Many times, the students who are going to apply for the abroad graduate or scholarships come across the document known as a recommendation letter. The employees want to apply for the position in the new job, organization and firms have the same requirement. Read the article below to get a complete guide about how to write a recommendation letter for a job, scholarship, and abroad for the person you are going to recommend.
A letter of recommendation also known as LOR is a document that comes along with job application and CV. It is designed in a way that adds extra volume to the merit and weight for selection of the candidate. Another term used for it is the letter of reference. It adds additional value to employee performance and different details. It is a sort of validation which ensure employers that the person they are going to hire is trustful and worthy of the vacant position.
How is it different from a Reference in Job Application?
There is a list of persons required for the reference in the job application. It is also a kind of recommendation but it involves a casual conversation that is done over the call or email. In contrast, the recommendation letter is formal and provide evidence in the documented form.
When you should write a recommendation letter?
If the candidate wishes to apply for a job in a reputable organization and the job nature is very competitive or the job which demands an experience and advanced level of the skills, be ready to write this letter from your colleagues. If there is a student who wants to apply for higher studies in the medical and financial fields, prepare the recommendation letter beside the application and cover letter.
Who to ask for Reference Letter?
The people which will recommend the candidate through the formal written document should be the people who have had a working relationship with a candidate such as the mentors, professors, former managers and supervisors. They will give the applicant a potential statement of support through this written document. The above-mentioned person should be the typical persons an applicant should ask for. But if there is no person available, make sure to ask those persons who should have:
- Work recently with you and remember you as a colleague
- The professional work with you and can attest your character
- Strong observation and can give constructive feedback on your performance
Where should the Information Come from?
The person whom you should write a letter must have a general knowledge about the applied job. Most likely, they should have the information about the skills and work performance needed in the job. The candidate must send their CV and cover letter to the writer of their recommendation. Both documents will help them in the applicant’s evaluation that he pitches his qualifications for the job or scholarship.
The student or candidate must supply the writer with the outline or objectives of the targeted employment. The author of the recommendation letter must share the marketable assets in the professional working relationship with the candidate. The referee would then easily showcase the ability of the applicant with proud and strong observation.
What to include?
The letter of recommendation should include the following:
- The first paragraph will determine the relationship between the referee and the candidate
- The next paragraph will tell the selection committee how the writer or referee will assess the applicant skills, capabilities and performances.
- The subsequent paragraph will show the activities and achievements
- Ask the writer to give away all the reasons that as a candidate you are the best for coping up all the responsibilities of the applied job.
The format of the recommendation letter includes content and page layout
Content of Recommendation Letter:
Most of the students still do not know how to structure the content of the reference letter. Let’s start with professional writing sections:
- Contact Details
Well, the professional companies attach a letterhead besides their job application for making of the Cover letter, if a cover letter is not present, just ask the referee to write all the details you have for contact information. Generally, it includes the address, city, zip, postal code, phone number and email id. In the presence of letterhead, the writer should place at the top in the center. If there is a letterhead present, the writer should write the contact information of the candidate at the left top of the blank page.
The recommendation letter has the same format as any letter. There should be direct addressing to the company head, unless not mentioned. If there is no mention, do not write To Whom It May Concern. Mention company name either. The vague addressing is not preferred.
- Introduction of Relationship between Writer and Candidate
If you are writing a recommendation letter for your colleague, start with a line such as it is my honour to recommend and then applicant name. Explain the relationship in 3-4 lines in a short paragraph with time duration how long you know each other.
- Academic Strengths
The second paragraph is about to show the applicant strength and behavior in a working environment. Explain all the performance in the previous job with one to two examples demonstrating how you utilize your academic and professional achievement in a particular situation
- Applicant Characteristics
The personality characteristics play a significant role in the job interview. If a writer mentions two to three lines in this paragraph related to the personal characters with examples.
- Explanation of Leaving
This section is completely optional, as it involves an explanation of why the candidate left the previous job. This is usually written when a candidate applies to a reputable organization. Remember, the reason should be positive or neutral. It must not be negative, such as the conflicts arise or the organization has low standard. The low family income can be a possible neutral reason.
The last part of the letter must be a summary of why you are recommending the candidate and what benefit the company got from an applicant. The last line is to ask the employer to courageously contact you whenever there is a need in the selection process.
