Recommendation letters are written to advocate skills of a certain candidate for a particular job or admission to graduate school. The letter has to be precise, so it is important to follow a certain format that will cover all the necessary aspects of recommendation. Below is a recommendation letter format you can use for jobs or graduate schools.
Recommendation letter format
Do mention a subject to start with just like you do for any business communication. Mention the name of the person you are writing for in the subject. For example, “Subject: Recommendation for Mr. Freddy John.” If you are writing a recommendation through e-mail mention the name in the subject line.
Recommendation letters are written for various reasons like job, admission or community reference. Suitable salutation is a must when you write these letters because while any professional communication, addressing the person properly is very essential. For personal letters, where you know whom you are addressing the letter to, use salutations like Dear Mr. XYZ or Dear Ms ABC. If it is a generic letter simply addresses “To Whom it May Concern”. You can even avoid using a salutation in these cases.
The sub-head itself suggests that it should include introductions. Introduce yourself and also the person you are recommending. It should explain your relation with the person, how you know him, where you interacted with him and what authority you have you recommend him for a job opening or a graduate school course. It should imply that you were closely associated with him in a certain role or profession.
The Recommending Paragraph
It means that this part of the letter belongs to the person you are recommending. It should give specific details about the qualities of the person you are writing for. The information should include their skills and attributes, how they qualify for the job or graduation, how can they contribute for that specific organization and the reason you are recommending them. If possible write more than one paragraph to outline the details. Mention their qualities like efficiency, team work, time management etc. It gives a good idea about the person and their character sketch.
Reason Specific Paragraph
There is a specific reason for writing a recommendation letter. It can be for a job or for graduation. If it is for a job, ask for the job details. Study the profile and match the skills that person has for that specific job. If it is for graduate school compare the skills with the course or subject of graduation. Write the letter only after you carry out this research. You will be able to write the recommendation exactly as per the requirement or the reason.
In this part of the recommendation letter sum up the reason for your recommendation for the person you are writing about. Specify whether you “highly recommend” the person or you have some “reservations”. If you have reservations mention the reason clearly. Avoid writing a recommendation letter for a person you have any reservations.
To wrap up the letter, provide information that will aid in further correspondence if the need arises. Mention your name, designation and company name with contact details like your phone number and e-mail address. You can simply mention this in your signature or in the return address section of the letter.
A neat close to any formal communication is necessary. If you know the person you are writing to you can write- “Yours sincerely”. Otherwise you can just write- “Sincerely” and your name and title.
You can use this recommendation letter format and have a recommendation letter template ready. The person whom you want to write the letter for you will be clear about what he should write about you. It will save his time and he will be able to draft a letter exactly as per your requirements.