Writing Letters of Recommendation for a Job

Writing letters of recommendation for a job may initially seem like an easy task until you put your pen to paper. All of a sudden, it may become difficult to write a glowing review of your former employee. Perhaps it is because you are not sure what language sounds professional or if your recommendation sounds like a balanced and fair assessment. Further still, you may be unsure of the correct form for recommendation letters. Fortunately, this article will help guide you in writing your next letter of recommendation so that both you and the person you are recommending sound professional.

Learn About The Letter's Recipient
Who is the intended recipient of your letter of recommendation? If it is a specific employer, you may be able to tailor your letter to highlight key qualities your former employee has that may benefit the next company. For example, if your long-time dog walker is seeking employment at a veterinarian's office, you may want to highlight her promptness or loving care for animals. Although the jobs may be totally different, there are mutual qualities that are necessary for both jobs.

If you are writing a letter of recommendation for any job that your former employee may seek in the future, your writing should be much more generalized. Make note of qualities you see in the recipient that are desirable in any field.

Assess The Employee's Qualities
Before writing the letter, outline which qualities you appreciate about your former employee. Was your former employee a quick learner or a natural leader? Was she eager to help others, able to take direction or willing to get the job done no matter how long it took? It is important to look honestly at the person's qualities. Although it is tempting, never sugar coat to make someone look more attractive. Not only does this set up false expectations in the employer, but it also undermines your integrity.

Explain Why The Employee Has Potential
Do not shy away from showcasing how the former employee interacted with you or your staff. It is important for future employers to know how a potential employee will act within the dynamics of a workplace. Highlight a particularly useful example of how the employee responded to a change of plans or circumstances.

Proofread The Letter
It is extremely important to proofread your letter prior to sending, especially if you are not a fastidious speller. Spelling and grammar errors often speak louder than the actual text. If a potential employer cannot read through your letter because of your errors, your reliability may be severely compromised.

See also Sample Recommendation Letters for Teachers for ideas on letters of recommendation for teachers.

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