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Recommendation letters are also referred to as reference letters, letters of reference, or just references. They are most commonly used in the hiring process as part of the employment verification step where they are called an employment reference or job reference.

Letter of Recommendation Template

Download this free letter of recommendation template in MS Word format, and make it your own.

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Three Letter of Recommendation Templates:

1. Basic letter of recommendation.

[Today’s Date]

Dear [Mr./Mrs./Ms./To Whom it May Concern],

I am writing to recommend [full name of person you’re recommending] for [what you’re recommending them for].

I have known [person you’re recommending] since [date] as [capacity in which you’ve known the person, i.e. “good friend,” “co-worker,” etc.].

I have always known [person you’re recommending] to be [qualities the person has, such as “honest,” “loyal,” “hard-working”].

Based on our experience together, I can confidently recommend [person you’re recommending] for [what you’re recommending them for].

Sincerely,

[Your Name + Signature]

Keep your letter of recommendation brief and to the point. The last thing anyone wants is a multi-page letter. The hiring manager or person receiving the letter will want to know who you are, how you know the applicant, and why you are recommending them.

2. Personal or character letter of recommendation.

Dear [Mr./Mrs./Ms./To Whom it May Concern],

I am writing to recommend [full name of person you’re recommending] for [what you’re recommending them for].

I have known [person you’re recommending] for [number of months or years] as a [friend, coach, neighbor, etc].

From my experience, [person you’re recommending] is [qualities the person has, such as “honest,” “kind,” easy to work with,” etc].

One example of [his/her] character is when [he/she] was [something specific he/she did that showed character].

Based on our experience together, I can confidently recommend [person you’re recommending] for [what you’re recommending the person for].

Sincerely,

[Your Name + Signature]

3. Academic letter of recommendation.

[Today’s Date]

Dear [Mr./Mrs./Ms./To Whom it May Concern],

I am writing to recommend [full name of student you’re recommending] for [what you’re recommending them for].

I have known [Person you’re recommending] for [number of semesters, months or years]. [He/She] has been a student in my [list classes of your student has taken] classes. We’ve also worked on [any other projects you’ve worked on together].

I have always known [person you’re recommending] to be [qualities the student has, such as “a dedicated student,” “hard-working”].

I was especially impressed with [his/her] work on [specific task or project performed] where [he/she] was able to [something specific he/she accomplished].

Based on our experience together, I can confidently recommend [student you’re recommending] for [what you’re recommending the student for].

Sincerely,

[Your Name + Signature]

Letter of Recommendation Template

Letter of Recommendation Template - PDF

Use this PDF template to create your own letter of recommendation.

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How to Write a Letter of Recommendation:

$0.00 USD
25 Minutes
How to Write a Letter of Recommendation:

Four steps you need to take to write a professional letter of recommendation.

1. 

Address the letter.

1.1 

Address the letter to the employer or hiring manager.

Address the letter to the employer or hiring manager.

Research the employer and address your letter of recommendation directly to the hiring manager or contact person. Make sure that you add their full name or "Mr." or "Ms.," followed by their last name.

2. 

Write an introduction.

2.1 

Briefly discuss the purpose of the letter.

Briefly discuss the purpose of the letter.

State the nature of the letter, the name of the applicant you're recommending, and what available position you're referring to. While you do want your introduction to sound compelling, keep the paragraph concise to ensure a smooth screening process.

3. 

Write about the applicant you're recommending.

3.1 

Highlight their best attributes and how they suit the position.

Highlight their best attributes and how they suit the position.

Personalize the letter by highlighting why you're the best person to vouch for the applicant you're recommending. Include how long you've known them, how or where you met, and why you think they're perfect for the available position.

For the best results, showcase your knowledge of the applicant's greatest qualities, achievements, and skills.

Include an example of when the applicant you're recommending showed excellent intuition and leadership qualities, as well as great character and work ethic.

4. 

Conclude your letter of recommendation.

4.1 

End your letter with an affirmation that you stand by your recommendation.

End your letter with an affirmation that you stand by your recommendation.

In the final paragraph, reaffirm why you're vouching for the applicant by highlighting the reason for your recommendation. Add their full name and the position you're recommending them for. Conclude the letter by adding a sign-off, your full name, job title, and signature.

How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

Use our free template to easily craft an email request for a letter of recommendation.

FAQs:

How do I write a letter of recommendation?

  • State that you’re offering your recommendation.
  • State what you’re recommending the person for.
  • State the nature of your relationship (supervisor, teacher, etc).
  • State the length of time you have known this person.
  • List a description of the traits that make the person recommendable.

How do I write a recommendation letter for myself?

  • Create an outline of your letter by listing all of your strengths, abilities and skills.
  • Write in the voice of your recommender.
  • State the purpose of the letter and the relationship with your reference at the start.
  • Highlight all of your relevant skills and make use of metrics to back up your accomplishments.

How do I write a personal recommendation letter?

  1. Always start with the date.
  2. State who you are recommending and what you are recommending them for.
  3. Describe how long you know the person and in what capacity.
  4. State their best qualities.
  5. Give details about the person's character, morals, and values.

What is the format for a letter of recommendation?

  1. Date.
  2. Dear Sir/Madam.
  3. Introduction.
  4. Body.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Yours sincerely.
  7. Signature.

How do you address a letter of recommendation?

  • Write your address in the top-right section of the letter, followed by a spelled out date.
  • Under the address, on the left side of the page, write the recipient's name and address.

How do you sign off a letter of recommendation?

Start your closing statement with "In conclusion," or "In summary," before going to give your full backing for the person you are recommending. Finally, sign off with "Yours sincerely."

Does a letter of recommendation need a date?

Yes, the date should always be the first line in your reference letter.

What should a grad school letter of recommendation include?

  1. Start by stating the name of the student and the institution they are being recommended for.
  2. Describe how you know the student, how long you know them, how many semesters you've taught them, and the name of those classes.
  3. List the qualities that make them a great student.
  4. Describe work they did in your class that impressed you.
  5. Describe how, based on your experience working with them, you are confident that they will succeed in graduate school.

Any advice on how to request for a letter of recommendation?

  1. Give them plenty of notice that you’ll need a letter.
  2. Ask for the recommendation by phone or in person.
  3. Provide information to help them, such as dates you worked with them.
  4. If it needs to be mailed, provide stamped and addressed envelopes.
  5. Be very clear about what the letter is for and who they should address it to.

What kind of information should be included in a recommendation letter?

  • An explanation of how you know the person who the letter is being written for.
  • An evaluation of his or her character. Usually, character and skills are evaluated by sharing information about your professional or personal relationship with the person.

How do I end a personal reference letter?

At the end of the letter, you should clearly state whether or not you would recommend the person in question for the position that they are seeking. Your recommendation (positive or negative) should reflect what you have said about the person in the main text of your letter.

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