Drafting a professional recommendation letter is no daunting task. However, the referrers need to draft this letter skillfully, as it has the potential to change the face of one's career. As the letter can strongly influence the recipient's opinions about the candidate, it can result in an acceptance or rejection for the candidate. Hence, it is essential to draft the letter impressively and professionally. If you have the task of writing a reference letter for someone, find the tips and guidelines on how to write a professional letter of recommendation.
Discussions with the Applicant
Discuss with the applicant to collect all the information necessary to write the reference letter. Understand the purpose of writing the letter. Take down the details of the qualifications and certifications earned by the candidate along with the information concerning his work history. Make a note of his key skills and professional ethics that can be included in the recommendation letter. Hence, to be able to write an impressive reference letter, it is important to collect this information by way of discussions with the candidate.
Short Listing the Letter Contents
Shortlist the key points from the collected information that according to you are important and relevant for the reference letter. The letter contents should include the references and examples that speak about a candidate's qualities and abilities. Cancel out any information that is insignificant or unnecessary as per the objective of the reference letter. Ensure that every detail within the letter contributes in ascertaining the candidate as suitable for the said opportunity. Hence, select the letter contents wisely to give it a definite direction.
Formatting the Reference Letter
The format of the letter decides the presentation of the letter. The format catches the attention of the recipient prior to anything else. Hence, concentrate on presenting the letter. It is better to get the reference letter printed on the letterhead of the referrer's organization, to make it more professional and authentic. Divide the contents in neat paragraphs.
Making the Reference Stronger
The last paragraph of the letter should assure the recipients of your confidence in the candidate. It should display a sense of pride and pleasure of being associated with the candidate. Exhibit your confidence in the candidate by including words like promising and potential within the letter. This helps to make the reference letter more appealing and noticeable.
Proofreading the Letter
Read the letter carefully to check for mistakes that could harm the candidate's reputation. Before preparing the final draft of the letter, verify the contents for meaning and accuracy. Confirm if the letter contents bring out the same meaning as planned. Additionally, check the letter contents for any spellings, grammar, punctuation or typographical errors. Any error in the letter will prove the candidate as careless and irresponsible.
A letter can be effective in its purpose only when it is noticeable and appealing. For this, ensure the letter stands out among other applications. Although, one cannot be very creative with the letter format or presentations, try to draft the letter differently. The letter should be unique and impressive in a way that it makes the recipient eager and curious about knowing you.
Follow the above given tips on how to write a professional reference letter and draft an impressive reference letter to help your candidates in pursuing their dreams.