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How to Write a Strong Letter of Recommendation: Sample, Template and Tips

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Learn how to write a strong letter of recommendation, get the essential tips and strategies to write a persuasive LoR (Letter of Recommendation.)

How to Write a Strong Letter of Recommendation: Sample, Template and Tips - ieltsluminary

Struggling to write that perfect letter of recommendation that will make your candidate shine above the rest? Searching for the secret sauce that will turn your endorsement from standard to standout? Look no further! Welcome to our comprehensive guide, designed to help you unlock the secrets of a compelling recommendation letter.


In this power-packed guide, we walk you through the nuances of tailoring an impactful recommendation, whether you're endorsing a student for an Ivy League university or an employee for a dream job. We delve deep into the art of personalizing your endorsement, striking the right balance between professionalism and individuality, and mastering the craft of presenting your candidate in the best light.


But that's not all. We understand that sometimes even the best of us can struggle with the intricacies of a recommendation letter, which is why we're happy to introduce you collegeadvisor.com. They are the experienced guiding hand ready to help you navigate the recommendation letter labyrinth, turning what may seem like an overwhelming task into a rewarding journey.


So, whether you're a first-time letter writer looking for guidance or a seasoned professional aiming to polish your skills, this guide, along with the expert assistance from collegeadvisor.com, has you covered. Dive in and discover the journey from drafting to delivering a remarkable recommendation letter that doesn't just endorse, but also empowers the candidate's application.


Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to transform the way how to write a strong letter of recommendation. We promise, it's going to be an insightful and exciting ride!


Letter of Recommendation Structure/Format

While each organization may have their own unique criteria for recommendation letters, some universal components remain consistent. Prior to drafting, always consult the individual who requested the recommendation for any specific requirements or guidelines. Typically, a letter of recommendation comprises the following elements:


Date: This is straightforward – the day you're penning down the recommendation.


Recipient Information: This includes the recipient's name, title, and address.


Greeting: Personalize the greeting whenever possible, addressing the recipient by their name (e.g., Dear Mr./Ms./Dr.).


Personal Introduction: Kick off the main body of your letter by establishing who you are, in addition to outlining your relationship with the applicant.


Recommendation: Illuminate what makes the candidate stand out. Provide specific instances where their skills or qualifications aligned seamlessly with the role in question.


Anecdote or Example: Enrich your recommendation by incorporating a personal story that epitomizes the candidate's work ethic or interpersonal skills.


Closing: Summarize your endorsement, emphasizing why this person is deserving of the opportunity.


Contact Information: Offer your email and contact number, enabling the recipient to reach out for further discussions or clarifications.


Signature: Conclude with your signature, making your recommendation official and authentic.


Remember, a well-structured recommendation letter can significantly boost the candidate's chances, making the difference between a missed opportunity and a successful outcome


Letter of Recommendation Sample

Here’s an example of a strong letter of recommendation:

Letter of Recommendation Sample - ieltsluminary.com

Deep Dive into Your Homework

In the sea of applications, making yours float on top requires a deep understanding of the purpose. For you, as a recommender, it's imperative to understand exactly what the candidate is targeting. A key aspect of this is to request certain important documents from the individual you are recommending.


Request a Detailed Job or Program Outline

This might be a detailed job description or an exhaustive list of academic program requirements. Having this data will enable you to tailor your recommendation to resonate perfectly with what's being sought after.


Ask for an Up-to-date Resume

This will be your map, guiding you through the candidate's past experiences, skills, and competencies. It's a comprehensive catalogue of their journey, and it's absolutely vital for you to be aware of every road they've travelled.


Inquire about Specific Points to Emphasize

Is there a specific skill set or accomplishment that your candidate would like you to accentuate? Often, candidates have key highlights they'd prefer to shine brightly in their recommendation letter. Knowing these will help you craft a highly effective, custom-made endorsement.


Penning the Masterpiece

Now that you've assembled the necessary information, it's time to craft an exceptional letter that will be more than just another piece of paper in the stack. Make sure to emphasize the individual’s qualifications, achievements, and potential, and how these align with the role or program they are applying to. Illustrate how their past experiences have equipped them to excel in the prospective opportunity. Let the reader feel the candidate's passion, dedication, and commitment. In essence, paint a vivid picture of the candidate, one that's as compelling as it is convincing.


And remember, this process may seem daunting, but it's not one you need to traverse alone. Collegeadvisor.com, a renowned platform in the academic and career advising world, is here to assist you at each step, whether you're writing your first recommendation letter or your hundredth. Their professional guidance can help you craft a letter that's not just good, but remarkable, potentially opening doors of opportunity for your candidate.


Writing an effective recommendation letter is both an art and a science, and we are here to help you master it. With the right research and with collegeadvisor.com by your side, your letter could be the game-changer that sets your candidate apart in the sea of applications.


