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Recommendation Letters

Library Online features a huge selection of recommendation letter templates, written by experienced professionals to help you successfully achieve results.  These letter templates provide a solid base to help you convey your message perfectly.  You will find recommendation letters under each of the following categories:

Recommendation Letters – Business Letters section 

Recommendation Letters – Career Letters section

Recommendation Letters – Personal Letters section           

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Letter of Recommendation Tips 

Good letters of recommendation are candidly written with a complimentary tone to them and they usually provide examples to sustain the main points made in them.

For the most part, those reading the letter of recommendation do not know the author and it is, therefore, important that the credibility of the author be clarified in the letter of recommendation. This may be in the form of a self-introduction within the body of the letter, or with a job title and/or professional designation in the signature part of the letter.  

  • Begin the first paragraph with a self-introduction complete with clarification of how you know this individual including the length of time of your relationship.  Give a summary of your overall impression of this person.

  • In the next couple of paragraphs, outline strong attributes and good character traits of this individual, providing examples to validate the main points.

  • In conclusion, reiterate that this person is a good choice for the role and quite capable of the undertaking at hand.

If, in all good conscience, you struggle with giving a good recommendation for an individual, it would be best to just express your regrets and suggest that someone else may be in a better position to provide the requested recommendation.  For protection against potential lawsuits, it’s wise to avoid expressing any disparaging comments or personal opinions that may be considered disapproving in nature.

 

Writing Recommendation Letters

Employment – these letters of recommendation generally provide a brief employment history description, highlighting skills and abilities, job performance and accomplishments.  Often an employment letter of recommendation will the include work ethics of the individual such as their integrity, dependability, initiative, dedication, how they work within a team and independently. 

Scholastic – these recommendation letters provide the admissions committee with additional information that has not been collected in the enrollment application. This type of recommendation letter generally includes an academic history including abilities and awards, along with the student’s particular goals and interests. Outlining favorable characteristics such as ambition, dedication, and even pleasant interpersonal skills can also provide the student with an edge in the competition with other applicants.

Character References – including character references for housing accommodations, child adoption, legal situations, volunteers, etc.  The list becomes endless for those people who are in need of recommendation letters from time to time.



Requesting Letters of Recommendation and References

Job Candidates - interviewing for new jobs, can expect that the potential employer will want to check employment references prior to offering them a position. On average, employers check three references for each candidate, so having least that many prepared to vouch for you should be your goal. Remember, good references are often the deal maker or breaker to that job offer. 

Students – enrolling in Graduate programs or entering the work force often require references from faculty members. It is very likely that many students have approached that same teacher or professor for a reference letter.  Be considerate to them by providing them with adequate time to write a letter of recommendation for you.

Others – Acquaintances, business associates, vendors, neighbors, customers, bankers, doctors, etc. can all make good references for you.  Choosing the most suitable person depends solely on the reason the letter of recommendation or character reference is required.

 Important tips when requesting references:

  • It is very important to select the right people.  Know your references!

  • Get their permission ahead of time and find out if they will be available to give a reference.

  • Remind them of your successes so they will be appropriately prepared to give you a good reference.  

  • Have a good idea of what they are going to say about you.

Job Searching - It is not unusual for a candidate to lose out on a job offer because of an unexpected poor reference by a person they chose for a good recommendation.  In fact, it is more common than you would think!

That’s why ‘Letters of Recommendation’ are so valuable.  They help to minimize the potential of being unexpectedly sabotaged by a poor reference.  A ‘Letter of Recommendation,’ also known as a ‘Letter of Reference’ is one way to put you in far better control of your job search.

Students – It’s best for students to ask for a “letter of recommendation” in person rather than sending an email or telephoning the teacher/professor.  Asking in person strongly impresses upon them how serious you are, and often results in a more effective recommendation letter.

Be sure to provide your references with the information and material that they need to give you a good recommendation.  Make mention of specifics that you wish to have them include in your letter of recommendation. 

And don’t forget to extend your appreciation.  Teachers and professors often have many students requesting letters references from them.  A note of thanks goes a long way.

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