Before preparing a recommendation letter, make sure you understand the circumstances, as this may become one of the most life-changing documents for a person who is described. In this article, we will explain the difference between various types of recommendation letters, mention the best practices in writing the recommendation letters, and provide you with a sample of this type of document. Do not think about just finding and editing your recommendation letter sample as soon as possible, think about the fulfillment of your ultimate purpose with the help of this document (like getting a new job, being admitted to education, being selected as a tenant, etc.). Please read this article carefully and think about what you need to make sure the following example of a recommendation letter plays out for you. You will find all the essential information below.
Recommendation Letter or Reference Letter?
For the avoidance of doubt, we need to confirm that when you hear “reference letter”, “letter of reference”, “recommendation letter”, or “letter of recommendation” mentioned, it will relate to the same type of document, and you can usually choose how to name the paper yourself. All these names are correct and widely understood, though it is better to keep the tone corresponding to the region that you live in. We will recommend the best way to name your document, depending on your location.
Recommendation letter samples for your purpose
Most samples of recommendation letters that you can find online relate to the job reference (employment reference). No surprise, as this is the most common type of recommendation paper all around the world. You can face this process many times in your life, depending on your occupation. You may also be asked to bring a letter of recommendation regarding a scholarship or admission to an institution; tenant/landlord reference letters are becoming popular in many countries; some recommendation letter examples are business-related. The purpose of your reference paper is the key to writing a good document, so make sure you are getting exactly what you want. So-called character reference letter examples are usually related to some immigration or internship situations. Still, there are many other situations when you are asked to provide a reference paper.
A co-worker, employer, mentor, professor, teacher, landlord, friend, family member, business partner, or any other entity providing the letter of reference is called the referee. In the modern world, it is very common to ask for references. This practice is especially widespread in highly populated regions like Hong Kong, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa. Now, let’s explore good recommendation letter samples for different situations; whether you need to write it for your employee or your friend, you will learn how to do it.
Think about asking for your letter of recommendation in advance
The recommendation letters are usually requested to be written in case some person applies for a benefit. Also, they can be issued in advance without specifying an addressee (this type of reference often starts with the words “To whom it may concern”). If you think you are doing well on your job, in your academic research, or your business, it is a good idea to ask for your recommendation letter sample when you have your chance. There is nothing weird or unusual in asking for this type of document, but make sure that the entity you request the reference letter from does not think you are going to leave. Anyway, it may be worth taking a risk, because later (for any reason) you may not be able to get your sample of recommendation letter from that person or organization – a company may cease to exist, or can be totally restructured; a person can relocate, and you may lose your contact with them. Moving forward to recommendation letter examples, let’s first identify how to name it appropriately.
Professional letter of recommendation should be appropriately named
Depending on your location, your sample of recommendation letter should be named according to the local standards. To make the document look professional, it is also a good idea to add some specifics to reflect what exactly the paper is all about. First, let’s make sure you use the correct term.
It is recommended to use the term reference letter in Hong Kong and South Africa, as well as in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and their close allies, including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Opt into the recommendation letter in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia (including Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines), Middle East (including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, and Egypt), Africa (including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania), Scandinavia and Northern Europe (including Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands). The United States widely uses both terms, but the recommendation letter form is a bit more popular.
As we mentioned above, your professional letter of recommendation should reflect the specifics of this exact document. For example, don’t forget to state whether the recommendation is a personal character or business type. Also, state where the document is coming from. Mention the referee at the header of the recommendation letter: current employer, former employer, friend, landlord, professor, mentor, co-worker, former colleague, business partner, corporate client, former employee, etc.
Sample recommendation letter for employee (from employer – signed by co-worker or manager); usually given to someone seeking their next place of employment. Generally, any employment recommendation letter examples will describe how good was the person in their previous role, including both personal and professional qualities.
So, how to write a good recommendation letter for an employee or a former co-worker? In short: you introduce yourself, explain the person’s duties in their previous role, mention some important qualities, and finally give your contacts for any further inquiries. Below you can find the list of qualities, some of which are often mentioned in samples of recommendation letters for job seekers: team player, strong work ethics, the capability to work under pressure and stick to the deadlines, initiative, inspiring, reliable, educated, dedicated, particular, punctual, can keep the files organized, great attention to details, keep working space clean, excellent communication skills, ability to negotiate effectively, great strategical thinking and ability to see the bigger picture (especially valuable for managing roles), can think out of the box, a customer-centric mindset, proactive in helping other employees, low-conflict personality, has got good customer feedback, can-do attitude, creativity (for specific roles). When writing a reference letter, it is a good idea to mention any awards or achievements that the person has. Some quantitative metrics can be included, as well.
Sample recommendation letter for student (from teacher, professor, or mentor); usually given to someone seeking admission to education (college, university, MBA program, etc.). The main purpose of this type of letter is to describe how good is the student in satisfying certain education program requirements. As in other examples of the recommendation letter, the document starts with the referee introduces themselves. After that, the referee expresses their opinion regarding the student, and finally leaves their contact details (at the beginning or end of the reference letter). Some personal qualities to mention in the paper: quick learner, high level of discipline and punctuality, top achiever, good listener, analytical mind, ready to help others, can ask right questions, highly responsible, proactively involved in the academic community, low-conflict personality, initiative, attentive and motivated. Of course, it is helpful to mention some exact academic and personal achievements, as well as any scores or awards that the student got.
Sample recommendation letter for tenant (from landlord or real estate agent); usually given to someone applying to lease a property, either residential or commercial. The main purpose of this type of letter is to describe how good was the tenant with their previous lease. First, the referee landlord or real estate agent introduces themselves, then the property profile, and how the tenant was involved in its lease. When writing a reference letter for a rental, it is worth stating the period of the lease and the price (optionally). As the next landlord wants to make sure that their property is going to be safe with the new tenant, it is essential to highlight anything from the previous lease that can help in the research. Is the tenant able to look after the property well? It is necessary to mention how punctual was the tenant with the payments, was the property kept clean, was it involved in any situation with the neighbors or institutions. Finally, the referee confirms whether the property was damaged during the lease and was the damage repaired or paid by the tenant.