Whenever you’re applying for a new job, there’s one particular thing that makes you confused: the letter of recommendation. We’ll cover everything you need to know about this job application document in this guide by ProperResumes.com.
Is the Letter of Recommendation Really That Important?
Why do I have to submit a recommendation letter, anyway? The readers of ProperResumes often ask that question. What if you don’t have many contacts to write you letters of recommendation? Well, the connections are usually not a problem. If you’re fresh from college, you can always ask a professor to write you one. You surely know people with companies, who can say something good for you. If you bothered to attend internships, you know who to call. If this is not your first job you’re after, you can always ask your former employers or colleagues to write you recommendations.
The only problem is: no one wants to bother writing these things. When you request a letter of recommendation for a job, you’ll often get this answer: “I just don’t have enough time for that, sorry.” Others will say they will do their best, but there won’t be a sign of that letter when you need it. Some people, however, will tell you to write the letter, so they can just sign it. In this case, you’ll be the one doing the hard work.
Every job applicant should know how to write a letter of recommendation. You must never lie in it! We’ll give you few tips to follow.
The Ultimate Tips: How to Write a Letter of Recommendation
What’s the perfect letter of recommendation format? That’s the most important question. Fortunately, it’s an easy one to answer: simplicity wins! When you follow the right format and you know what to include, the process of writing a letter of recommendation won’t be that hard.
The first paragraph of the letter should explain how the person who’s writing the letter knows the job candidate. If you’re writing your own recommendation letter, you’ll be writing in the name of the person recommending you. Reference their job title and the nature of your relationship. Is this a professor? A former employer? A colleague or a supervisor?
Dear Mrs. Roberts,
It is my pleasure to recommend Daniel Johnson for the Social Media Manager position in your organization. I was Daniel’s team leader in a project that Social Media Group completed for General Electrics.
Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?
- Body of the Letter
Now comes the hard part. The body of a professional letter of recommendation should explain what skills, knowledge, qualities, and talents the candidate has and how they would be relevant for this position. When you’re writing your own letter of recommendation, you might feel uncomfortable writing great things about yourself. As long as you stay realistic, it’s okay. The letter of recommendation is supposed to recommend; that’s the point.
All good words should be accompanied by proof. Offer specific examples that show those qualities and strengths. You probably got the approval of this person when you worked with them. Mention those moments.
Daniel was a valuable asset to this team. He is a hard-working person, who always offered to work overtime in order to help his teammates complete their part of the job before the deadline. He showcased his problem-solving skills when we faced budget issues with this important project. Thanks to his ideas, we managed to increase the conversion rates by 22% in a single quarter.
In the office, Daniel is a pleasure to hang out with. This is one of those people who create and support a positive office culture with their friendly attitude and productive discussions. He is truly a team player, who puts the benefit of the group first.
I am confident that Daniel will be a great addition to your team. He was just a member of my team, and now I believe he is ready for progress. The Social Media Manager position in your organization would be the logical step forward in his career.
There… I told you that would be the hard part. Think about the praise you’ve received from this person and write this the way they would write it.
- Closing Paragraph
If you got through the previous parts, now is the right time to close the letter. The concluding paragraph is rather simple: the letter should say this person would love to have you in their team again in future, and share contact information for the hiring manager.
I would love to work with Daniel again in future. At this moment, I believe he is ready for more than what my organization could provide for him.
Please feel free to contact me at 123-456-7890 if you want to discuss Daniel’s experience and qualifications. I’d be happy to confirm this recommendation and expand on it.
Content Marketing Manager
Social Media Group
There you have it; that’s the classic format of a recommendation letter. It’s rather simple. The only thing you’re left to do is figure out what details you’re going to fit in those three parts. If you’re writing this letter for someone else, it should be easier.
If you’re writing it for your own application and you’re not sure if your contact would approve of it, just ask. “Mr. John, is it okay to mention I was working overtime in your company?” They will probably say it’s fine.
If You Know How to Write a Recommendation Letter, You Get Higher Chances for an Interview Call
Writing a recommendation letter is a huge challenge. This is the document that confirms everything the resume and cover letter say. It’s another person’s approval of your qualifications, talents, and experience. If this is a person with authority in the industry and they are ready to confirm the recommendation over phone, you’ll have huge chances to get a call for that interview.
The importance of recommendation letters may be overwhelming. In essence, these are simple letters with a straightforward structure. One page is enough! Make a plan and you’ll write it in less than an hour.
Keep in mind that the reputation of the person recommend you is in play. They won’t sign any recommendation letter that twists the truth or goes overboard with the praise. If you’re writing the recommendation letter for someone else, remember that you have to preserve your reputation. Never exaggerate the accomplishments of the candidate.
The perfect recommendation letter is positive, honest, and believable. All claims should be supported with examples and facts. Use percentages and numbers to show how the candidate contributed to the company’s growth. There’s usually no place for criticism in cover letters. They should remain positive recommendations.
Are you ready to handle this challenge? Of course you are. Here at Proper Resumes, we’re always ready to answer your questions and give you a helping hand during the job application process.