Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation for Employment

Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation for Employment

Have you been asked to write a letter of recommendation for employment for a friend, co-worker, or former employee? If you have been in the workforce for a few years chances are you have been asked to do so at least once.

If you have never composed a recommendation letter, it can seem quite overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to write a professional letter of employment recommendation. Many employers utilize their local temp agency to recruit employees and most of these will require at least one recommendation letter from a previous employer.

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Employment

Typically, you will be asked to write a letter of recommendation for a former employee. In some cases, a letter from a former colleague may also be acceptable. Some employers may also require personal 

One of the best ways to get an idea of how to compose a recommendation letter is to actually look at a sample letter of recommendation. This will give you a visual to help get you started.

Before you say yes to writing the letter, take a moment to make sure you are totally comfortable writing said letter. If you are not absolutely certain that you can give a positive reference for the candidate, it is best to decline. 

As well, you should take some time to refresh your memory about the person who asked you to write the letter. You can ask them for an updated copy of their resume, review their work file, or check out their LinkedIn Profile to help jog your memory. 

General Tips for Writing A Letter of Recommendation

  • Keep a Positive Tone: The overall tone of the letter needs to be positive. You were chosen specifically to write the letter because the candidate trusts that you will give them a positive reference. Keep the tone of the letter light and positive.
  • Ask for submission details: Be sure to ask how the letter is to be submitted. Most letters of recommendation are submitted online. However, some employers may require it to be mailed or printed out and given directly to the candidate. 
  • Provide your contact information: Be sure to include your contact details in the event the prospective employer has any follow-up questions. Provide your full name, title, telephone number, and email information.
  • Don’t forget to proofread: You are not only representing the candidate but your business as well. Be sure to proofread the letter in its entirety to ensure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors.

What to Include In Your Letter of Recommendation

  • Contact information: Full name, title, telephone number and extension, and email address.
  • Subject (email format): If you are submitting the letter via email, use the name of the email.
  • Salutation: Always use the name of the person to whom the letter is addressed if you have that information. If you do not have the name of the potential employer, it is perfectly acceptable to use the phrase “To whom it may concern.”
  • Paragraph 1: State how you know the person for whom you are writing the letter of recommendation as well as the length of time and in what capacity you know them.
  • Paragraph 2: Briefly state why you are recommending this person, and why they are qualified for the position. Include some examples to back your statement.
  • Paragraph 3: Sum up the letter stating that you “strongly recommend” the person and if you would hire them again.
  • Conclusion: Offer to allow the prescriptive employer to contact you should they need any more information.
  • Signature: Close the letter with your signature and title. Physically sign the letter if it is being printed out or mailed.

Contact Team Global / MSM for assistance in writing letters of recommendation, composing a resume, and other job search skills. We will help you find the job you have been looking for.

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