How to write a good letter of recommendation

Written by vanessa glass
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How to write a good letter of recommendation
Tailor the letter specifically to the opportunity. (Alistair Berg/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Letters of recommendation are a good way for employers and leaders to determine your qualities. There are a few things that everyone should keep in mind when writing these letters.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Know what the recommendation is for. Many times, the letters will be for one specific opportunity. Get as much information about that opportunity as you can. This will help tailor the letter to the opportunity.

  2. 2

    State familiarity with the person. This should include the amount of time you've known the person and in what capacity.

  3. 3

    Share three to four qualities you feel the person reading it should know. This can include information about the person's work ethic, leadership skills, adaptability or citizenship.

  4. 4

    Give examples. This will help demonstrate the qualities that you described.

  5. 5

    Conclude with how the person will fit in with the environment. Once you know what the opportunity is and add the qualities, let the reader know how that will benefit the organisation.

  6. 6

    Leave additional contact information. Some readers of recommendation letters will want to contact you to verify the information or to have you expand on specific points.

Tips and warnings

  • Have someone else read the letter to catch any mistakes.
  • Only write letters of recommendation for those who you believe deserve it. If you don't think that a person is qualified or will be good for the opportunity, don't be afraid to decline.
  • Some opportunities will have specific criteria a letter should include. Check with the person you're writing the letter for to see if this is the case.

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