How to Write A Letter of Recommendation (Samples Included)?

A recommendation letter is a formal document highlighting a person's qualifications, skills, and achievements. It is written by someone who can vouch for the candidate's abilities and work performance, such as a supervisor, mentor, or colleague. It is typically used to support a job application, academic admission, or other professional opportunities.

In this article, you can discover insights into what a recommendation letter is, why they are important, how to write one, and examples of recommendation letters.

What is a letter of recommendation?

A letter of recommendation is a professional document that assesses an individual's qualifications and suitability for a particular role. It formally honors the person's skills, achievements, and character traits. A recommendation letter is typically structured to clearly disclose the relationship between the writer and the letter's subject. 

Why are letters of recommendation important?

The importance of recommendation letters is clear. Recommendation letters give hiring managers and admissions committees an external perspective on a candidate's skills, character, and potential. A strong recommendation letter can help a candidate stand out among competing applicants and demonstrate their suitability for a particular role or opportunity.

What is the format of a letter of recommendation?

A letter of recommendation typically follows this format.

How to write each sections of the letter of recommendation?

Let's dive into each section and learn how to make your letters stand out.

Before we begin, let's acknowledge the crucial role you, as the writer, play in crafting a letter of recommendation. We'll then delve into each section, providing examples and tips to guide you through this important task.

  • 1 Contact information:

    Include the writer's name, title, company, address, phone number, and email.


    Jennifer Malone
    Vice President of HR
    The Corporation
    123 Main Street
    City, State, Zip Code
    Phone: (555) 555-5555

  • 2 Date: 

    Include the date the letter is written.

    September 9, 202X

  • 3Salutation: 

    Address the recipient with a formal greeting, such as "Dear [Recipient's Name]" or "To Whom It May Concern."

    Dear Hiring Manager,

  • 4 Introduction:

    Before we get into the details, let's set the stage. In the introduction, you'll briefly explain your relationship with the candidate and the purpose of the letter. This sets the tone for the rest of the letter and helps the reader understand your perspective.


    I am writing to recommend Andrew Lincoln for the HR Manager position at your organization. As Andrew's supervisor during his tenure at The Corporation, I witnessed his exceptional skills and commitment to excellence firsthand.

  • 5 Body:

    Provide specific examples of the candidate's skills, qualifications, and achievements.


    Andrew's consistent demonstration of strong leadership and strategic thinking in his role as an HR Specialist was truly inspiring. His pivotal role in revamping our employee onboarding process, which led to a 30% reduction in turnover among new hires, is a testament to his expertise. His contributions to conflict resolution and employee relations have significantly fostered a positive work environment.

  • 6 Conclusion:

    Summarize the writer's endorsement of the candidate and provide their contact information for further questions.


    In conclusion, I wholeheartedly and confidently recommend Andrew Lincoln for the role of HR Manager. His skills, dedication, and professionalism make him an excellent fit for your organization. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information to further solidify your confidence in Andrew's candidacy.

  • 7 Closing:

    Use a formal closing to your letter, such as "Kind regards" or "Sincerely," followed by the writer's name and signature.


    Jennifer Malone
    Vice President of People
    The Corporation

How do you write a recommendation letter?

When you write a recommendation letter, your role is crucial. You must honestly and personally describe your experiences with the applicant, providing an accurate and fair assessment of their abilities. Please also consider the role of the person for whom you're writing the recommendation letter (think about an employee, an experienced colleague, or a coworker you have worked successfully on various projects).

General tips

Firstly, think if you have worked with or directly observed the applicant in a work environment. Remember that as a professional, you should consider various factors before accepting a request for a recommendation. These factors could include your familiarity with the applicant's work, the nature of your relationship with them, and your ability to provide a balanced and fair assessment of their abilities.

Secondly, It's crucial to recall specific projects the person worked on under your supervision. Reflect on the impact of their work on the organization and the skills and strengths they displayed.

Lastly, showcase examples of the individual's work to support your recommendation. This could be in the form of specific projects they've worked on, tasks they've successfully completed, or any other tangible results of their efforts. If all these details are aligned, let's see what you should focus on for an excellent recommendation letter.

If all these details are aligned, let's see what you should focus on for an excellent recommendation letter.

Here is a step-by-step approach to writing a professional recommendation letter:

  1. Verify your experience with the applicant:

    Consider if you have worked with or directly observed the applicant in a work environment.

  2. Recall the applicant's projects:

    Think about what projects the person worked on under your supervision.

  3. Identify the applicant's strengths and skills:

    Determine the relevant strengths and skills you can personally elaborate on.

  4. Find specific examples:

    Recall examples of the individual's work showcasing their skills.

  5. Provide positive feedback:

    Ensure you can provide positive feedback about the individual.

