Here are the tips for writing a successful letter of recommendation. Now we see this question come up most often because the writers of your letters of recommendation have asked you to write the letter of recommendation. Though of course, we do also get the writers themselves who have asked us to help and so here we want to cover our tips, our basic guidelines for how to write a successful letter of recommendation.
Being concise and thorough
So overall what you want to do is you want to make sure that you are concise and thorough you want to be detailed and provide specifics. This is not a place for general information or vague information and generally speaking, you want the letter to be from the writer’s point of view, in other words, it should communicate ideas that are only from the writer or only items that the writer has direct knowledge of.
Now there are some exceptions to that, it could be that if somebody’s in an oversight position or overseeing position like an attending physician happens to hear from nurses or medical staff something about you then that would be okay. I mean if it’s direct information from somebody under that person or who would be responsible for receiving information, then that would be alright but otherwise what you want if even if it’s an attending physician or somebody from an oversight perspective like a Dean you would wish that the details in the letter would be ones that person has witnessed directly from the candidate
Structure of the Recommendation letter
So when you think about the structure of the letter there are a few guidelines. You want to follow you want to open with a concise statement about the purpose of the letter. One to two sentences for the introduction this date I am recommending this person for this position that’s it. Then you can either in the if you’ve done that only in one sentence then you can do this in the second sentence or you can start your second paragraph with stating who the writer is that writers position and how that writer came to know or got to know or witnessed the candidate.
Now a lot of times that’s going to require two or three sentences. So you want to go ahead and start your second paragraph with that and it could just be the entire second paragraph, then either in the second half of the second paragraph or a new third paragraph you could go into the details of what you want to present.
Again being concise, being thorough, providing specifics that the writer has direct knowledge of and then finally you want to conclude with two sentences paragraph stating thank you for your consideration or something along those lines, I’m available for any further questions you may have as you something like that and of course when you think about the length of a letter of recommendation, a lot of times people will come to us and they want their letter of recommendation to fit all onto one page.
Now this is a little bit of a myth the reason why programs will want your letter of recommendation to be on one page is that generally letters of recommendation don’t provide are not well-written they’re too vague or general they don’t really provide significant insight into the candidate and so why would the program wanna bother to read pages and pages that. They don’t want to bother to read pages and pages of it, they want to just get to the point recognize that it’s vague or general and not very interesting and move on but what they want are thorough letters of recommendation that go beyond a page.
Now when you say beyond a page you may be wondering well just how long. I’ve seen outstanding letters of recommendation that are six and seven pages long. Now that’s not to say that your letters of recommendation have to be like that most likely your letter of recommendation is not going to come anywhere close but something that you might want to consider is that if you’ve got two letters of recommendation, if you’re the program and you’re looking at letters of recommendation from two different candidates and then you’ve got one letter of recommendation that specific concise and thorough and only one page and another letter of recommendation that is just as specific just as concise and just as thorough but it’s two, three, four, five or six pages long that longer letter of recommendation is going to get more of their attention and going to put you forward as a candidate.
Basic things to write a great letter of recommendation
1: Start with a strong summary statement
2: Give detailed explanations and examples
3: Conclude with the comments on the person’s potential
The summary statement
I have no Jane Smith for three years. She was hired as a clerk-typist by ABC corporation on April 4 2020 and promoted to the administrative assistant on August 1st, 2020.
I found Jane to be an intelligent young woman with excellent work habits and a strong knowledge of the software.
The detailed explanation with evidence and examples
Show and don’t tell. Give some examples of how the individual demonstrated the positive skills and the tributes you previewed in the opening.
“As an administrative assistant, Jane handled routine duties such as time cards, ordering supplies, and entering data. She also screened calls for two of our marketing specialists by answering some basic questions. Also, she has compiled statistics I needed for my monthly reports and researched with very little direction. She is fairly self-directed and can track down information quickly and summarize it accurately”.
Give some concluding comments about the person’s potential to be successful Jane has the potential either to become an executive assistant or to move into staff work especially once she completes her degree she will be an asset to any organization she chooses to join
Writing a letter of recommendation doesn’t have to be difficult to remember the summary preview for a detailed explanation and to enhance the application of a worthy candidate. I hope these tips have helped we offer our full range of services for letters of recommending