The letter or recommendation is the document that renders someone’s testimony of a person’s character, experience, abilities, or educational background. The exact content depends on the purpose of the document.
A recommendation letter can be requested for different reasons: to get a new job, for a college application, to rent an apartment in a nice building, or even for personal purposes. If you are asked to write one, you need to give honest feedback on that person, with as many details as possible, trying to rely on actual facts as much as you can.
What Is a Letter of Recommendation?
A letter of recommendation is a formal document that contains your personal opinion on someone based on shared experiences and background knowledge. It’s an attestation of that person’s capabilities, traits of character, expertise in specific fields, professional experience, and other aspects.
The tone and the information provided must be adjusted to the goal of the recommendation letter. Regardless of why the document was requested, it should be taken seriously and written with sincerity and attention.
Who Needs a Letter of Recommendation and When?
The first thing people think about when they hear the words ‘letter of recommendation’ is a job application. And it’s true; this is one of the most common purposes of a recommendation letter. Employers often want to get a better image of the job applicant and find out more relevant information that the resume doesn’t offer.
They want to know more about the applicant’s character or want to see them through the eyes of someone that knows them and has worked with them. But the use of letters of recommendation is not limited to job applications. They may be needed when applying for an academic institution, for immigration purposes, and many others.
You can be asked to write a character reference letter for court, an Eagle Scout letter of recommendation, or a simple letter of recommendation for a friend. These are some of the types of recommendation letters you may encounter: character reference (for immigration), college, fraternity, internship, scholarship, tenant, MBA, military, or for registered nurse.
Why Is the Recommendation Letter Important?
A letter of recommendation is requested when you apply for something important, and you are facing a lot of competition. People who will read your recommendation letter will have to decide which applicant is most suitable, so your letter needs to make you stand out from the crowd.
A character reference letter helps them see you from the perspective of someone who knows you well enough and can point out relevant aspects of your character and qualities.
The letter of recommendation gives a new level of authenticity to your overall presentation. There are certain aspects of your experience and background that are better presented by someone else. It’s a vote of confidence for your ability to perform well on the position you are interested in.
What Is Included in a Letter of Recommendation?
The letter of recommendation must be written from a personal perspective, so the format isn’t that strict. However, it still needs structure, so it’s a good idea to write it using a recommendation letter template, at least for general guidance.
Some of these letters can affect someone’s career or academic path, so they must have a positive impact; for that, they need to be well-written. These are the main elements any letter of recommendation template must have:
- The date of the letter of recommendation
- The name of the person receiving the letter
- The business relationship, or another type of link, depending on the situation
- The qualities that make them the right choice (character traits, abilities, how they respond to pressure, constancy, the potential to accomplish great things)
- Contact information of the person writing the letter
The letter of recommendation is an essential document that can make a difference in someone’s life, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s essential to choose the person to write it after serious consideration. If you are the one writing the document, be as honest and accurate as you can.
A well-written recommendation letter can help them get a great job or continue their studies with an excellent university. To make sure your letter will help, write it using a letter of recommendation template. You can try the one created by CocoSign. We offer a wide variety of templates, and they are all efficient and user-friendly.
Letter of Recommendation FAQs
How many recommendation letters should I submit for a college application?
When you apply for a selective college or university, they usually expect one to three letters of recommendation. Make sure to include one from a teacher and one from your guidance counselor.
Should I send a recommendation letter along with the resume?
It’s better to wait until they ask for references, once they have studied your resume and are interested in finding out more. Sending it with the resume or the cover letter isn’t advisable.
Can I use an old recommendation letter?
Letters of recommendation don’t have an expiration date. However, it’s not recommended to use an old one, that won’t make a good impression. These letters need to be recent, but you can ask someone who you worked with a long time ago to write one, for instance.
How many Eagle Scout letters of recommendation should I send?
The board of review will expect five or six recommendation letters. Make sure the persons writing them are clear about the deadline, so they don’t arrive too late.
Can the letter of recommendation be handwritten?
It’s possible that, in some instances, a handwritten recommendation letter may seem more personal. But these letters are generally requested by companies and institutions, so a handwritten letter won’t be appreciated. It’s a document that has to look as professional as possible, so it needs to be typed. The best way to write it is with a recommendation letter template.