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Letters of Recommendation

Writing an Effective Letter of Recommendation

  • Know whether your organization allows you to give references on current or former employees/students.
  • Consider declining the request if you are unable to provide enthusiastic endorsement or if you do not know the individual well enough to critique performance.
  • If you choose to write a letter, clearly identify the person being recommended and the purpose of the recommendation.
  • Identify yourself and indicate in what capacity you know the individual.
  • Indicate the length of your association and the candidate’s performance during your association.
  • Offer assessment of the person’s skills, abilities, attributes important for success, knowledge and experience.
  • Provide a closing statement summarizing your opinion of the person’s potential capabilities. Choose descriptive words carefully as they may carry special weight.
  • Letters of reference should be typed on your organization’s letterhead.