What is a Recommendation Letter

A letter of recommendation can have two definitions: a recommendation letter for work that will be for a new employer asking about a former employee, or a recommendation letter for an academic body asking about a student. Therefore, when thinking about the recommendation letter format it is key to know what to say in order to paint the best picture of the person you are writing about, whether it is a former student or a former employee. It is not to be confused with what is a reference letter.

Every university or company will have different levels of importance for the recommendation letter; some will give it top priority while others will simply view it as a side-product to their own application process. In both cases, it still remains necessary to know how to write a letter of recommendation and especially what to do and what not to do when writing a recommendation letter which is explained in our tips and advice for recommendation letters.

Who is Supposed to Write the Letter of Recommendation?

In most cases, the recommendation letter is written by a former employee or a previous professor/teacher. This ensures that they know the subject of the letter appropriately, in a professional setting, and can talk in detail about the skills and attributes of that person. If you are the one writing the recommendation letter, you might want to take on some advice on how to write a letter of recommendation in order to present the person you are talking about in the best manner possible.

Why is a Recommendation Letter Important?

A letter of recommendation can be a deciding factor for competitive job positions or university/college places. For the receiving bodies of the recommendation letter, it gives them an insight to how hard a person works and the attitude they have when facing problems. This then allows them to see if that person will fit in at the company or will be a good match for that university. Knowing how best to describe a person´s qualities is a must to include in the recommendation letter format.

For more information, take a look at some recommendation letter samples.

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