  6. Be honest:

    It's crucial to provide an honest assessment of the applicant's abilities and performance. If you cannot provide enough positive comments, it's important to let the candidate know quickly and respectfully that you cannot fulfill the request. This ensures that the recommendation letter is a true reflection of the applicant's capabilities and helps them in their future endeavors.

  7. Use a professional tone:

    When writing the recommendation letter, use a professional tone that is respectful, objective, and free from personal biases. Be specific about the applicant's skills and accomplishments, providing concrete examples to support your claims. This professional tone will lend credibility to your letter and make it more effective.

  8. Highlight unique qualities:

    Highlight their unique qualities and contributions to the workplace. These are the aspects that make them stand out and inspire others. By showcasing these, you not only provide a comprehensive view of the individual but also intrigue the reader about their potential.

  9. End with a positive statement:

    End the letter with a positive message that affirms your recommendation and wishes them luck in their future endeavors.

  10. Follow the formal letter style.

    Finally, review your overall look at the letter. It should follow the structure of a recommendation letter, be easy to read, and contain the essential details the recruiter should see.

Letters of Recommendation Examples

In the following paragraphs, we expand on providing several examples of recommendation letters:

  • Letter of Recommendation Sample for HR Manager
  • Letter of Recommendation Sample for Team Leader 
  • General Letter of Recommendation Template
  • Sample Request for a Recommendation Letter from Candidate

And don't forget if you like them, don't forget to customize the content to fit your letter. Let's start with the first example.

Letter of Recommendation Sample 1

This sample letter of recommendation is used when a supervisor wants to endorse a former employee for a new job opportunity. The letter aims to highlight the candidate's skills, accomplishments, and professionalism, helping the hiring manager make an informed decision about the candidate's suitability for the position.

[Your Contact Information]


Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to recommend Andrew Lincoln for the position of HR Manager at your organization. As Andrew's supervisor during his tenure at The Corporation, I have witnessed his exceptional skills and commitment to excellence firsthand.

Andrew consistently demonstrated strong leadership and strategic thinking in his role as HR Specialist. He played a crucial role in revamping our employee onboarding process, resulting in a 30% reduction in turnover among new hires. John's expertise in conflict resolution and employee relations has also greatly fostered a positive work environment.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend Andrew Lincoln for the role of HR Manager. I am confident that his skills, dedication, and professionalism make him an excellent fit for your organization. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information.


Jennifer Malone
Vice President of People
The Corporation

Recommendation Letter Sample 2

This letter of recommendation stands out due to its detailed examples of the candidate's specific achievements, strengths, and character traits. It provides a comprehensive and genuine assessment of the individual's qualifications and potential contributions.

[Your Contact Information]


Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to highly recommend Julie Ball for the position of Team Leader at your company. I enjoyed working with Jane for three years at ABC Company, where she served as a Project Coordinator.

Julie consistently exhibited excellent problem-solving and communication skills throughout her time at ABC Company. She led a cross-functional team of 10 members and successfully managed multiple projects simultaneously. Her ability to prioritize tasks and delegate responsibilities effectively led to a 20% improvement in project completion rates.

I am confident that Julie Ball would make a superb Team Leader at your organization. Her dedication to fostering a collaborative and productive work environment and her strong organizational skills make her an ideal candidate for the role. Please do not hesitate to reach me if you require further information or have any questions at 555-555-5555 or by email at

[Your Name]
[Your Title]
[Your Company]

Letter of Recommendation Template

This recommendation letter template is structured in a way that highlights the candidate's accomplishments, skills, and character traits. It provides specific examples and anecdotes to support the endorsement, making it a compelling and personalized recommendation.

[Your Name] 
[Your Title] 
[Your Company] 
[Your Address] 
[City, State, Zip Code] 


[Recipient's Name] 
[Recipient's Title] 
[Recipient's Company] 
[Recipient's Address] 
[City, State, Zip Code]

Dear [Recipient's First and Last Name],

It is with great pleasure that I recommend [Employee's Name] for the role of [Position] at [Recipient's Company]. I have had the pleasure of working with [Employee's Name] for [Length of Time] in my capacity as [Your Relationship to the Employee] at [Your Company].

During this time, [Employee's Name] has consistently demonstrated exceptional skills and qualities that make them an ideal candidate for the position advertised. [Provide a brief example of how the employee has demonstrated this strength.]

In addition to their professional accomplishments, [Employee's Name] is a pleasure to work with. [Candidate name] is a team player who is always willing to lend a helping hand and contribute to a positive work environment.

I am confident that [Employee's Name] would be an excellent addition to [Recipient's Company] and would significantly contribute to your organization's success. I wholeheartedly recommend [Employee's Name] for the [Position] and believe it will exceed your expectations.

Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] if you have any questions or require additional information.



