Be it a new job or a university where one is applying, a letter of recommendation is highly sought by the employing organization while considering one's job application. Degrees and credits for courses definitely speak volumes about a person's knowledge about the field, however, it is not just the intellect but other personal qualities that can play an important role in deciding if the person is suitable for and should be considered to be hired for the post he is applying for. Here is a sample letter of recommendation from an employer, which will give you an idea of the information that it should contain. This should make future letter writing of this kind easier for you as well.
Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation
Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation
- It is important to read through the application essays or personal statement of the applicant, so the letter is in line with the application and does not contradict it. Do not hesitate in asking the candidate to provide you with details like a copy of his resume, etc.
- The letter of recommendation should include details like how well the recommender knows the applicant and the duration of acquaintance. The nature of association should also be mentioned. In case the recommender was the applicant's boss or colleague, this relationship should also be highlighted.
- The recommendation letter must contain at least two to three qualities of the applicant that are relevant for the job or post applied to. For example, if one is applying for the post of a manager, do not fail to mention abilities like multi-tasking, good interpersonal skills, and abilities to take correct and quick decisions, that are crucial for a manager. Support the qualities you are mentioning with instances that highlight them.
- Avoid generalities. Rather try to quantify the applicant's qualities or rank him with respect of other applicants that you have written a personal reference letter of recommendation for. For example, in case the performance of the employees in the company were graded or ranked, mention of the grades scored by the applicant.
- A letter of recommendation should never fail to include the applicant's potential in the field that he is applying for. While recommending an applicant, the recommender should confidently state his faith that the applicant would be an asset for the employing organization.
- A person who writes the letter is supposed to know the applicant very well. He is expected to give the prospective employer a complete picture of the qualities of the applicant. However, if a recommender includes just praises for an applicant, the prospective employer may view the recommender's opinion with criticism as no individual is perfect. He may also feel that the employer did not know the applicant properly and hence may not consider the letter very seriously. This might defeat the entire purpose of the recommendation letter. Hence, include some mild criticism about the person. However, it can be worded so that the quality can be interpreted in a positive way as well. For example, if a person's persistence in solving a problem made him appear stubborn, mention that it is the same spirit that made him more successful than others.
Sample Letter of Recommendation
Dear (name of the prospective employer). Alternately the letter could start as To whom it may concern
As a VP of Sales and Marketing at the Apex Corporation, I take the pleasure of recommending Mr. Adrian Smith for the post of (mention the post) in your company. I have worked closely with Adrian for over four years and have been highly impressed with his work.
As an Associate Director of Engineering and Research, Adrian has worked on engineering design of more than thirty products of Apex Corporation. His knowledge in the domain is exceptionally good. Every time he has impressed us with the perfection with which he has completed the task given to him. He has the ability of meeting deadlines without compromising on quality of work. His interpersonal skills make him an excellent team member. He has worked closely with other teams on a number of occasions and has been instrumental in successfully completing projects. Although his attention to detail sometimes delayed certain decision being taken on time, his decisions have always stood Apex Corporation in good stead.
Adrian was an asset to the company and I believe he will continue to be so for whichever organization he is working. I strongly recommend Adrian Smith on professional grounds.
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
18th August, 2009
In short, a letter of recommendation from an employer should confirm the experience and competence of the employee. It should help build the credibility of the employee as it describes his/her skills and abilities. The content varies depending upon whether it is being written for employment or for admission into some educational program or for scholarship. Recommendation letters are generally confidential with the content not being revealed even to the applicant. This fact can also be mentioned in the letter.