The Page layout of Recommendation Letter:
The recommendation letter should be concise enough that it covers all the aspects of the candidate adequately. However, do not brag too much about the personal details and qualities that the applicant cannot cope up or justify during interview time. Try to cover all the content on one page. If details that directly affect the job, write it. But it should not be over two pages.
Font Size and Style:
In this modern and digital world, all the things are going to shift on the computer. Therefore, to maximize the readability and use the space economically, the font size is very important. It should not be greater or smaller than 11. The letter length will be maintained by the 11 font size.
The style should not be of unofficial format. The styles such as Times New Roman, Helvetica ad Arial are simple yet best for understanding and readability. The fonts having Italic style are difficult to read. That’s why do not use these font styles.
The page margin should be around 1-1 and 1/2 inches. The excessive margins will let the page size shrink and content can not be completely written on one page.
The alignment should be of last size so that the entire page can show an organized and official appearance.
Types of Recommendation Letter:
The recommendation letter is of various types depending on the occasions. The format and recommendation letter remains the same, but the content changes based on the purpose. There are three types of recommendation letter:
Academic Letter of Reference :
The academic one is used for getting admission in abroad institutes or applying for a scholarship. For admission purposes, the selection team requires at least one or two recommendation letters. There is a plus point in giving recommendation letter to the admission committee besides application as it gives all the information comprising student’s character reference, skills, personal details and all academic achievements.
The young students can request their professors, coaches and deans who are well familiar with their personal qualities and attainments to write a recommendation letter. The students applying for fellowship and scholarship programs might request in the same way.
Employment Letter of Reference:
If an individual is struggling for a new job, the recommendation letter is the best tool to work out with. The recommendation letter can go along with CV or resume, with the application of a job, as a part of the portfolio, or required during the interview. There are three career references required for a job in the multinational company. This type of letter works best to demonstrate your work ethic, employment history and personal skills. It is preferred to get your recommendation letter done by former employers and supervisors. If you did not work formally in the previously left job, you can ask the volunteers or organizers. But you should go to your former boss.
Character Letter of Reference:
This letter is used in a normal life situation where the law is involved. The housing transfer and child adoption situation demands the character reference for a legal proceeding. The former employers, business agents, landlords and legitimate authorities can write the recommendation letter. Every person requires this typed letter of recommendation in their life for at least one time. The purpose solely depends upon the condition in which it is used.
Tips to Write a Recommendation Letter
Person to Choose a Recommendation Letter:
When choosing a particular person who writes you a letter, always choose wisely. Forced writing in the letter can ruin your career. The person who has a designation and experience about your applied thing should be selected. The writer who can write freely by its will and have strong observation will be chosen. As the writer is doing much for you, remember to discuss the format and content a week before the given deadline. The time duration is very important to avoid the vague and messy letter.
The Reason of Recommendation Letter:
The letter type whether it is going to be academic, employment or character reference depends upon the objective. Give your writer all the possible information about the applied job, studies or scholarships. They must get informed about the deadline so that they can easily manage their time to write you a letter before the deadline.
Length of Recommendation Letter:
As described above, the recommendation letter has a completely different identity. It must not be mixed with their CV. The recommendation letter describes the dealing of a person with another person besides skills with a practical example. So, it should be concise and to the point.
Must Talk About the Positive Impact:
It should be mentioned in the academic recommendation letter. The professor must know how many initiatives you have taken during your student life, and the positive impact and learning in the true context must be mentioned. Give a rationale comparison and proper context with all the examples.
No Academic Grades should be Mentioned:
The academic grades, certificates, and awards are already mentioned in the CV. So, there is a big no for the recommendation letter.
As described earlier, the letter should contain the relevant information. Private or sensitive information is a big no for this letter.
How to send your recommended letter?
The recommendation letter is sent either in soft form or printed form. It depends upon company requirement if the company mentions to send it along with CV on their official email id. Send it there. But if the company wants the hard copies of all the formal documents, print the letter.
How to ask for a Recommendation Letter?
You are not going to order your supervisor, professors, or older one to write the letter for you. Always use a polite tone while requesting them.
If a person comes to you to request for a recommendation letter, do not say yes to write for him if you do not know him enough or say something positive about him.