How to Write a Professional Recommendation Letter (with Samples)

how to write a personal recommendation letter

How to Write Good Recommendation Letters

Few things carry as much weight during a job application process as a professional recommendation letter. As an employer or manager, you’ve probably been asked to write a few for employees who have trusted you in the past. 

But what exactly does a professional recommendation letter consist of, and how should you go about writing them? Here are some recommendation letter tips with samples to help simplify the process.

What is a Professional Recommendation Letter? 

Imagine you’re crafting a letter or an email that talks up a past coworker or employee to their potential new boss. This is what we call a professional recommendation letter. You’re their hype man or woman, telling the future employer why this person is an excellent fit for a specific job.

When you’re putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), the goal is to make your old colleague shine. But remember, honesty is vital. Don’t exaggerate or make stuff up – that’s a no-no. If you think they’re not up to scratch, it’s better to say “pass” when asked to write this letter.

How do you write a recommendation letter for a job?

A professional reference letter or email should provide information on who you are in relation to the candidate, why they are qualified for the role, and any specific skills they have that you are endorsing. Here’s a template for reference:

Step 1 – The Greeting

If you know the person you are addressing, it would be best to include their name at the top, but if not, put “To whom this may concern” followed by the introductory sentence. 

Step 2 – The Introduction

The first paragraph should explain how you know the person you recommend and what role you held during that time (about this person).

Step 3 – The Second Paragraph

The second paragraph of a reference letter contains specific details about the person you are referencing. How they are qualified to do the job with particular examples of skills they used to complete tasks in the past.

Step 4 – The Overview

This section of the reference letter summarizes why you recommend the person and your overall feeling towards them as a worker. 

Step 5 – Wrapping Up

Wrap up the letter by offering to provide the interviewer with more information if they would like it, along with your contact information.

“A personal reference, sometimes called a character reference, describes a person’s lifestyle, morals, values, and personality traits.”
“A professional reference, also known as an employer reference, describes a person’s qualifications, skills, and work ethic.”

— Lawdepot

Recommendation Letter Examples

Example Recommendation Letter #1

Dear (Interviews Name)

(Referrals Name) was a top-tier employee who I could rely on time and time again. They went above and beyond to perform their job duties, and they had several strengths that worked to their advantage and the advantage of the company as a whole. 

(Referrals Name) was always on time and ready to perform – especially during our busy seasons. They could easily
lead our newer team members, figure out solutions to complex situations, and push team members through challenging situations without complaint. Overall, (Referrals Name) is a tremendous employee who will serve your team well. 

I wholeheartedly recommend (Referrals Name), and I know they will make me and their new team members proud. Let me know if you have any additional questions about (Referrals Name). 

Sincerely, (Your name)

Example Recommendation Letter #2

To Whom It May Concern,

It has been brought to my attention that my former teammate is seeking employment with you. While I am disappointed not to have such a valuable employee by my side anymore, I understand
it is best for him.

(Referrals Name) has demonstrated exemplary work ethic and personal traits throughout his employment here. I feel confident that he will serve your team with the respect, ethics, and general sense of responsibility he did as part of our team. 

You can trust (Referrals Name) to put his best foot forward and always serve the better interests of your company. He is a loyal and dedicated employee. His skills are also nothing to scoff at. He led several projects at our company and excelled in each one. 

Hiring (Referrals Name)  is a good idea for you and your company. I am confident that he will always perform professionally and meet your standards in the field. 

(Referrals Name) is an employee you can trust to get the job done, and I recommend him despite losing him as an asset. Please reach out with any additional questions that might come up. 

Sincerely, (Your name)

Example Recommendation Letter #3

Dear (Interviewers Name),

My name is (Your Name) from (Company name). It has been brought to my attention that (Referrals Name) is seeking employment with your company. I have been (Referrals Name) supervisor for the last ten years
and have incredible insight into their professional performance. 

First, they never came to work late, and I could rely on them to take up the slack when other employees needed time off. They were always team players and willing to make personal sacrifices for their teammates. 

They were also highly knowledgeable about our industry, and over the five years they worked for us, they helped innovate our business model multiple times. In fact, they were pivotal to making our company what it is today. 

Overall, (Referrals Name) always strived to be the best they could be. They took on extra responsibilities, constantly found ways to perform their duties more effectively, and were genuinely one of the best employees we could ask for. 

We are sad to see (Referrals Name) go, but we understand that this is part of their career journey. I highly recommend (Referrals Name), and you cannot go wrong hiring them. 

Sincerely, (Your Name)

Example Recommendation Letter #3

Dear (Interviewers Name),

I am writing this letter in regards to (Referrals Name). It has been brought to my attention that they are applying for the (Specific Job) position within your company. 

I worked with (Referrals Name) for five years, and I am confident in their ability to succeed in the role of (Specific Job). 

They would constantly take up the slack when I fell behind, offer expert-level opinions, and generally put their best foot forward to accomplish a task. They were also someone that our team could turn to for advice and general aid when the job became difficult. 

(Referrals Name) has defined their career by being more than just a hard worker. They’ve been a friend and genuinely innovative figure in our company. 

It is sad to see (Referrals Name) go, but I know
he will bring the same quality of work to your company, and you’ll quickly understand how pivotal they can be in your team’s overall success. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about (Referrals Name). 

Sincerely, (Your Name)

Wrapping Up | Writing a Job Recommendation Letter

If you’ve made an impact on someone’s career, odds are a job recommendation request is coming your way at some point down the line. 

A recommendation letter is a simple yet impactful gesture that can change your old coworker or past employee’s life. If you enjoyed working with this individual, take it seriously and fill out whatever details are necessary to help get them that position.

We hope this has helped prep you for the next time you are asked to write a recommendation letter – best of luck!

Title: How to Write a Professional Recommendation Letter (with Samples)

Category: Employer

Tags: professional recommendation letter samples for a friend, professional reference letter, professional, reference letter sample, how to write good recommendation letter

Author: Reid is a contributor for theJub. He’s an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author. | Author Profile

Similar Posts