Letter of Recommendation Tips


Writing a powerful letter of recommendation not only benefits the job seeker, but  you, as well. You will strengthen a professional relationship. Which is helpful no matter what stage in your career you are in. The job seeker may return the favor by recommending you or your business services when the opportunity arises.  You may be wondering, what details you should include in the letter of recommendation. Or how should the letter of recommendation be structured?

Keep the following tips in mind the next time you are asked to write a letter of recommendation.

Evaluate the Request

Can you truthfully endorse the skills of this job seeker to another employer in good faith?  If you are apprehensive about their skills or work ethic, don’t write the recommendation letter. Recommending a sub-par employee could hurt your professional reputation.

However, if the job seeker has positive attributes, focus on those particular skills or qualities that you can speak favorably of, and keep the endorsements truthful.

Qualities to Highlight:

  • Good Communications
  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Teamwork

Customize Your Letter of Recommendation

Only highlight their skills and experiences that would transfer to their new position.  Do not bring up skills that are irrelevant or outdated.

 Be Specific

Use supporting evidence when affirming their positive work history. Mention specific examples that illustrate their skills. Use numbers, if possible.

  • She oversaw 200 successful audit representations and tax settlements.
  • She discovered several deductions the company failed to utilize, saving the organization over $20,000 in the fiscal year ending in 2018.
  • He streamlined systems and cut expenses, increasing profitability by 60%.

Avoid Gushing

Using exaggerated language can come across as disingenuous and turn the hiring manager off.  Additionally, overselling a candidate’s qualities may backfire when they can’t deliver.

Letter of Recommendation Do’s and Don’t

  • DoShe was a valued team member who completed her work with diligence and accuracy.
  • Don’t: She was the perfect employee!

For more writing tips, check out Business Email Etiquette