How To Write a Recommendation Letter
A letter of recommendation is a document that attests to your strengths and explains why you should be given a certain job, role, position, or some sort of award. It’s usually written by a former supervisor, professor, or mentor because they have had first-hand experience with your work (or academic) ethic. The steps to writing a letter of recommendation are:
So, you’ve just been asked to write a recommendation letter. It might seem daunting to you because a recommendation letter can play a big role in whether someone gets a job, promotion, or other position they are seeking. But don’t worry, below we’re going to give you five easy steps to help you write a good recommendation letter.
Five Steps To Writing a Perfect Recommendation Letter–What To Include
The point of a recommendation letter is for someone other than yourself to highlight the attributes that make you an outstanding candidate for the open position.
Keep in mind that the person writing the letter should be a credible source that has experienced your professional or academic ethic first-hand. It’s not a good idea to have a friend or family member write your letter of recommendation—unless, of course, they were your former manager, supervisor, or professor.
A letter of recommendation is a type of formal letter. Once you include the heading and date, write an effective recommendation letter by following these five steps:
1. Introduce yourself.
The first paragraph of a recommendation letter is where you introduce yourself. State who you’re recommending and for what position. Establish how you know the candidate and include any personal, professional, or academic experience that helps establish your credibility.
Dear Mr. Carballo,
I am writing to recommend Esther Green for the position of Nurse Practitioner at the TLC Family Medicine Practice in Nashua.
My name is Corbin Larue, MD. I have been practicing family medicine in Austin, Texas for over 25 years. I met Esther 12 years ago when she started working at my practice as a receptionist. Many employees have worked with me throughout my career, but none have been as determined, resilient, and good-spirited as Esther.
2. Explain what makes the candidate a good fit.
After you’ve introduced yourself and established your relationship with the candidate, explain what makes the candidate worthy of the position they are applying for. For example, are they reliable, trustworthy, efficient, and eager to learn?
After a few years of working as a receptionist, Esther entered nursing school, where she excelled as a student. Although she had a hectic schedule with both school and work, she continued to work hard at the practice, while maintaining impressive grades, eventually graduating at the top of her class.
3. Include worthy examples and anecdotes that make the candidate stand out.
After highlighting their attributes, write examples or anecdotes that help elaborate on the candidate's positive characteristics.
She then became a nurse at my practice. She was every patient’s favorite nurse because she was caring and always went above and beyond. Not only is Esther intelligent, but she’s also a fast learner. I never had to repeat myself to her, regardless of the complexity of the topic.
4. Closing statement and signature.
Bring the recommendation letter to a close by summarizing why you’re recommending the individual. Make sure to provide your contact information just they need to speak to you to obtain more information or ask questions.
As remarkable of a nurse as Esther was, her goal was always clear to her–becoming a nurse practitioner. After graduating from nursing school, she enrolled in an NP program, where she also did exceptionally well, and again, graduated at the top of her class. I am confident that Esther well continue to excel with all her goals. Not only will she fit well in any role she takes, but she will help your practice outshine the rest through her intellectual capabilities and love of medicine.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at (000) 000-0000 or at [email protected] if you have any questions or need me to elaborate on Esther’s talents and skills.
Corbin Larue, MD.
5. Edit for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Remember, it’s important that you establish your trustworthiness. Remain factual—do not lie. Doing so may harm the candidate's chances at receiving the position.
It’s also vital that you maintain credibility by checking for spelling and grammar mistakes. A letter that contains errors can weaken its validity. LanguageTool is a multilingual spelling and grammar checker that can correct various types of mistakes. It can also help improve your recommendation letter by rephrasing your sentences to be more formal. Try it today.