Writing recommendation letters is hard work! If you don’t know where to start or are finding it challenging to organize your thoughts, reading a sample recommendation letter can help you figure out your next steps. Keep reading to learn more about why these letters matter, plus see a sample recommendation letter and find out what makes it the perfect example.

Sample Recommendation Letter by a Professor for a Student

Jeong Kyoon, Ph.D

Director

Wuhan International Educational Center

No. 10-1 Boxue Road, WEDZ

Wuhan, Hubei, PRC 430056

Dear Dr. Kyoon,

It is my great pleasure to provide this letter of recommendation for Sarah as she pursues anEnglish as a Foreign Language teaching position with Wuhan International Educational Center in China. As an associate professor of English Literature at ABC University, I taught Sarah in four classes and served as her thesis advisor during her senior year. Sarah continues to impress me with her adventurous spirit, passion for knowledge, and love of helping others. With her background in English, experience living abroad and time spent tutoring ESL students, I am confident Sarah will make an excellent addition to your school.

I taught Sarah during her sophomore, junior, and senior year in Comparative Methods in the Humanities, The Global South Asian Diaspora in Literature and Film, Gender and Literature in South Asia, and Empire and Intimacy: Race and Sexual Fantasy in European Literature. I also worked closely with her on her senior thesis, which explored Marxism’s impact on Chinese Literature. Sarah was awarded the distinction of summa cum laude, because of her dedication and commitment to learning. She is a talented writer who offers an impassioned perspective in essays, class discussions, and personal conversations. I firmly believe Sarah possesses the mental dexterity, verbal skills, compassion, and depth of thought to be an engaging teacher.

Sarah is passionate about connecting with people from different cultures, something I  have had the joy of witnessing multiple times as she explores new ideas through world literature. I recall one insightful paper Sarah wrote for which she interviewed international students about their perspectives on various Western classics. It was very clear from this paper that she was passionate about cross-cultural exchange. She also spends her time volunteering with ESL students in local high schools, out of the pure desire to help others. As an English teacher with the Wuhan International Educational Center, I am confident Sarah will foster a similar passion in her students.

In addition to her studies and volunteer work with ESL students, Sarah has spent two semesters studying abroad with a host family in Shanghai. She speaks very highly of her host family, their dinners and daily conversations in Shanghainese, and their patience with her as she mastered this dialect. She is visiting her host family again this summer for her host sister’s birthday and contacts them regularly through email. Sarah enjoys meeting new people, learning about different cultures, and traveling as an engaged participant. These experiences and passions make Sarah the perfect fit for the opening with the Wuhan International Educational Center.

Sarah has my wholehearted and unequivocal support in her search for an English teaching position with your institution. She is thoughtful, passionate, and open-minded; with a clear commitment to teaching and helping others understand different cultures. I have no doubt that Sarah will make an outstanding English as a Foreign Language teacher at Wuhan International Educational Center. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Andrea LaLonde, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature

ABC University

wsmith@abcu.edu

123-456-7890

What Makes This Sample Recommendation Letter Works

When students graduate from college, job hunting is usually their top priority. Since most graduates don’t have a lot of previous employers to reach out to, they opt to ask their professors for letters of recommendation or support. In our example, Professor LaLonde taught Sarah in a subject closely related to the position she’s applying for which is one of the reasons why this letter works.

Professor LaLonde clearly states her support for Sarah’s application to an English teaching position in China. She discusses Sarah’s specific academic interests, how they relate to this opening, and essentially make Sarah working for them the next logical step. Professor LaLonde also takes the time to characterize Sarah as someone with a dedication to learning about and exploring other cultures. She achieves this by specifically mentioning Sarah’s study abroad experience in China, her relationship with her host family, and that she spends her time volunteering with ESL students in her community. Combined, these experiences have prepared Sarah for her work as an English teacher.

So even though Sarah’s professor has not personally supervised her student teaching others, she can offer insight into Sarah’s strengths on a personal and intellectual level. This perspective is very valuable, because Professor LaLonde has worked with Sarah during four classes and on her senior thesis paper. Because of all this time spent with Sarah, Professor LaLonde is able to assure the prospective employer that she is an ideal candidate for this position.

Keep that in mind when you’re writing a letter of recommendation or support for one of your students: tie it back to the position they’re applying for. It’s a bit like writing a short paper where your main idea is that this student is perfect for this job and you need to supply evidence to back up your claim.

Be sure to click here if you need to read over a few more examples before writing your own!

Letters of recommendation can be scary to ask for and sometimes even scarier to write. Looking for examples is a great way to give yourself an idea of how to organize your thoughts. Breaking down why each example works will help you write a letter of recommendation or support that your students will be proud to show off.

Are you having trouble writing a letter of recommendation? Do you have any other tips or tricks to share? Comment below and let us know!