Tips on How to Write High Impact Letters of Recommendation

Congratulations. You've been asked to write a letter ofrecommendation for an employee or colleague. This person valuesyour opinion of him or her, and you'd be glad to help themadvance. The problem is you're unsure of what to say or how tosay it! Here are four tips to keep in mind when preparing yourrecommendation.

1. Ask the employee about the new position they are applying for.What types of job duties are involved? What sort ofcharacteristics are they looking for in a good employee? In yourletter, describe certain instances where this employee orcolleague really shined ? such as staying late to complete amission-critical project, working diligently to help a customermake a product decision, providing thorough technical support orservice, and so on. These specific situations have more effecton the person doing the hiring than general run-of-the-millphrases like "terrific manager", "enthusiastic worker" and soon.

2. Use powerful statements that really show your depth ofknowledge about the person. A description like "X is a keenobserver who knows how to make customers act and is there withthem every step of the way if they are hesitant or havequestions" gives a true, in-depth knowledge of the person in away that a casual letter may not.

3. Print off five letters of reference on company stationery andgive them to the recipient. This gives your colleague orcoworker additional letters for any other positions that he orshe may be applying for in the future, and saves you from havingto write them if the request comes around again! If you know it,put the address of the company to whom the letter is being sent,as well as the name of the person in Human Resources who will becollecting and organizing these reference letters. Apersonalized greeting is far better than a general "To Whom ItMay Concern" salutation. For the other four copies, leave theaddress area blank so that the employee can use them for otherjob opportunities that arise.

4. If you're really stuck on what to write, or simply don't havetime, ask the person requesting the reference to write a letterabout themselves in their own words and you'll sign it for them. This is a great time-saver and a perfect idea if you'restruggling to put the right words on paper.

If you keep these four tips in mind, writing a letter ofrecommendation will not only come easier to you, but it will letthe person receiving the letter know how much you value them asan employee or colleague, and will help them feel more confidentwhen they move on to the next step ? the interview. Goodluck!

Roger Clark is senior editor at Top Career Resumes and Career Information Resources who provide free information to job seekers on all aspects of finding a new job and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and ifestyle topics.


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