Need to write a letter of recommendation? The request most likely came by phone call or email. It may be from a former student, a business colleague, or even a friend. They need your recommendation to make them look spectacular to a college, prospective employer or some other important entity. The onus is on you to produce a winning letter of recommendation. Here are five tips to get you through the process:
- Identify your audience and tailor your recommendation appropriately – First, make sure you have the correct title of the recipient. People earn these distinctions and often notice if they are not included in correspondence to them. It also does hurt to confirm any specific requirements related to your prospective letter of recommendation. Follow the directions closely.
- Include the basis of your authority to make the recommendation – Are you a former teacher? Say so. Did you manage the person in a business setting? Include the details. The person receiving the letter needs to know what makes your recommendation valid.
- Find strengths and focus on them – You were most likely asked to write a letter of recommendation for one of two reasons. One might be that you know the candidate well. The other, is that you are a person with some authority. Consider the individual’s strong features and how they will benefit another organization. Is the person reliable? Organized? A good communicator? All of these are superior qualities and should be thoroughly expatiated in your recommendation.
- Use specific examples to give strength to your letter of recommendation – It is not enough to state that someone is a fantastic applicant. For example, “Billy has manage-ment skills” is somewhat bland. However, “When I am on vacation, I rely on Billy to manage the sales team. He knows our product line and is quite comfortable discussing it with other team members. During one of my absences, Billy met with the team and spearheaded a sales campaign on a new product. We saw a 30% increase in sales for that product that month.”
- Consider including a testimonial: Has another teacher or business colleague said something that might add to the letter of recommendation? Consider this. “I coach Mary as part of our school’s debate team. Even teachers from our rival schools have commented on Mary’s ability to understand the subject matter and present it without effort.”
At Writefully Inspired, we recognize that writing a letter of recommendation can be a daunting task. Contact us for help in putting your letter together or in editing the one you have already prepared. Happy writing!