Formatting the Letter of Recommendation

Steps to follow while formatting the Letter of Recommendation

Drafting an effective letter of recommendation is a skillful task. It requires candidates to give it time and patience. One mistake within the letter can affect the candidate's chances of winning the opportunity. To write an effective recommendation letter, plan and organize the different steps of writing the reference letter wisely. To make this task easier for you, we have given here are a few steps to follow while formatting the letter of recommendation

Collect the Information
Collect the information required to draft the reference letter. Gather all the details pertaining to the qualifications, experiences, skills and achievements of the candidate that should be included in the reference letter.

Short List the Information
Once the required information is collected, select only those details that suit the purpose of drafting the letter. Include all details that relate to the expectations of the referrer and portray the candidate as deserving for the opportunity.

Letter Outline
Draft the letter outline accurately. It is essential to place all relevant details at appropriate places to maintain the flow and meaning of the letter. Given below is the ideal order of drafting the reference letter.

Print the recommendation letter on the letterhead of the referrer's organization. It gives an authentic feel to the letter. The company name and logo should come at the top center portion of the letter in bold format. Additionally, include the address, email id and telephone number of the organization in the header.

The letter should include the date on which it was drafted, as it is important from the recipient's point of view. The date can come on either left corner or right corner of the letter.

The addressee denotes the recipient of the letter. In case you are aware of the recipient name or designation, you can begin the letter with, 'Dear Mr. /Miss. (Last name). It can also be, 'To, The Director. ' On the other hand, if you wish to send the letter to several different people or are not aware of the recipient's name, begin the letter with the line, 'whomsoever it may concern'.

Main Body of the Letter

Opening Paragraph
This paragraph introduces the candidate and the referrer to the recipient. It states the nature and duration of the association between the two. Stress on the role and influence of the referrer on the candidate's career.

Middle Paragraphs
Divide the short listed information in specific order. Highlight the strengths and capacities of the candidate within this section. The qualification and certification should come first, followed by work experience and skills in the first paragraph. The second paragraph should include personality traits, achievements and the unique abilities of the candidate. This paragraph helps to prove the candidate better than the rest of the applicants.

Closing Paragraph
This paragraph concludes the letter. Hence, it should include statement that summarize the letter or sound like final verdict on the candidate. This paragraph should strengthen the recipient's confidence in the candidate by assuring him of the candidate's qualities.

End the letter with a signature line like 'best regards, sincerely.' The next line should hold the signature of the referrer, followed by his designation and email id.

Proof reading the Letter
Check the letter contents to find and correct errors or misstatements. The reference letter should not portray the candidate, something he is not. The letter contents should be correct factually and grammatically.

Follow the given steps while formatting the letter of recommendation and make it effective, impressive and professional.

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