Letters of recommendation are often required for various purposes bringing plenty of trouble to those who write them. If you were asked to write one, don’t panic. There are a few things you should bear in mind that will make the process easier.
First and foremost, do not be too shy or too polite to refuse. If you feel that you have nothing to tell about the person recommended, as you’ve never worked that close, say so. It will be much easier for everyone if you just refuse politely, rather than force yourself to write a ‘dead’ formal letter.
If you are, however, willing and in the position to write the letter, start with finding out where it is bound to. If it is a part of a job application, look through the job description and decide which qualities you should stress out in your writing. It will also make the letter more personal.
Abide by formalities. Start your letter with stating your name and address, then the recipient’s name, his/her address, and finally the formal greeting.
Describe how you know the person recommended, what your relations were and why you are able to give this recommendation. In the ideal case, you should be his or her boss or at least a supervisor.
Name the qualities of the person you want to stress out, illustrate them with your own experiences and explain why they will do great for the recipient’s company. Be quite eloquent at this stage – more paragraphs mean more concern on your part.
If the person has any week sides, name them briefly and point out that he has been working very diligently to improve them. Do not make the object of your recommendation look perfect. The recipient will hardly believe you and thus will have prejudice against the candidate.
Be specific and illustrative. Make comparisons and give a description of the person’s achievements and the way they benefitted your company.
End with restating that the candidate you are writing about will become a valuable asset for a particular company and welcome the recipient to contact you in case of any questions.