Do you have to write a letter of recommendation? ProperResumes will teach you how to write such a letter, how to format it and what information to include in each section.
Do you Know Everything about the Correct Letter of Recommendation Format?
Writing a letter of recommendation can be challenging. Learn here how to format the letter and what mistakes to avoid. There are different types of recommendation letters available such as employment recommendation letters, academic recommendation letters, or personal letters of recommendation. Regardless of which type of letter you need to write, find out here the correct recommendation letter format:
- Decide whether you need to ask for a reference or write a recommendation letter
- 4 important factors to include in your letter:
- who you are
- your basic connection with the person you recommend (for a scholarship, for a job, for a college, etc.)
- why you consider this person is qualified for the respective position
- main skills & achievements of the candidate
It is extremely important to choose the right format for letter of recommendation. You can check out several free templates online and select the one that you need.
Best Tips for Letters of Recommendation Format
ProperResumes intends to teach you the best-kept secrets of writing a stellar letter of recommendation. Learn how to format letter of recommendation in the correct way, and then you will be able to write as many such letters as you need without help.
- Never start your letter with “To whom it may concern”. Remember that you already know to whom you are writing this letter, so make sure you get some details on the respective person. You may write your letter to an important CEO, a University teacher, a business associate or even to a key person in the HR department of a company. Therefore, you should start your letter by addressing yourself directly, including the name of the person.
- Presentation part– Make sure to introduce yourself and include your job title. Give a few details regarding your professional background. Next, introduce the person whom you wish to recommend, including job title and a few other details. As a closing statement of your paragraph, indicate the nature of your relationship with the person you wish to recommend (colleagues, teacher-student, employer-employee, etc.)
- Make references to the competence, organizational skills and main achievements of the candidate. Do not brag about these achievements, but make a clear and professional statement. Nobody will believe exaggerated statements, so it is better to keep those presentations nice and clear.
- A recommendation letter will never contain references to the age, sex or personal status of the candidate (married vs. not married for example). These are highly personal factors that you should not include in a recommendation letter. When the time comes and the candidate whom you refer will be asked for an interview, these details will be revealed there.
- Academic qualifications. You should sit down with the candidate and ask him/her about these achievements. You should never include qualifications that are false or indications about a degree that you are not sure about.
- In order to avoid conflict of facts within the text that you create, you should carefully analyze the following: the CV of the candidate, any personal essays/presentation stories and past cover letters he/she has written. These will help you understand more details about the respective person and you will be able to create a nice flowing, coherent recommendation letter.
- Follow simplicity. The recommendation letter should not contain too many complicated formatting or editing issues. You should keep it simple, and make sure the entire letter is easy to read and understand. When you over complicate things, you will only manage to confuse the reader, and you don’t want that.
- Remind the reader of the personal qualities of the applicant. In your text, you should also make reference to personal/ interpersonal skills of the candidate, not only professional background related details. For example, mention that the applicant has very good analytical skills, patience, friendliness, good communication skills, etc.
- Use nice phrases and expressions within your letter. These include exceptional leadership, outstanding tenacity, best strategic consultant, perseverance, broad interests, remarkable strength, and so on.
How to Format a Letter of Recommendation the Right Way
Your letter of recommendation should be formatted carefully, keeping in mind the following points:
- A letter of recommendation is a professional type of correspondence document. It should contain well-structured guidelines.
- Your main address will be displayed in the right top corner of the paper
- As an extension to your address, you will spell out the current date (e.g. June 8, 2017)
- In the left corner, right below the address and date, you will write the address + name of the recipient (to whom you are addressing this letter). This is the standard format for a letter of recommendation
- In case you do not know the name of the recipient you will use Dear Sir/Madam. If you know the exact name, you will open your letter with Dear followed by the name of the recipient (e.g. “Dear Mr. Wallace”)
- Start your letter with an upbeat and highly professional sentence, followed by the rest of the text. Make sure to use opening phrases such as “I am pleased to recommend Georgia for the X position” or “I am writing concerning Ava Smith who has applied for the engineering position at your company”. This way, the reader will immediately understand the main purpose of the letter.
Format for Recommendation Letter Final Notes
Writing a recommendation letter may sound difficult, but it is a manageable task once you have all the facts. Make sure to respect all the guidelines regarding the format of letter of recommendation and you will perform just fine.
ProperResumes highly recommends that you will write your letter using well-researched facts and that you will first write a draft. Let this draft sit for a while, and rewrite it only later when you can read it with a different approach.
Use all our guidelines to help you in creating the perfect recommendation letter for anyone.