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How to Write a Professional Letter of Recommendation: A Step-by-Step Guide

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How to Write a Professional Letter of Recommendation

In this article, you will learn how to write a professional recommendation letter. You are close to achieving an excellent job opportunity, but as a requirement to confirm your professional skills, the hiring company asks for a professional recommendation letter from your last job. Leaving you with questions of “how do I get this, from who, and how do I ask for this.” Not to worry, this article will cover this and more.

It is a letter written by the employer to talk about the professional qualities and recommend the work of the former employee. It does not necessarily need to be written by the owner of the company, but by the immediate manager or even by the organization’s personnel department.

The critical thing here is that the information provided can be verified by the writer.

How to request a professional recommendation letter?

The letter of recommendation has the power to open many professional doors for you. It creates an avenue for your current employer to have a glimpse of your work in the previous job. The recommendation of your ex-boss shows your future contractor, the good professional you were and that you can be hired if you are hired.

Being a valuable document that contains information about a person’s work, care must be taken when requesting it from your former manager. Here are some tips to follow.

Determine the right person to ask

Depending on the person writing your letter, they may have more relevant information about your work. If you have a manager who has worked with you for many years, the letter will likely contain more specific data. If filled in by the personnel department, it will be something more generic. So, you must carefully decide the right source.

Introduce yourself to be remembered

You can imagine the flow of people entering and leaving a company. Not all employees will be remembered by name alone. If you request the letter of recommendation by email, mention something you experienced that reminds them of who you are.

Give details about the job you are applying for

For the person to write a targeted letter with information relevant to their future employer, it is important that they know more about the position you are applying for.

Show appreciation for availability

This may be the most important point. Thank the person for the time available to make the letter of recommendation for you. Make yourself available to be contacted by phone or email if there are any questions.

Order in advance

Submit your request well in advance so that the person can get organized and write a quality letter of recommendation without haste. It is in your best interest that a recommendation letter is not written for you in haste.

Submit a template

When making the request, it is a good idea to send a model letter of recommendation, basically because the person may not have enough time to draw up a letter with the necessary information or they have never done it and may have difficulties. In this case, it is imperative for you to create a template, where the information is more relevant to the position you are applying for.

Relevance of the letter of recommendation

Many employers request a letter of recommendation as a support for them to decide who to hire or promote internally. Then, after the interview and the résumé, it can be said that the letter of recommendation is the most important document to confirm the candidate’s qualifications (in this case, based on information from third parties).

It can also serve to clarify what it is like to manage, work or just be friends with the person in question. In this way, it ends up complementing the candidate’s story and, at the same time, suggesting what he will bring to the company if he is hired.

With the knowledge that people write in different ways, make sure your letter of recommendation features the basic characteristics of a good reference letter.

In addition to using clear and error-free language, there are some elements that make the recommendation letter achieve its objective when it comes to providing positive descriptions of the recommender’s skills in a concise and, at the same time, impactful way. When writing your letter of recommendation, make sure it:

Explains why you are qualified to recommend the candidate

To have weight, a letter of recommendation must come from a trusted source. If an employer wants a professional reference, then the author of that letter should preferably have worked with the candidate in a position of peer or higher. Some employers will also be interested in letters from a colleague or, occasionally, a friend, neighbor, or family member.

In the first paragraph you should explain who you are and how you know the candidate. How long have you been working with him and in what position? By explaining your relationship, you will show that you are qualified to make an honest assessment.

If someone you don’t know very well asks you to write a letter of recommendation, you can decline or recommend someone else to write it. If you are unfamiliar with the candidate’s job performance, you may not be able to provide a useful letter, so it may not be a good idea to say ‘yes’ to the application.

The best letters are written by people who can talk about the candidate’s skills and accomplishments. So be sure to state clearly at the beginning of your letter who you are and why your opinion matters.

While you should talk about the accomplishments of the person you are recommending in your previous role, you should also show why they would be a good fit for the job they are trying to get. Even if this person is making a career change, you can explain why they will be able to do well in the new position.

This is where open communication with your recommender is important. It should share the job description so that you have a clear understanding of the requirements. The candidate is the one who should provide you with everything you need to know to personalize your letter. By building on this information, you can express confidence that the candidate will be successful in the new role. Then, when the hiring manager reads your letter, they’ll feel reassured with your recommendation.

Use specific examples and anecdotes

Furthermore, your reference letter should provide specific examples about the candidate. Don’t just list adjectives like smart and hardworking; instead, highlight circumstances in which the candidate demonstrated these qualities. That is, instead of talking, show it!

The examples not only point to the value the candidate can bring to the company, but they also show how he works in day-to-day operations. Using two to three specific anecdotes in your recommendation letter will increase your level of persuasion and prevent it from becoming just a bunch of clichés.

Always remember that you should only accept the invitation to write a letter of recommendation if you have direct contact with the reviewer and if you are, in fact, able to write a great review. The goal is not to sound exaggerated or insincere, but to make a strong positive endorsement of the person.

Use an official format

The standard template for a letter of recommendation should contain the employer’s name, title, company, and company address at the top. Also use official letterhead with your name and contact information at the top. Each letter is addressed to a specific person, so use a more personal greeting and make sure your paragraphs have single line spacing with a double space between each.

Finally, each letter of recommendation ends with an invitation to contact the author for any additional information. This is where you include your title, company, phone number and email address below your name.

Start with a strong introduction

The best letters of recommendation start with an immediate statement of support. They can say, “It’s an honor”, “It’s a pleasure” or “I’m happy to provide this letter of recommendation to Kelly.” That sounds much better than stating the obvious with a sentence like “I’m writing to recommend Kelly.”

In the first paragraph, explain who you are and why you are qualified to recommend the candidate. Then write a line or two of praise about your recommender’s professional and personal strengths, perhaps with a summary of the main points you will present in the rest of the letter.

You can talk about a candidate’s project or responsibility or the value they brought to the company you worked for together. Consider relevant qualities such as initiative, creativity, leadership, flexibility, adaptability, collaboration, and interpersonal skills.

Depending on your relationship with the candidate, you may be able to focus more on their professional performance or personal character in your letter of recommendation.

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