Why are they important, and what makes some stand out over others? Why Are Recommendation Letters Important?
What is a Letter of Recommendation? A letter of recommendation or reference letter is a document designed to add extra weight and merit to a job or college application. They are usually written by a supervisor, colleague, teacher, or friend.
There are various different types of recommendation letters, but the three main ones are those for employment, for university applications, and character references. Who needs letters of recommendation? Why do they need them? Students Applying for University, Grad School, or Scholarships Almost all Universities and scholarship programs require at least two recommendation letters as part of the application process.
These reference letters should ideally be written by previous teachers or professors who are familiar with your academic achievements and abilities. Students need references because admissions officers and scholarship organizations want to get a better understanding of who they are as a person.
For more details on who you should ask to write your recommendation, check out our detailed guide on how to ask for one. RG Tip It is also acceptable to have your letter written by a coach, guidance counselor, or academic adviser who can speak to your strengths 2.
People Applying for Jobs That Require Strong References For most job applications, a well-written resume and cover letter are more than sufficient. However, certain industries or companies may require a letter of recommendation in addition to these basic essentials.
Teachers and physician assistants are two such examples of jobs that often need a written reference as part of the application. Generally speaking, the most convincing reference letters will be those written by a supervisor.
In cases where this is impossible or undesirablea recommendation from a coworker who is intimately familiar with your work is also acceptable. This usually occurs when you have little or no work experience.
In situations like these, a character reference from a friend, teacher, or family member can make all the difference when it comes to job hunting. Salutation As with any letter, the very first line should address the person or body of people you are writing to by name and title.
Check out the first step of our writing guide for a more detailed explanation of how to craft the perfection salutation. How you know the applicant Start by expressing your sincere recommendation of the applicant, explain who you are and your relationship with the person you are recommending, including how long you have known them.
The Academic, Personal, or Professional Achievements of the Applicant The second paragraph outlines the relevant academic or professional strengths of the applicant. Include one to two specific and detailed examples that demonstrate the applicant truly does possess these strengths.
Personal Traits and Characteristics The third paragraph is all about personality. Include details of the applicants positive personality traits and examples that clearly showcase them. Such as relocating for family reasons, or outgrowing the opportunities at the company. Call-to-action Reiterate your wholehearted recommendation of the applicant and encourage the reader to contact you with any questions they may have.
The alignment, font size and style, and margins can all impact the impression you give the reader. The following simple guidelines will ensure your recommendation letter looks professional: That being said, anything over two pages is definitely too much. Use a size 12 font to maximize readability and economical use of space.
Using a size 11 font in order to maintain a one-page length is acceptable but should be avoided when possible.
Anything lower than 11 is too small. Avoid any overly stylistic fonts that could affect readability.A Recommendation letter written from a long time friend and colleague can be a great boost towards the morale of a candidate leaving his/her job to pursue studies at the Graduate School.
Before You Agree to Write a Graduate Applicant’s Third Letter of Recommendation. Nearly all graduate school applications require the submission of three or more letters of recommendation on behalf of each applicant.
It is the rare applicant who can easily think of three professors to ask. Letter of Recommendation for Coworkers. Writing a letter of recommendation for your coworker can be a mind-boggling task.
In order to write the most captivating recommendation letter, you need to make sure first that you know to whom you are addressing the letter to. A letter of recommendation for graduate school is a letter that states the letter writer’s support for the applicant.
The strengths of the candidate are expressed in descriptive, yet not flowery terms in order to put him or her in the best possible light. Writing a letter of recommendation for a co-worker has a lot in common with writing a letter of recommendation for someone who worked for you, starting with the obvious and most important point: if you can't write a positive letter without fibbing or stretching the truth, don't do it at all.
Sample Letter of Recommendation for a Graduate School Applicant This is a sample recommendation for a graduate school applicant. It was written by the applicant's college dean, who was familiar with the applicant's academic achievements.