How to write effective Recommendation letters.
A letter of recommendation is a widely used instrument during a selection process, which serves to have more references on the experience and characteristics of an applicant.
To put it in its proper measure, what matters most is not what a letter of recommendation says, but rather who signs it.
However, writing it can be very difficult. That is why it is not uncommon for whoever recommends you to request a draft of the letter.
Parts of Letter of recommendation
A good letter of recommendation has four parts: identification, context, recommendation, and closure.
In one or two pages, it must contain:
- The name of the person who recommends and the applicant.
- A description of where they met.
- Something positive about the work they developed together.
- Something positive about the recommended person.
- The phone number or contact information of who recommends.
It may help to think before writing the letter in one or two characteristics that are what you want to highlight, and without being too insistent, keep them in mind throughout the letter.
- Be careful of the details
- Global vision
- Ability to perform well under pressure
- Technical skills
- Ability to lead and leadership
- Enthusiasm and commitment
- Teamwork skills
These two characteristics must have the applicant (being honest is the best policy) and should be things that the position to which they apply requires.
A letter of recommendation can be addressed to the president of the selection or search committee (being very careful to write the name and position well) or to the full committee:
Committee / Commission of XXX
Department of XXX
The safest way is to simply take the address to which the background must be sent, and use that as the contact address.
The following paragraph should contain the identification of the person making the recommendation, taking care to make clear the credentials of the person who recommends, but without sounding pedantic:
My name is XXX, currently, I work as XXX (position) in XXX (department, organization). I am writing to support XXX’s nomination …
I’m XXX, currently XXX in XXX. The reason for this is to support the postulation of XX …
The best recommendations come from people who have worked or collaborated in a close relationship with the organization to which they are applying, or who are known in the area of work in which they work.
The following paragraphs indicate the work by which the recommended one is known:
I worked with XXX in the year 2000, developing the “XXX” project (project name or short description) under XXX (context), for company XXX (recipients).
Now is the time to elaborate on something positive about the work developed, here many adjectives can be used with some certainty because they are talking about a job, not a person.
The important thing is to be truthful and above all specific, avoid generalities. Ideas can be combined:
The resulting project allowed 400 people to benefit from … (talk about the immediate impact).
The work done was delivered 1 month earlier than projected … (talk about work conditions).
What is built is currently used in XXX for XXX … (talk about the future impact).
The program received an award of XXX for XXX … (talk about the awards).
Hopefully, it will be a project with some visibility that has been known by who receives the letter, or some activity similar to the one that the applicant should develop in the organization that will receive it.
Here we speak directly of the applicant in positive terms, without exaggerating the note and being specific.
Ideally, the features that stand out are verifiable, in line with the work done and with the characteristics of the position to which it is postulated.
Mr./Sra./Srta./Ing./Dr./etc. XXX stood out on the team for … XXX
These characteristics allowed to achieve XXX …
Working with XXX was very positive because XXX
On more than one occasion, XXX (if it is something interesting and repeated more than once)
We must clarify these personal characteristics with the characteristics of the applicant to work as a team, which is very important when hiring someone new, because an important fear of who opens the application may be that the applicant is very good but does not integrate well with the rest.
Therefore, the recommendation should include some of:
It was a pleasure working with XXX because XXX …
XXX joined our team very well because XXX …
The work team still maintains a cordial relationship with XXX …
The first of the closing is the most obvious, a call to action, directly recommending the applicant:
For the above, I strongly recommend XXX for XXX
Therefore, it is my opinion that XXX meets the necessary characteristics for XXX
In my opinion and as stated, XXX meets/gathers and exceeds the qualifications and experience required for XXX
Finally, the letter indicates the phone number of who recommends. This gives more credibility and a more personal tone to the letter:
If you need more details about XXX, you can call me at XXX …
I remain at your disposal, for more details, you can call me at XXX …
Sample Letter of Recommendation
California DF. ; A ____ From _______Del _____
To whom it May concern:
The undersigned hereby allow me to introduce Mr. ________________, which I would very well recommend as an integral, hardworking and honest person.
Same that I have ____ years of knowing her, during which time she has shown herself in the manner mentioned above.
This is extended at the request of the interested party for the purposes that are agreed upon.
Ing. John Mathew