Zoom in with Details

Utilizing a guiding template to draft your recommendation is an efficient approach, yet it's essential to infuse the narrative with a strong sense of individuality. Craft a memorable portrayal by incorporating specific anecdotes, achievements, or attributes that are unique to the candidate. These rich, detailed illustrations will offer an invaluable depth of understanding about the candidate, positioning them as an exceptional choice.


Choose impactful, precise adjectives over broad, clichéd terms. Opt for descriptors like 'dedicated', 'resourceful', or 'innovative' rather than generic phrases like 'hardworking'. Specificity brings life to your recommendation, transforming it from a standard endorsement into a compelling testament to the candidate's abilities and potential.


An Insider's Insight

Consider the letter recipient's perspective. What might they be eager to learn about the candidate that isn't readily apparent on a resume or application? Could you provide exclusive insight into the candidate's motivation, integrity, or resilience? By offering a unique window into the candidate's character and capabilities, your letter can reveal the person behind the paper credentials, providing a holistic view of the individual.


The Power of Positivity

Endorse the candidate with an unambiguous seal of approval, showcasing them as a premier contender for the opportunity. Your enthusiasm should radiate from the letter, embodying sincere belief in their capabilities. Avoid any remarks that might cast a shadow of doubt on the candidate's suitability. If you can draw a favorable comparison with others you've previously worked with - like claiming the candidate is "the most innovative problem-solver I've encountered in my career" - don't hesitate to do so.


Remember, this process of carefully crafting a persuasive recommendation can be made easier with guidance from a seasoned advisor. collegeadvisor.com has a team of experienced professionals who can help you bring out the best of the candidate you're recommending. They can provide you with a strategic approach to writing a recommendation letter, helping you emphasize the right aspects of your candidate's skills and qualifications.


Writing a recommendation letter is more than just a responsibility; it's an opportunity to help someone unlock their potential. And with the right information, the right words, and the right support from collegeadvisor.com, you can provide a compelling, comprehensive endorsement that resonates with recipients and champions your candidate.


Maintain a Polished Presentation and Brevity

The packaging of your recommendation is as significant as the content itself. Therefore, adhere to a professional business letter format, ideally in a clear, twelve-point Arial or Times New Roman font. If you have access to your business or organization's letterhead, make sure to utilize it. This simple step can lend a sense of credibility and formality to your letter.


Given that the recipient is likely navigating through a flood of letters, yours should ideally strike a balance between comprehensive and succinct. A recommendation that is concise, precise, and rich in relevant detail will likely hold the reader's attention more effectively. Aim to encapsulate your endorsement within one to two pages, thus ensuring the letter is engaging and memorable, yet not overwhelming.


The Power to Politely Decline

Remember, your integrity and the candidate's future are at stake when writing a recommendation. Should you find yourself in a position where a positive endorsement isn't feasible, know that it's perfectly alright to decline the request. After all, a lukewarm recommendation can inadvertently harm a candidate's chances as much as a negative one. Though the conversation might be difficult, it's essential to express your inability to provide a glowing recommendation tactfully and respectfully.


These aspects of the recommendation-writing process might seem daunting, but guidance and support are always available. collegeadvisor.com hosts a panel of experienced advisors well-versed in crafting effective, professional, and succinct recommendation letters. Whether you're unsure about the structure, the tone, the content, or even the process of declining a request, their expertise can prove invaluable.


Remember, writing a recommendation letter isn't just a casual favor; it's a responsibility requiring balance, precision, honesty, and tact. With the right approach, complemented by guidance from collegeadvisor.com, you can navigate this responsibility with confidence, enhancing the chances of your candidate and leaving a lasting positive impression on the recipient.


Follow the Guidelines and Be Timely

When endorsing a candidate, every detail matters, including adherence to submission protocols and deadlines. By strictly following any given instructions, you exemplify your commitment to the process. Ensuring your recommendation letter arrives promptly, preferably ahead of the deadline, shows respect for the recipient's time and further strengthens the image of the person you're endorsing. The professionalism displayed in your handling of the task extends to the candidate, boosting their standing in the process.


Asking for a Recommendation Letter

It's likely that throughout your educational or professional journey, you will be asked to provide letters of recommendation. This is particularly common during applications for advanced study programs. Requesting letters of recommendation is a pivotal component of most application procedures.


If you find yourself on either side of the recommendation process, it can be quite a daunting task to navigate. However, armed with the right guidance and resources, you can make this process less stressful and more effective.


collegeadvisor.com specializes in aiding students and professionals alike in understanding these crucial aspects. Their experienced advisors can offer invaluable insight into the process of writing a strong letter of recommendation, as well as advice on how to tactfully and successfully request one.


In conclusion, a well-crafted recommendation letter can be a game-changer for a candidate's application. But crafting such a letter or requesting one doesn't have to be a stressful endeavor. With adherence to guidelines, timely submissions, and the insightful guidance provided by collegeadvisor.com, you can navigate this path confidently and effectively, helping to unlock opportunities for your candidate.


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