Tips for Writing a Great Employee Recommendation Letter
Have you been recently asked to write a recommendation letter for an employee and unsure where to start? This guide will help your letter started.
Why Write a Recommendation Letter?
Today, it is common practice for employers to request that new applicants provide letters of recommendation. Writing a great, convincing (and honest) employee recommendation letter can significantly influence the recipients of the letter in deciding whether to hire the applicant. Therefore, your letter could be the difference between helping someone land their dream job or have them narrowly miss out.
If you have been asked to write an employee recommendation letter and agree to do so, it’s crucial you take the time to include details that highlights the employee’s skills, strengths, and abilities relevant to the specific job. Whether your employee has resigned or they were terminated, providing a good recommendation will help your employee continue building their career.
Think about what you want to say
You want to send this letter in a business format. Firstly, start with your contact information, followed by the date. You then want to address the hiring manager.
After getting the formalities out of the way, a great way to start is by explaining your relationship. How do you know them? Remember to emphasise that you were the candidate’s supervisor, specifying the length of supervision and in what capacity. In short, noting these specifics will strengthen what you say throughout the letter.
The next step is to focus on the job description. Ask your former employee for a copy of the job description. After reading and reviewing it, tailor your letter to show how your former employee is a great match for the role. If you are writing a less specific recommendation, simply ask the employee for some information on the industry and type of position. If your former employee is applying for a leadership role, for example, provide specific examples of instances where they have taken charge and delivered exceptional results.
Keep it Positive
Remember to always evaluate the candidate in a positive way. You want to emphasise this at the beginning and end of your letter. This re-enforces your positive valuation of the candidate. You should also elaborate on their skills and experience. It’s good to back this up with examples that showcase the kind of employee they are.
Don’t forget to edit your letter until it clearly and concisely reflects your confidence in the candidate. Keep it short and sweet – anything longer than one page is usually unnecessary.
Furthermore, it’s important you remember to thank the hiring manager for their time and let them know you are available for any clarification they may need. Don’t forget to share your contact information.
James is a Legal Tech Intern at Lawpath. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Finance at the University of Technology Sydney.