Recommendation Letter Format

A recommendation letter is required when an employee or a student is applying for a position in which their previous achievements need to be acknowledged and explained in the recommendation letter format. For how to write an academic recommendation letter, the guidelines will slightly differ as they will for how to write a linkedin recommendation too. However, in all cases, the recommendation letter is a way of demonstrating how the person at subject would be the right fit for any position professionally. When informing a future employer or academic body on how a person would be a good fit personally, refer to the reference letter format.

Guidelines for Writing a Recommendation Letter

Recommendation Letter Template

It is important when writing a recommendation letter that you as the writer know what position your subject is applying for, so gather as much information as you can. The letter of recommendation should be typed in standardised font and size to look as professional and formal as possible. These are the main points to be covered within the letter but there is also additional tips and advice for recommendation letters.

  • Formal addressing: know the name and job title of the person that the letter is addressed to
  • Opening paragraph: concise introduction, explain who you are and your job title, who the subject is and what their job title was, your relationship, it is optional to state how long you have known them or worked together for
  • Main body: description of the subject´s qualifications/skills/abilities/achievements in the workplace with specific references to accomplishments

  • Closing paragraph: concise conclusion, summarise why the subject would be good for the new job position, provide contact details
  • Signing-off: your name and title, printed letter needs a hand-signature but an email does not

Some advice on writing a recommendation letter: make sure to keep as positive as possible and emphasise the subject´s best qualities and transferable skills, also remain eager to provide anymore information should it be needed.

What is an Appropriate Recommendation Letter Format Length?

The length of a recommendation letter will depend on the relationship between the subject of the letter and the position they are applying for. Detail is key, and you want to make sure to include as many positive specifics without digressing. Usually, between 1-2 pages is sufficient in the majority of cases.

How to Hand In a Letter of Recommendation?

If possible, a recommendation letter should be printed and given to the person who needs it so that they are able to hand it in personally with the rest of their application. In other cases, it is common for the letter of recommendation to be sent by email either directly to the recipient or through the person at subject. This should be discussed beforehand between the person asking for the recommendation letter and the person writing it.

Have a look at some recommendation letter samples.

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