How to Write a Job Promotion Recommendation Letter for a Co-Worker

Updated February 28, 2017

As you climb the corporate ladder and become more successful in your career, you may be asked to give recommendation letters for internal candidates. Your recommendation will be carefully considered by managers and other employees in supervisory capacities. Writing an internal recommendation letter differs from a recommendation for an external post in that you are expected to have familiarity with the post and what the company is looking for. Your letter should reflect this insider knowledge.

Know the expertise, educational and work background for the position. Look at the internal job posting and familiarise yourself with the skills and previous experience listed in the position description.

Identify the skills and background of your colleague that coincide with those in the job position. Make a list of these skills so that you can use them to show how your colleague is best qualified for the internal opening.

Draft a letter for your co-worker. Your letter should begin by addressing those sitting on the hiring team and telling them how long you have known the applicant (your co-worker) and in what capacity. Then outline the background and skills that your colleague has and explain how they fulfil the job requirements. End the letter on a strong note by explaining that you fully endorse your co-worker's candidacy for the position.

Ask a trusted co-worker to read your draft letter of recommendation. Edit and redraft until the letter is convincing.

Print the letter on official company letterhead. Even though this is an internal job promotion, you should use official letterhead and sign in your official capacity. Deliver the letter according to company policy.


Keep a form or sample recommendation letter on file so you can have one available when requested. You will have to make only minor changes to adapt it for the applicant.


Be honest in your assessment. Your letter of recommendation will remain in the personnel file of your co-worker. If the information is not accurate, it could be used against you in the future.

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About the Author

Trudie Longren began writing in 2008 for legal publications, including the "American Journal of Criminal Law." She has served as a classroom teacher and legal writing professor. Longren holds a bachelor's degree in international politics, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in human rights. She also speaks Spanish and French.