Letter of Recommendation for a Coworker (+ How to Write It) - Free Template for 2020
Writing a recommendation letter for your colleague or coworker is one of the most polite and helpful things you can do for a former teammate. Recommendation letters or a letter of recommendation can provide helpful insights and information to future employers who want to validate a professional's previous work history, accomplishments, skills, and more. And can act as pivotal pieces of information for coworkers who are seeking real estate properties, rental properties, or other personal needs.
There are a few situations where your coworker may ask you to write them a recommendation letter or reference letter. The first being as a character reference letter. These recommendation letters are used to describe a worker that you work with in a personal light. For your colleague, it can help them to secure real estate transactions, rental properties, and other personal needs. While you’re writing a personal letter, you may still refer to your coworker in a way that suggests your relationship is from work.
The second situation where your coworker or colleague may ask for your recommendation is when they’re deciding to leave the company and being an applicant for a new job. Your colleague may have already mentioned they are leaving the company, are in their 2-week notice period, and have asked you to be a reference and write a letter recommending them for future employment.
Writing a Recommendation Letter for Employment
As a current employee, recommending a former employee for professional reasons, here are the things that you should consider as the letter writer. First, consider the job title and the company that your coworker is joining. Does it provide you insight to what their career path looks like? Try to write situations that stood out to you. Ask your colleague what types of skills they want you to highlight. Then consider ways that might support what the hiring manager might be expecting to see from a top candidate on the job application.
This professional letter should be written in a fashion that discusses the person's work ethic, accomplishments, and general demeanor as a professional. It should always be positive and share significant details that don’t seem generic. For example, saying, “Anthony has great interpersonal skills” is simply not enough.
You should consider what a prospective employer and hiring manager might value, then try to write your letter in a way that supports that. Each specific achievement you reference should be transferable to new job titles and show professionalism.
Don’t forget to take your recommendation and turn it into a LinkedIn recommendation when you’re done. This can be helpful for your friend in the future as a job applicant.
Other helpful pieces of information that your colleague can provide you to write a better letter:
- Their cover letter
- Their resume
- The job description, company name, and company biography
Writing a Recommendation Letter for a Character Reference
One of your colleagues may ask you to write them a character reference letter. Be sure that you speak with your coworker and ensure that you both are comfortable with being a reference. From there, ask your colleague or coworker what their specific needs are. For example, on a rental application, you may want to simply provide information on validating their current employment. Ask your colleague about their needs before you start writing.
A character reference or personal reference letter should contain key insights into who you are vouching for. Either validating their employment or showing and explaining situations that defined that person's positive character. Being a personal reference can mean that someone may call you regarding a personal situation. Be sure that as a recommender, you’re comfortable with this. You should use a specific example and scenario to describe your friend or colleague. Never simply write a letter in your own words.
Letter of Recommendation or Reference Letter
The key difference between a letter of recommendation and a reference letter is that a reference letter may have specific points that the potential employer is looking to validate. This could be skills, accomplishments, or other. As the writer, if you are being asked to validate something professionally from another employer, you are writing a reference letter and not a letter of recommendation.
Same goes for a personal letter. If the real estate manager or another person of interest wants something specifically validated, you are writing a reference letter. A job seeker may come back to you and ask you to write them a reference letter when the employer is unsure of something that was included in the professional's resume or cover letter.
Your Letter Formatting
- Always retain business letter format
- Your writing should be in formal letter style
- Use the default page margins
- Never use more than 11pt font size
- Use a professional font like Garamond, Calibri, or Times New Roman
Recommendation Letter Sample
Below is a sample recommendation letter written from one colleague to the other. Note that this is a professional reference letter or recommendation letter and not a personal one.
Are you a student or teacher looking to write a letter of recommendation? Go here.
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