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Recommendation Letter Format

Recommendation Letter Format

If you are expected to write a recommendation letter for someone who is applying to a college for higher studies, or joining a new organization, then you probably need the lowdown on the proper format of this letter.
Tulika Nair
Last Updated: Apr 8, 2018
A letter of recommendation or a reference letter is one that is requested by someone who is evaluating the abilities of the person whom the letter commends. The letter is generally asked for when a person either applies for a job or sends in his application for further studies. According to the format of a recommendation letter, the writer of the letter is generally expected to evaluate the characteristics, qualities, and abilities of the person who is being recommended. It is a character evaluation of the person and an assessment of the person's ability to perform specific functions. In letters of recommendation written for someone applying to an institute for higher education the letter will also highlight their educational capabilities.

Letter writing is an art not many are able to master. In order to write a good letter, it is important to focus on the letter's correctness, clarity, and conciseness. The same is true for a recommendation letter. While it may be a good idea to praise the person you are writing about (after all that is the aim), it is essential that you sound sincere and not like you are a sycophant. A reference letter should definitely highlight your relationship with the person you are recommending. It is also important that you mention your contact details. In this article, we provide you with the proper format and also give you a sample of the same to help elucidate the format of such a letter.

Format for Recommendation Letter

Learning how to write such a letter becomes much easier if you understand the proper format of a letter of recommendation. The format given below should guide you well when you are drafting such a letter.


Dear Ms./Mr. ( Name of Addressee), or To whom it may concern,

The introductory paragraph of the letter should explain how you know the person whom you are recommending and why you are eligible to write a letter for him/her. You can also add details of why you are writing the letter.

The second paragraph must be a testimony to the capabilities of the person you are recommending, and an assessment of their qualifications and achievements. You can also write about their contribution to a team, especially for an employment related recommendation letter.

You could include a third paragraph, in case of a reference letter from employer, matching the person's capabilities to the requirements of the job especially in light of the fact that he/she was a former employee. This paragraph could also serve as a summary of the letter where you should start the paragraph with something like, I highly recommend.

The last paragraph of the article will be the conclusion that should also mention your contact details.

Yours sincerely,
(Your name)

Recommendation Letter for Job

The following letter is an example of a recommendation letter for a situation when you have to write a reference letter for someone who is applying for a job.

To Whom It may Concern,

I, the undersigned, am the Vice President, Communications, at ABC company, and I am writing this letter to you today on behalf of Jeremy Griffins. Jeremy has worked as my executive assistant for almost three years now. During his tenure here he has been an asset to my team and everything that I am about to say is a result of my observation of his work during the period.

Jeremy is an excellent organizer and is able to multitask very well. His responsibilities included handling my correspondence and communication, researching subjects, and managing my schedule. On several occasions he has also had to act as a proxy for me at meetings. He has a high level of business acumen and understands his duties and responsibilities extremely well.

Jeremy is extremely well suited for the post of Executive Assistant to the President and will be an asset to your company. I highly recommend him for the job.

I would like to thank you for considering Jeremy Griffins for the job. Please feel free to contact me at the following address or phone number in case you have any queries.

Ms. Barbara Golding
VP, Communications
ABC Company
Phone no - 333-121-2670

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely
Barbara Golding

College Recommendation Letter Sample

In case you are writing a letter to recommend someone to a college for further studies, then this is a sample of a recommendation letter to recommend someone applying to college.

To Whom It may Concern,

I, the undersigned, am the Principal of JFK High School, and I am writing this letter to you today on behalf of Maria Solares. Maria has been a student of mine for the past four years and I have known her as an outstanding student.

Maria has always been an exemplary student who has received excellent grades since the first grade. She has shown initiative and diligence not only in academic pursuits but also co-curricular activities. Maria was the editor of our school paper and displayed leadership abilities and maturity beyond her years. She has been helpful to fellow students and a good team player. I believe that she will be a success in whatever she intends to do and I highly recommend her for your Journalism Scholarship Program.

I would like to thank you for considering Maria Solares for the scholarship. Please feel free to contact me at following address or phone number, in case you have any queries.

Mr. Geoffry Brown
Principal, JFK High School
Phone no - 333-243-6578

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely
Geoffry Brown

Once you understand the proper recommendation letter and have referred to at least one sample it will be easy for you to draft such a letter. The letter you write could make a huge difference in another person's life so be sure of what you want to write in the letter and ensure that you use the proper format.