What Is a Letter of Recommendation?

What Is a Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation describes a person’s qualifications and skills as they relate to employment or education. These letters typically come from previous employers, professors, colleagues, clients, or teachers. They discuss the qualities and capabilities that make the candidate a good fit for a given position, college, or graduate school program.

How a Letter of Recommendation Works

Applicants for a job or program typically request letters of recommendation from qualified individuals, who then send them directly to the employer, other hiring personnel, admissions committee, or department. Recommenders may offer you the opportunity to review the letter before they send it, but they aren’t obligated or expected to.

Requesting a Recommendation Letter

The letter writer should be someone who can speak directly to the quality of your work. Choosing the best people to write your letter of recommendation can be tricky.

  • Is in a position of authority or otherwise has a reputation that will mean something to the employer or admissions officer.
  • Has the time to write a letter that will truly impress a hiring manager.
  • Is familiar with your work and feels positive about it.

Writing a Letter of Recommendation

They should be able to tell you which skills and qualifications are most important for the job or academic program. If you’re asked to write a letter of recommendation, ask the requester for guidelines on what to include.

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