The main purpose of your professional recommendation letter is to highlight someone’s work history and abilities. To do this well, try to avoid clichés and broad, generalized statements; instead, make it a personal celebration of your past workmate or pupil’s qualities and qualifications, as seen in our recommendation letter samples.
Be Specific: The more that you can pinpoint someone’s specific work experience, responsibilities, and results in your letter of recommendation, the more likely the reader will truly appreciate them for their unique and individual abilities. Be sure to consider the needs of the position the recommendation letter is supporting, and then point out how the person you worked with or taught meets those qualifications. Listing individual achievements, awards, and certifications is always a great idea.
Be Personal: In addition to measurable work achievements, it’s a good idea to address personality and work ethic. Highlighting a person’s creativity or their ability to work in a team and/or individually can help the reader decide how the candidate can best fit in their organization.
Be Sincere: When writing your letter of recommendation, be sure to include only what you truly appreciate about a person and why. If you overwrite your letter with flowery language or exaggerate the impact of the person’s actions, it may come off insincere and do more harm than good.
Be Concise: Keep your letter of recommendation polite, professional, and to the point. One to two paragraphs should be more than enough. Take a look at our recommendation letter samples for tone, length, and language suggestions.