Examples of Recommendation Letters

Mary Gormandy White
Thumbs up recommendation

Do you need to write a letter of recommendation for a former employee or a co-worker? A successful letter can help the person secure a job and can give the employer insight about the person's character and work ethic. Here are a few example documents that you can use as a starting point to create your own.

Five Recommendation Letter Examples

One of the best ways to create a recommendation letter is to look at examples of ones previously written. The five sample letters provided here are focused on different situations for which a recommendation letter may be requested. Choose the one most closely related to your particular situation, or review them all for inspiration.

You can tailor the letters for your own situation and needs, so feel free to use them to guide your efforts. To access any of the documents, simply click the corresponding image. The letter you click will open as a PDF file that you can edit as much as you like to save and print. See this guide for printables if you need assistance working with the files.

1. Administrative Employee

This sample letter illustrates how to write a recommendation for an administrative employee that you have supervised in the past but it could easily be adjusted for a co-worker.

2. Sales Representative

The language in this letter focuses on key points to cover when writing a recommendation letter for a professional salesperson.

3. Career Progression

This letter provides sample language that can be helpful when crafting a recommendation letter for someone who was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility during the time the two of you worked together.

4. Former Intern

Use this sample letter for inspiration when writing a recommendation for someone who worked with your organization as an intern.

5. Mentor Recommendation

The text in this sample letter is a good example of what you might want to say when recommending a co-worker to be considered for a volunteer role working as a mentor.

Letter of Recommendation Writing

Of course, the above sample documents represent just a few types of recommendations that you may need to provide for employees, coworkers and others with whom you have worked closely during your career. For example, you may be asked to pen a character reference, employment reference, scholarship recommendation or other type of recommendation letter for a co-worker, employee, supervisor or other professional contact.

Fortunately, the principles of writing an effective letter of recommendation are the same regardless of the reason the document is needed. The basic concepts outlined in these sample documents are applicable in any situation. You'll just have to tailor what you say based on the nature of the request you are fulfilling.

Some key points to remember when drafting a letter include:

  • Customize any recommendation letter that you write to the particular person and situation.
  • Clarify how you know the person for whom you are providing a recommendation.
  • Detail positive accomplishments, contributions and abilities.
  • Be complimentary, but not overly complimentary to where it may seem inauthentic.
  • Use an appropriate business letter format.
  • Ensure that the finished document is professional-looking and free from typographical errors, grammatical mistakes and inaccuracies.

A Big Responsibility

Agreeing to write a recommendation letter for another person is a big responsibility. Once you make a commitment to do this, it is very important that you honor your word by writing a quality letter that is submitted in advance of the deadline. Failing to follow-through could keep the person from being considered for an opportunity that is very important to him or her. As a matter of courtesy, let the person who requested the letter know when it has been submitted so the individual will not have any reason to worry about whether or not his or her application materials are complete.

Examples of Recommendation Letters