Careers & Education

Examples of good letters of recommendation

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A good letter of recommendation can make all the difference in an applicant�s chances of landing a job.
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Examples of good letters of recommendation

Guidelines and examples of good letters of recommendation

Even if you are an employer and have been asked by an employee to write a recommendation letter don't jut say "sure"; first ask yourself if you are you the right person to write such a letter. If you are asked, you need to discuss the subject candidly with the requester. All examples of good letters of recommendation show that they are most effective when a person who knows the requester and his/her reputation writes it. Consider the following before you dash off a letter.

1. Do you qualify? Another consideration is your integrity - can you honestly write positive things about the requester? If not, you need to bow out gracefully without hurting feelings. On the other hand, if you qualify, you should brainstorm with the requester to write what he or she wishes to be said. Be sensitive to deadlines. Write only complimentary, yet factual, observations. Avoid unflattering or derogatory remarks. If you cannot do this, you should decline to write a letter of recommendation.

2. Remember that potential employers are adept at "reading between the lines," and any negative implication may destroy a person's chance at getting the new job. All examples of good letters of recommendation do not show any negativity.

3. It's also important that you determine your company's policy regarding letters of recommendation. Many policies have been established as protection against potential lawsuits. The common rule is write only positive, factual recommendation letters. Be very careful if you putting the letter on corporate letterhead. It may be more appropriate to use your on personalized stationery than make a recommendation on behalf of a company.

It is suggested by the pros that know that you follow these guidelines:

· Explain how you know the applicant. How long have you known the person and in what relationship or circumstance? Boss? Co-worker?

· State your qualifications for writing the recommendation letter. Why should the reader be interested in your recommendation? How many other people of the applicant's caliber have you known, and why does the applicant stand out?

· List the applicant's exceptional qualities and skills, especially those that are specific to the applicant's field of interest or job requirements. For example, competency in his/her field or prior experience, organizational and communication skills, academic or other achievements, interaction with others, sound judgment, reliability, analytical ability, etc.

· Emphasize key points that you want the reader to note on the applicant's resume or job application. Be sure to meaningfully elaborate, don't simply restate.

· Give your judgment of the applicant, his/her qualifications and potential. Why should he/she be considered over other people? How does he/she compare to other people you have known? Do not state weaknesses. If you can't write a positive letter of recommendation, you should respectfully decline.

· Give specific examples to back up what you have said about the person's qualifications and character. Remember, generalized praise is a waste of space.

· Unless it is absolutely relevant, do not state (directly or by implication) the applicant's race, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender or marital status. It is rare in examples of good letters of recommendation to find any of these stated.

· Be succinct; make every word count; a letter of recommendation for employment should be one page; a letter of recommendation for school should be 1-2 pages.

· List your contact information if you are willing to field follow-up correspondence.

· Proofread! The letter of recommendation represents both you and the applicant.

To Whom it May Concern:

I highly recommend Jane Doe as a candidate for employment. Jane was employed by Company Name as an Administrative Assistant from 2002 - 2005. Jane was responsible for office support including word processing, scheduling appointments and creating brochures, newsletters, and other office literature. Jane has excellent communication skills. In addition, she is extremely organized, reliable and computer literate.

Jane can work independently and is able to follow through to ensure that the job gets done. She is flexible and willing to work on any project that is assigned to her. Jane was quick to volunteer to assist in other areas of company operations, as well. Jane would be a tremendous asset for your company and has my highest recommendation.

If you have any further questions with regard to her background or qualifications, please do not hesitate to call me.

Sincerely, John Smith Title Company Address Phone Email

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