Recommendation Letter Format

Recommendation letters help organizations learn more about a person's skills, abilities, and attitude. You may be required to write one or ask someone to make it for you.

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation

The task might be daunting at first if you are unfamiliar with a recommendation letter format. Start with learning what the letter is all about and how to write one.

Recommendation Letter Defined

A recommendation letter verifies and commends an individual's skills, experience, performance, and potential. It is often requested during university admissions, job applications, internship or fellowship applications, and volunteer opportunities.

You can write a recommendation letter for a student, employee, or colleague if you have worked with or observed them closely, particularly their capabilities and ethics. In the same way, you can ask another person to write one for you if they can attest to your academic or professional capabilities.

Recommendation Letter Format

Recommendation Letter Format to Follow

If someone asked you to complete a letter of recommendation, it should have the following content:

  • Salutation. If you know the person the letter should be directed to, address them by their proper professional title or Mr./Mrs./Ms. If not, you may use “to whom it may concern.”
  • Introduction. You may start with a sentence about who you are and why you were asked to write the simple recommendation letter in the first place.
  • Overview. This part of the letter should include a few skills of the person's attributes, strengths, and abilities.
  • Personal story. Make sure to expound more about the person's qualifications for whatever position they are eyeing.
  • Closing statement. Use this part of the letter to take that positive action or call you for follow-up questions about the person you recommend.
  • Signature. Write your name again, affix your signature, and include your contact details.

Tips for Writing a Recommendation Letter

Take note of the following tips when finalizing your first recommendation letter format:

1. Write an exciting introduction.

Get the attention of the letter's intended recipient with a unique introduction. For instance, you can emphasize how honored you are to recommend the person or write a tidbit of interesting information about that person. You may also talk about the person's outstanding achievement or recognition.

2. Explain your relationship with the person you're recommending.

This part should be more than merely talking about how you know the person and for how long. Give specifics about your relationship's dynamics. For instance, you can write about how you have been the person's supervisor and overseen their work for several years.

Letter of Recommendation Template

3. Customize the letter according to the purpose of its request.

Don't be generic in your recommendation letter format. If it is for academic purposes, check what the university program needs and incorporate those characteristics into your letter.

If you are writing a letter to recommend someone for employment, read up on the job requirements first. Take note of the strengths, skills, and professional experience required. Make these your referee's top strengths, skills, and characteristics.

4. Highlight your referee's achievements.

It is not enough that you enumerate the person's skills and strengths. Your recommendation letter should show how these are all applied in real life. One way to do that is to tell a personal story showing the referee's achievements using their top skills, characteristics, and strengths.

Your story highlighting your referee's achievements can be an excellent way to substantiate their qualifications for the position or internship they want. It is also a critical part of a recommendation letter sample for a job application. The reader will pay close attention to this section.

How to Polish the Letter

Before submitting the letter, here are a few things to remember:

  • Be positive. Write positively about your referee. Don't talk about anything that might cause the reader to doubt the person's capabilities and skills.
  • Be formal. Assume a formal business tone when you write the letter of recommendation. You can be creative to get the reader's attention but stay formal.
  • Watch your spelling and grammar. Anything that assesses one's capabilities related to applying for a position or internship should be done with extreme care. It involves writing a letter without any spelling or grammar mistakes.
  • Use only a single page. Keep everything to one page regardless of how many points you want to discuss when discussing your referee. Follow the format above and write about the highlights as needed.
  • Choose a traditional font. It goes well with the rule about being formal. Use classic fonts, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.

Do you want a ready-made recommendation letter format? Check out FormBot and its hundreds of templates. FormBot has a custom form builder you can use to create your templates without using any coding skills. But if you want a template, there are plenty of options. Try FormBot today!

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