How to Write a Letter of Recommendation

in Letters of Recommendation Samples

How to write a recommendation letter:

It is not difficult to learn how to write a recommendation letter. All a person has to do is follow this basic format:
At the top of the letter, your letterhead will appear. Create your own if you do not have printed letterhead.
  • Letterhead should look like this, which is all centered:

Your Name
Your Street Address
Your Town, State ZIP Code
Your Phone Number
Your e-mail address

  • Then skip three or four spaces.
  • The only centered text is your name, address, etc., as described above. The rest is left justified.
  • Then if the letter is going to a specific person, then the following should appear:

Their Name
Their Street Address
Their Town State, ZIP Code

  • Then skip one space.
  • The date of the letter should be next if to a specific person. If it is not to a specific person and it is a general letter of recommendation, then do not put a date.
  • Then skip one space.
  • Then type To Whom It May Concern: if not to a specific person. If to a specific person, type Dear Mr. or Ms. Person’s Last Name:
  • Then skip one space.
  • Then type: It is my pleasure to recommend the Person (from here on, he will be known as John Smith, so type John Smith [his first and last name]).
  • Then skip one space.
  • Then type how long you have known John Smith, but just type John [his first name]. Then state the capacity in which you know him. Then state that he has been much more then that.
  • Then skip one space
  • Then state positive attributes of the person, such as him being a quick study, and that he can accomplish tasks with a minimum of supervision. State how he succeeds in whatever he is given.
  • Then skip one space.
  • Then discuss how he relates to others, including staff and clients/customers. Discuss any special skills John may have.
  • Then skip one space.
  • Then state other positive qualities, such as reliability, loyalty, and that you never hesitate to rely on John. State that there are assignments which you would give to no one else but John.
  • Then skip one space.
  • Then state how these qualities carry over into your personal friendship with John, if you have any with him. If he has helped you with things outside of the office, state he has acted above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Then skip one space.
  • Then discuss John’s integrity and moral fiber and how you never hesitate to trust him.
  • Then skip one space.
  • Then state again that you recommend John without reservation. State that you would be happy to discuss John further, then to not hesitate to contact you. List the best method of contact, if you wish.
  • Then skip one space.
  • Then type: Very truly yours,
  • Then skip four spaces
  • Then type your name. Sign your name between the closing and your signature.
  • The above format is for a recommendation letter for a person that has worked for you. If it is a personal recommendation, then make the appropriate changes.
  • Keep the letter to one page and be concise. Use strong words to describe John, words that connote positive attributes. Remember, this letter is to sell John, so there should be no negativity in the letter, unless there is a need to address it, such as in a letter to a judge if John is accused of a crime. If that is the case, then stress how the incident is in the past, and that it is a minor indiscretion in an otherwise spotless record.

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