Best Letter of Recommendation Template

letter of recommendation

At some point in your career, you will be asked to write a letter of recommendation. These are business letters that speak to professional experiences. These letters detail information regarding the professional's soft skills, hard skills, accomplishments, characteristics, qualities, and overall professionalism.

A recommendation letter may also be called a reference letter or letter of reference. Though, personal reference letters, like character references, should not be confused with letters that are for an employee.

Business letters such as these can be useful for future employers to feel secure about the qualities and traits that the employee is mentioning during the interview process. It can add validation and professionalism to a job application.

The more recommendation letters an employee has, the more desired they can be.

Letter of Recommendation

[Your name]
[Your email]
[Your phone number]
[Business name]
[Relationship]

[Today’s Date]

Dear [Mr./Ms./Mrs. X]—

I look forward to you having the opportunity to work with [full name of the person who you are recommending in this letter] for the position of [position they are applying for].

I had the pleasure on being able to work with [full name of the person who you are recommending in this letter] at [business name you worked at] during the period of [date] and [date].

During this time I was able to see [full name of the person who you are recommending in this letter] accomplish the following:

  • [Significant accomplishment the person you are recommending was able to achieve during your tenure]
  • [Significant accomplishment the person you are recommending was able to achieve during your tenure]
  • [Significant accomplishment the person you are recommending was able to achieve during your tenure]
I would love to speak with you more regarding these accomplishments and the professionalism that [full name of the person who you are recommending in this letter] was able to bring to the business.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
[Your handwritten signature]

This letter template is simple, easy to comprehend and gets to the point. Employers value your input. And being able to see one to three bullet points regarding the employee’s previous accomplishments can help make them a high-quality candidate from the employers perspective.

Here is how the finished product should look:

letter of recommendation

Letter of Recommendation FAQ’s

What should go inside the letter?

Your letter should always contain:

How do you write a letter of recommendation?

How do you end a letter of recommendation?

A letter of recommendation should always contain a formal sign-off or salutation. The best salutations for a letter of this nature would be “Sincerely” or “Thank you so much”.

Learn how to end professional business letters.

How do you get a letter of recommendation?

Asking for a recommendation requires sending an email to your manager, colleague, or friend who you’re requesting one from. You should tell them your intended purpose of the letter and ask if they can show qualities you feel will be important to future jobs you’re applying for.

Learn how to ask for a letter of recommendation.

How long should a recommendation letter be?

A business letter of this kind should never exceed one-page. That means the body of your letter should be no more than two to three paragraphs in total. The ideal word count would be somewhere around 500-600 words.

What makes a recommendation letter “strong”?

A strong letter is one that contains bullet points that are impactful to future employers. This would detail positive metrics or significant accomplishments that the employee was able to obtain for the business.

Should a letter of recommendation have a signature?

A business letter of this kind has more impact when it contains a formal, handwritten signature. Though it is not required, it can make the letter feel and appear more official.

Do I need a letterhead on a letter of this kind?

A letterhead can be helpful. It contains your contact information. That can be useful in case the reader needs more detail regarding your letter.

Should the letter be handwritten?

No. Ideally, it is typed in a professional manner. With 10-point font and in a serif font face. This will appear the most formal and the most professional to the reader.

Where do I send this letter?

Once completed, your letter should be sent to the person who requested it. Never send your letter to another professional, asking for their approval. A recommendation letter is a private document shared between two parties.

Should I send the letter by email?

Email is the best place to send your letter versus a handwritten or printed letter. This helps the receiving party store the letter for future use and allow them to download the Word or PDF document to their computer for future job applications.

What should I avoid having in my letter?

Avoid negative or “areas of improvement” style discussion in the letter. It’s not the right place for that. If you had reservations about the employee. Or wish they could have performed better in certain competencies, keep that to yourself. This is not something you should be sharing in this letter. At all times, keep the letter positive.

What other types of recommendation letters are there?

Related Hiring Resources

How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation
Letter of Recommendation Template for a College Student
Letter of Recommendation Template for an Educator
Letter of Recommendation Template for a Coworker
Letter of Recommendation Template for an Intern
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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