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Writing a Professional Letter of Recommendation

Writing a Professional Letter of Recommendation
Written by Publishing Team

Employers, professors, teachers, colleagues, or clients may be asked to write a professional letter of recommendation to assist someone they have worked with in some capacity. These messages are vital because they can play a huge role in helping determine if a person is entering a school, a job, or even a meaningful volunteer job.

Giving a seal of approval can advance jobs.

If you have been asked to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of someone else and you have not done so before, there are a few things to know before you get started. With the following guidelines, you will be able to craft a letter that convinces the recipient that the topic is worth considering.

Letter of Recommendation Basics

Before you begin, you’ll need to gather information and review what you know about the recipient and the person you’re recommending.

  1. Think about who you are talking to. The content of a letter of recommendation depends on who the applicant plans to submit the letter to. Are you addressing a university’s admissions board, a potential employer, etc.?
  2. Consider how you know the student. Were they students, did they work for you, were they colleagues at some point? Also note when and where this happened.
  3. Do you feel good about writing a positive recommendation? You have to ask yourself if you can write a good recommendation for this person. While it may seem obvious, you probably shouldn’t write a letter of recommendation for someone who has done something unethical or dishonest, or if you feel they are not qualified for the position or position they are trying to reach.
  4. List their skills and positive traits. Write down the positive things you remember about this person. How did they distinguish for you? What made them such a wonderful colleague, student, etc.?

Armed with this information, you’re now ready to dive into writing a letter of recommendation.

How to write a positive letter of recommendation

There is no exact science to writing a letter of recommendation, but here’s a basic format to follow:

  1. an introduction
  2. recommendation
  3. List skills and attributes
  4. conclusion

an introduction

Tell the reader who you are, why you are writing this letter, and for whom you are writing it. You should also include how long you have known this person and in what capacity.

make a recommendation

In this section, you can simply state that you recommend this person for the position.

List your skills and attributes

Discuss why you would advise the person. Give at least three to five reasons why you feel this person deserves the position and provide examples and statistics if possible.

For students, comment on their strengths, abilities, and academic achievements, highlighting any areas that may relate to the job or educational opportunity they are applying for.

If the person is your employee, you can talk about the skills and qualifications they demonstrated on the job. if there was specific List the skills that fit the job in question.

Look for positive environmental related traits they are looking to introduce:

  • List their achievements and how they improved your workplace or classroom
  • Talk about work ethic and how they treat others
  • Describe their leadership qualities and their willingness to learn
  • Describe how you can be an asset to the recipient and to them
  • organisation


End your letter with a conclusion, offering additional help if needed. Let the recipient know how they can contact you for more information.

blackboard word "Recommendations" at the top and list numbers from one to five below.  A hand holding chalk is hovering near it.
Success comes with structure – and it is often uncomplicated.

Format and edit a letter of recommendation

Make your message short and to the point. One page is enough for a letter of recommendation, but you can write half a page if you don’t have much to say. It’s better to be brief than to say things you don’t mean.

Use a plain font that is easy on the eyes, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Use a font size of 11 or 12 and one space for the text, adding an extra line between paragraphs.

In the upper left margin, write your character’s title as follows:

Your first and last name
your address
Your phone number
Your email address


The person you are addressing, first name, last name
The person’s address

dear [name] Or for those who are interested:

Example of a Positive Letter of Recommendation

Here is a sample positive job recommendation letter:

Jack Jones
marketing manager
P & Q Media Inc.
123 Main Street, Eatown, CA 12345

November 11, 2021

Sarah Rivera
HR Coordinator
S & R Marketing Company
111 Lean Marketing
Business City, CT 54321

Dear Mrs. Rivera:

I am pleased to recommend Melissa Branson for the position of Director of Marketing at S&R Marketing Company. Melissa has worked at P&Q Media for five years, and went from Marketing Coordinator to Digital Marketing Director in one year. As Marketing Director of P & Q Media Inc. I had the opportunity to work closely with Melissa in a supervisory capacity.

Melissa has proven her ability to analyze data and extract ideas, which has resulted in her helping her convert leads. With her taking the lead as a manager, we’ve increased our interaction with social media by 25%. Additionally, her organizational and management skills were beneficial as she ran several digital campaigns simultaneously, resulting in a 12% increase in ROI for digital campaigns.

Melissa brings to the table many other skills that would bring value to a marketing company. They are dedicated to staying on top of the latest trends in the industry, have always been reliable, and meet deadlines.

With Melissa’s professionalism, experience in the field, and elegant demeanor, I believe she will be an asset to S&R Marketing Company. She will be a true team player who brings optimism and skill to the office.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss Melissa’s performance in more depth. You can contact me via email at or call me at 222-222-2345.


Jack Jones
marketing manager
P & Q Media Inc.

Why writing a great recommendation letter is important

We look at it this way. The person who asked you for the letter of recommendation views you as a reliable validation in their pursuit of their next job. Your input and insight can either help the message or hinder the application process. As such, it is critical that your letter of recommendation includes all important information and elements that effectively communicate to the recipient how important the fellow applicant is concerned.

Smiling man in front of computer giving a thumbs up to the viewer.
Bottom line: It’s a thumbs-up from a significant other. You are.

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