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How To Write A Professional Letter Of Recommendation

By Sheetal B. Updated: January 23, 2017
How To Write A Professional Letter Of Recommendation

A Professional letter of recommendation may be needed for securing a college recommendation admission or it can be an employer recommendation from a previous employer to a prospective one. It may be an actual letter, or in some situations an email. Whatever the scenario, the recommendation letter almost always has to be in a formal setting and tone.

Being positive while giving a balanced feedback of the candidate is the expectation and aim here. Giving a professional recommendation is a skill. How do you write positively without exaggerating the good points and skipping the negatives? Here are some pointers that can be of help!

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Know The Candidate

You might know the person well but even so, its better to have a one-on-one chat and get to know why the person has applied for a particular college or job, what are her goals, how does this new college or job help her in achieving those goals. By having a discussion, you can assess the person better and be better equipped to give a genuine recommendation.

For example, a teacher might know a student well who he meets daily, but a principal may not be so familiar. In such cases, knowing the candidate better always helps.

How To Write A Professional Letter Of Recommendation - Know The Candidate

What Information to Include in a Letter of Recommendation

You will mostly need to cover the following aspects in your letter of recommendation; Yourself and your position in relation to the candidate, how do you know the candidate, the skills that the candidate has and how they are relevant to the new job or to the new college and the candidate’s talents. You need to have all this information before you start writing a recommendation letter.

Be Accurate and Maintain a Formal Tone

Professional letters of recommendation are almost always formal, so do maintain a similar tone. Be concise and to the point, and try to be positive. Chances are, that you have been asked to write such a letter because you are expected to portray the candidate in a good light. So in case you do feel, that the candidate has some severe negative qualities or incidents that need highlighting, try revisit and reassess them. You could discuss with the candidate as well. Overall the letter is expected to be genuine, so don't lie or exaggerate. Try to strike a balance, if necessary by highlighting the not so positive qualities in a non-detrimental way.

As with any professional letter, zero grammatical errors, acceptable format and good presentation are all expected of a professional letter of recommendation.

How To Write A Professional Letter Of Recommendation - Be Accurate and Maintain a Formal Tone
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How To Write A Professional Letter Of Recommendation
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