writing a letter of recommendation, because these letters reflect the person you’re writing about. This person has trusted you to help them make a good impression! So when you’re addressing the letter itself, it should look something like this:
Jeong Kyoon, Ph.D
Wuhan International Educational Center
No. 10-1 Boxue Road, WEDZ
Wuhan, Hubei, PRC 430056
Make sure you use an official letterhead when you’re printing your letters of recommendation. This ensures that your letter is actually valid and not a fake. Also, you don’t need to include the country in the address if this letter is being mailed domestically. I’m using an address from a previous example letter and this was being sent internationally.
Your letter must also include your professional information and a reliable way to contact you.
A Strong Opening
Please don’t write “I’m writing to recommend Sarah for…,” because if they’re receiving this letter, they already know why you’re writing to them. Remember that your letter is essentially campaigning for this person to get a job they really want.
Show how excited you are about their application in your letter. Be sure to include who you are, why you’re qualified to recommend them, and how you know the candidate in the first paragraph! Also include personal and professional strengths early on. This is both informative and helps outline what your letter will be about.
Specific, Related Examples
Now that you have their attention with your strong opening, it’s time to knock their socks off with how incredible this candidate is. Use brief, but specific examples that relate to the job they’re applying to. And don’t forget, this letter is about the candidate, not you.
So if they helped you with a published paper, don’t talk about the content unless it specifically relates to this position. Instead, mention how thorough their research and fact checking skills are or how their attention to detail caught mistakes that even you missed. This way, you’re still offering the example, but you’re showing qualities that can be transferred to a job.
Remember to tie each example and trait back to the position they’re applying for and why the candidate is perfect for this job because of it.
Now you have everything you need to write the perfect recommendation letter from a template and explanations for why each section is valuable to the letter itself. With these tips and tricks, you’re going to make your colleague, employee, or former student proud to have you writing them a letter of recommendation.
What are your favorite tips for writing a letter of recommendation? Did you find this article helpful? Comment below and let us know!