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What is a recommendation letter?

Rec-om-men-da-tion Let-ter n. [document similar to a cover letter except your references write it on your behalf and send it as part of your application]

Requesting letters of recommendation

When requesting a letter of recommendation from someone, consider the following suggestions:
  • Allow ample time in requesting a letter from a reference (at least a week or two)
  • Provide the person writing the letter with the job description, letter requirements, and your resume
  • Send a proper thank you after requesting recommendation letters
  • Keep your references in the loop on the final hiring decision

Writing a recommendation letter for someone else

If you are asked to write a recommendation letter for someone, consider including the following:
  • The capacity in which you know the person and how long you have worked with him or her in that capacity
  • Your impressions of the person's work ethic, professionalism, integrity, perseverance, and other qualities (be specific and use examples or anecdotes, if possible)
  • Your impression on how the person balances work, school, and personal life
  • The knowledge, skills, and abilities that would contribute to the person's success in the role he or she is working toward
  • The person' s strengths and potential as a future employee or graduate student in his or her specific field
  • Unique characteristics and accomplishments in relation to the role he or she is applying for or the person's career path in general
  • How the position or role he or she is applying for fits with his or her academics or overall career goal

Online recommendations

Remember when you transition from a position, it is the best time to request a recommendation. Many employers may prefer to do so online. Consider requesting that they submit your recommendation letter via LinkedIN.