This week we’re talking letters of recommendation! Letters of recommendation may not be as relevant or used as much during interviews, but they have many uses. A letter of recommendation can be used for job interviews, internship interviews, scholarship applications, or even graduate school references. A letter of recommendation is a tool that could set you apart from other candidates and help vouch for the skills you vocalize during your interview. When the hiring manager or employer asks for references, that is also the perfect opportunity to present a letter of recommendation. Continue reading below to find out how to write a great letter of recommendation!

What To Include

If you are writing or receiving a letter from someone, it needs to be quality work. For starters, you need to have information about the person you are writing about. This includes who they are, what your connection is, stating why you think they are qualified, and specific skills they possess. Some topic ideas to write about: potential, consistency, persistence, motivation, skills, abilities, strengths, character, contributions (to their career or school life), and accomplishments.

Include examples! Using specific examples of what the candidate has accomplished to back up the skills you listed is helpful. It will show the hiring manager that you are a credible source and that you’re not just listing these skills about the candidate, but their actions prove it too.

Use keywords- ask the candidate for a copy of the job description and their resume. Using keywords from the job description can help you target what kind of person this position is looking for. The length of your letter should not be less than 1 page or longer than 2 pages. Try to keep it short and concise so a hiring manager doesn’t have to read through many pages.

The letter should include your contact information so the hiring company can follow-up with you if need be. This is a personal endorsement, so make sure everything you write about the candidate is sincere and that you can back it up. You may find yourself answering follow-up questions about the candidate since you are a reference for them.

Writing a letter for someone else may be challenging, but just be sure to be truthful and convey your honest opinion. Following the above tips will help you ensure you are writing a quality letter of recommendation!