Seven Tips for Writing Recommendation Letters

performance reviewSure, the letter of recommendation isn’t that common but it does come up every now and then. According to career coach and author Ford R. Myers, there are several tips to keep in mind when writing one.

Myers explains in a press release, “You don’t need them, but you should want them. Why? Because when you find yourself in a competitive interviewing situation, letters of recommendation can really give you an edge.”

And if you’re on the receiving end, be sure to keep these pointers readily available as guidelines for the person you’ve reached out to do the task.

1. Print the final letter on company letterhead.

2. Do not date the letter and don’t include a salutation.

3. Keep it brief! Don’t go beyond one page.

4. The first paragraph should look something like this: “I am writing to you on behalf of my former colleague, Sally M. Smith. I had the privilege of working with her from 19XX to 20XX when she was the (title) of company (XYZ).”

5. In the second paragraph, outline specifics about the person and use strong action verbs. Myers suggests focusing attention on contributions to the company as much as possible.

6. In the third paragraph, mention a few personal traits and values.

7. The last paragraph should emphasize how you feel about the recipient as a professional.