[Your Name] 
[Your Title]

Download the Letter of Recommendation Template

How to ask for a letter of recommendation?

When asking for a letter of recommendation, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right person: Select someone who knows you well, has a positive impression of your work, and holds a position of authority or expertise.
  2. Make a formal request: Schedule a meeting or send a professional email to request the recommendation.
  3. Provide necessary information: Offer an updated resume, the job description or opportunity details, and any specific points you'd like the writer to emphasize.
  4. Give ample notice: Allow the writer enough time (at least 2-4 weeks) to prepare a thoughtful and well-written letter.
  5. Follow up and express gratitude: Thank the writer for their support, time spent and effort with writing the letter, and keep them updated on the outcome of your application.

Request for recommendation email

If you search for an example of a message requesting a recommendation letter from a former colleague, check this one:

Subject: Request for Recommendation - Senior HR Manager Role at KeyCorp

Dear Jennifer Malone,

I hope this email finds you well. I trust you are thriving in your role as the Vice President of People at The Corporation. I am contacting you today with a specific request and hope you will kindly consider supporting me in my professional journey.

I recently came across a fantastic opportunity to join Keycorp as a Senior HR Manager. The position aligns perfectly with my career aspirations, and I firmly believe that my experience at The Corporation has equipped me with the qualifications and knowledge required to excel in this role. Given our past professional association, I greatly value your insight and perspective, and I am writing to request a recommendation for this position.

As you remember, during my time at The Corporation, I had the privilege of working as an HR Specialist under your leadership. I was involved in various HR initiatives, ranging from talent acquisition and onboarding to performance management and employee engagement. Through our collaboration, I gained invaluable knowledge and hands-on experience in human resources. Your mentorship and guidance significantly shaped my career, and I am genuinely grateful for the opportunities I had to learn from you.

The Senior HR Manager role at KeyCorp presents a unique opportunity for me to contribute to my career growth in a more strategic capacity. The position involves:

  • Overseeing HR operations.
  • Implementing effective policies and procedures.
  • Fostering a positive work culture.

I believe that my comprehensive understanding of HR practices, coupled with my ability to navigate complex challenges, make me a strong candidate for this role.

Jennifer, I greatly respect your professional opinion and trust your judgment. Your recommendation would not only validate my qualifications but also provide valuable insights into my capabilities as an HR professional. I would appreciate it if you could take some time to reflect on our working relationship and provide a recommendation highlighting my skills, work ethic, and passion for human resources.

If you are happy to provide a recommendation, I kindly request that you share your thoughts within the next few weeks. Any specific guidelines or preferences you have regarding the format or content of the recommendation would be appreciated. Should you require any extra details from my end, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Thank you, Jennifer, for considering my request and for your continued support throughout my career. 

Warm regards,

Andrew Lincoln

FAQ Recommendation Letters

What are the essential tips for writing a letter of recommendation?

Writing a recommendation letter is not a blunt vacation message, is a personal, it has elements regarding the specificities of expertise and strengths of the candidate you're recommending, and it has to convey trust, that the recruiter is hiring the right person. In the following lines you will find our top 5 tips on the elements you need to consider when writing such a letter:

  1. Be specific: Use concrete examples to illustrate the candidate's skills and achievements.
  2. Personalize the letter: Tailor the letter to the specific job or opportunity for which the candidate is applying.
  3. Be honest: Provide a balanced assessment of the candidate's strengths and areas for improvement.
  4. Keep it concise: Aim for one page long, and use clear, concise language.
  5. Proofread: Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors before submitting the letter.

Key takeaways

When reading about letters of recommendation, there are several key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Importance of content: Letters of recommendation play a significant role in providing insight into an individual's character, abilities, and qualifications. The letter's content should be thoughtful and specific, and it should highlight relevant strengths and achievements.
  • Relationship with recommender: The credibility and impact of a letter of recommendation often depend on the relationship between the recommender and the recommended individual. Letters from people who know the candidate well and can emphasize their qualities and character carry more weight.
  • Requesting early and thoughtfully: It is important to ask for letters of recommendation well in advance, allowing recommenders ample time to write a meaningful letter. When making the request, provide the necessary information about the purpose, context, and specific qualities or experiences you would like them to address.
  • Follow-up and express gratitude: After receiving a letter of recommendation, it is essential to follow up with an email to express gratitude. This gesture acknowledges the recommender's time and effort in supporting your application.
  • Maintain professionalism: Throughout the process, maintain professionalism and respect. Be prompt in your communication, provide necessary information, and follow any guidelines or requirements set by the institution or organization you are applying to.

By understanding these key takeaways, individuals can effectively navigate the process of requesting and receiving letters of recommendation, maximizing their chances of a strong and impactful endorsement.

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