Writing Letters of Recommendation
Write letters of recommendation to provide relevant
information and to present an individual truthfully and
Guidelines for Writing Letters of Recommendation
Before writing the letter:
- In most cases, agree to write a letter of recommendation only if you can honestly
write a supportive letter. If you cannot portray an individual positively, decline to
write the recommendation.
- Ask for a current résumé and as
complete a description as possible of the position or program to which the person
- Assemble and review all other relevant information you may have about the
person you are recommending. It is often easy to overlook some important
Writing the letter:
- Present the person truthfully but positively. A recommendation that paints an
unrealistic picture of a candidate may be discounted. A recommendation that
focuses on negative qualities may do more harm than intended.
- Tailor the recommendation to the position. A letter recommending an individual
for a job as a camp counsellor should contain different information from that in a
letter recommending the same individual for a job as a computer
- Begin the letter by describing how you know the individual you are recommending
and the specific contexts upon which you are basing your evaluation. In what
situations have you known the individual? For how long? How closely?
- Present the individual's general qualities relevant to the position along with one or
two detailed examples. Including vivid detail will make the recommendation much
- In most cases, a letter of recommendation should consist of three or four
paragraphs and not be over one page in length.
## Writing Letters of Recommendation ##
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