Letter of Recommendation

Candidates have to submit a recommendation letter with a resume and a cover letter to employers as a part of a job application process. So it's likely that a known person will ask you to write a recommendation letter for him or her. Since the letter can make or break the candidate owing to its potential of influencing the employer's decision, you have to be extra cautious. By requesting to write it, the person is counting on you to pull him or her through. You have to stand tall and deliver the person's request like a thorough professional. To draft a professional and effective recommendation letter, read the following:

Use a Business Letter Format

Since the recommendation letter falls under a business category, you must use a format that is prevailing in the industry. Start by putting your address on the top right of the letter. Spell out the date below your address. On the left of the letter, place the recipient's name and address. Now start the letter with a standard business salutation such as "Dear Mr. or Ms. depending on the gender of the reader.

Body Paragraph

  1. After the formal business greeting, start the body paragraph with the intent of writing the letter and make it clear what the person who has requested you to write the letter means to you. In addition, include a short line praising the candidate and affirm your faith in her or him. This will catch the reader's interest.


    I am writing this letter for Ms. Sally Lee, who has applied for a computer programmer position with your company. She had worked under me for the past five years and contributed a lot to the growth of our company with her programming skills. She is an abled leader who knows how to play her cards well and deliver projects as per global standard norms. I could hardly believe that I am losing such an intelligent, diligent, and capable person to you.

  2. In the second paragraph, show how you met that person, your experience of working with him or her, and why you got ready for recommending.


    Been working with the XYZ company for the last 10 days, I was responsible for all major IT projects. During one such project, I needed a person who could lend me a hand in for some specific reason. Then one fine day, the HR got me Sally. As a direct supervisor to her from 2014 to 2019, she worked closely with me on many projects. During this period, I got to know her well both professionally and personally.

  3. Talk about the candidate's qualification, abilities, and successes in the next paragraph. When describing, don't generalize. Rather, be specific and provide some examples.


    Sally's impeccable grasp over all the minor and major nuances about the projects, and her stupendous skills in UX design, and her approach towards managing all the business requirements of clients contributed a lot in convincing and getting clients' approval. Her friendly nature is something we are going to miss.

  4. Include the candidate's achievements that will help the recipient understand your reason for recommending him or her.


    Sally has streamlined the process of pushing projects from the pipeline to bringing it to the production floor. She has left nothing incomplete, whether it is documentation and indexing projects as per the category of clients' business, and made quite simple for anyone who would be filling her shoes in the future.

  5. Remember, a recommendation letter must not be everything about praising the candidate. Otherwise, it will sound unbelievable. One thing is sure that nobody in this world is absolutely perfect. Everyone has some room for improvement. If the person has some weakness, don't hide it or exaggerate it. Instead, mention is without sounding worried.


    Despite being a novice, Sally has improved a lot and developed her skills perfectly. However, she needs to be more bold in putting forward her opinion. Once it happened to our company, that in spite of holding an impressive opinion on the possibility of cutting project costs, she didn't place it in the meeting. Maybe she thought whatever she would be saying will not be taken seriously by her seniors. But I am confident that she will be bold and frank about placing her suggestion/recommendation forward in the future.

  6. End the letter with an affirmative statement


    I think Sally will make a great Computer Programmer and contribute a lot to your company's growth. I am sure you will love to have her in your team and organization. In case you need any further clarifications, feel free to call me at the above given number.

  7. Don't forget to sign off with "Best regards." and your name in case you are sending the letter through an email. If sending a hard copy, sign the letter.

    For recommendation letter samples, browse our website.

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