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What Should Someone Highlight in a Letter of Recommendation?

Sooner or later, at a certain stage in your career, you may be asked to write a letter of recommendation for your subordinate, colleague, or friend. Like with a resume, there are templates for writing a recommendation letter, and here you will find tips on how to properly approach this challenge and what points should be covered in the paper.

However, beyond the writing, you should also keep in mind proper proofreading for letters of recommendation, which can be done by yourself or entrusted to professionals.

What is a good recommendation letter?

A letter of recommendation is a written confirmation of someone’s professional skills and achievements. It reveals the person’s character and experience, their strengths and weaknesses, and, most importantly, their potential for further growth. 

An employer is not interested in learning whether the person likes Chinese food or has been collecting stamps since childhood. What the hirer really looks for in a potential employee is honesty, reliability, responsibility, intelligence, enthusiasm for work, and a desire to grow and develop. A good recommendation letter describes all these points in a few sentences.

The letter, as a rule, does not exceed one page in length (5-7 paragraphs) and consists of three parts: introduction, main body, and conclusion.

The letter is not about you and your company but about an employee. The information should be presented professionally and explicitly, without unnecessary explanations. 

Points to highlight

Letters of recommendation serve to provide additional information about an applicant – how the person did in studies, work, or something else. It should present a general picture of the employee’s personal qualities, experience, and skills.

If you do not know how to begin, it is a good idea to make a list of keywords and phrases related to the employee’s accomplishments and traits. It will help you avoid abstract phrases and metaphorical formulations. All you need to do is clearly state your point of view and provide evidence.

Organize the keywords and phrases into categories based on the following questions.

Professional skills

Does the employee have the competencies required for their position?

Can they get the job done right and on time?

How well do they know their professional area?

Can the person make decisions promptly?

Personal characteristics

How does the employee build relationships within a team?

Does he or she have a sense of humor?

Do they have an analytical mind?

How stress-resistant is the person?

Does this person have leadership skills?

Achievements

Think of two or three achievements of the employee during the time worked under your guidance.

Weak points

What weaknesses should the person overcome in order to develop professionally? Can the person learn from his or her past mistakes?

Potential

What do you think this employee can achieve?

Try to address the better sides of the person and see their potential. This letter gives you the power to influence someone’s future, so writing it must be approached with full seriousness and attention. And if you are skeptical about your editing skills, professionals from EssayEdge are always ready to help you.

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