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Letter of recommendation for employment

Letters of recommendation invariably have important implications because they are key to being accepted (or NOT) for such things as: jobs and promotions, college and university program admission, membership in clubs and associations, qualification for awards and scholarships, financial assistance approvals, entrance into special programs, etc. Letter of recommendation written by your former employer. Letter providing you with a credible history of your skills, abilities, job performance, and accomplishments. A potential employer can request a letter, but having one or more available upon request is part of careful preparation for the interview. Even if not requested, a well-written letter of recommendation may help you stand out in the evaluation process.

The employee usually requests the letter of recommendation from a direct supervisor or other manager with personal knowledge of the employee's performance on the job and positions held. This person might also add comments regarding individual qualities such as initiative and dedication.

The person making the recommendation also needs to be familiar with the applicant's skills, capabilities, experience, contributions and performance, with specific examples to which he or she can refer, where possible.

A potential employer may also request character references testifying to the candidate's work ethic, dependability, and motivation level.

The person making the recommendation also needs to be familiar with the applicant's skills, capabilities, experience, contributions and performance, with specific examples to which he or she can refer, where possible.

The credibility of the letter writer is very important in a character reference. These letters can be addressed to a specific person, and may either be mailed to the recipient by the writer or hand-delivered by the employee at the interview. Ask for this type of letter only if you are on good terms with a current employer and he or she is able to respond positively to news that you are leaving. If you have already secured a new position, it may not be necessary to ask your current employer for a letter of recommendation. Letters of recommendation from employers may contain evidence or confirmation of some or all of the following:

  • Previous positions held in the company
  • Summary of job responsibilities
  • Strengths, skills, and talents
  • Initiative, dedication, integrity, reliability, etc.
  • Ability to work with a team
  • Ability to work independently

Do not be surprised if a person you are asking for a recommendation asks you to write a first draft of the letter that he or she will then modify and sign. Begin by providing an accurate assessment of your strengths without dwelling on limitations. Letters of recommendation are intended to be positive and realistic evaluations of performance, competence, and capability. Do not be shy in communicating your strengths. Look at the following suggestions:

  • List your strengths, talents, and abilities. These may include diligence, punctuality, leadership, reliability, enthusiasm, creativity, independence, teamwork, organization, etc.
  • Highlight your strengths and accomplishments without bragging.
  • Choose several of your qualities and strengths that match the current situation; do not list everything you have ever done.
  • Use a professional vocabulary and style; write as if you were the employer providing the letter.

 

AttachmentSize
Sample letter of recommendation. Download (doc)29 KB
Example letter of recommendation. Download (doc)28.5 KB
Letter of recommendation template. Download (rtf)14.45 KB

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