Write a Recommendation or a Reference Letter | Letter-Writing Guide


See our recommendation-letter articles.


1. If you do not know who will receive your letter of recommendation, another salutation such as "To whom it may concern" is acceptable. You may include in the subject heading the fact that you are writing in confidence.

  • TO: University Admissions Committee
    FROM: Doe Corporation
    DATE: September 1, 2019
    RE: John Doe, Applicant for Admission (Confidential)
  • Recommendation for John Doe
  • Letter of Recommendation for John Doe
  • Introducing John Doe
    to the University Admissions Committee
  • To Prospective Employers
  • To whom it may concern
  • reference: John Doe
  • with regard to
  • re: John Doe
  • recommendation for
  • letter of recommendation for
  • to the prospective employer

2. Express your positive feelings about writing the letter. Then explain how long you have known the person and what your professional relationship has been (supervisor, teacher, co-worker).

  • I am delighted to be asked to provide a reference for John Doe. I first became acquainted with Mr. Doe in 2018 when he joined the development group that I supervised.
  • It is a pleasure to recommend John Doe as a sales supervisor. Mr. Doe has worked directly under my supervision for the past eight years.
  • I am pleased to comment on Ms. Doe's performance as a secretary. I have known Ms. Doe since our graduation from State University in 2018, when we both started work at the Doe Corporation.
  • I have been Mr. Doe's employer for more than two years, and I can recommend him for your consideration, confident that his character and scholarship will measure up to your university's high standards.
  • As a former employee of your firm who has some understanding of your needs, I am pleased to offer my personal assessment of Ms. Doe's qualifications.
  • It has been a pleasure to be Mr. Doe's supervisor since 2018.
  • I have no hesitancy in writing a letter of recommendation for Mr. Doe, a superb mechanic.
  • It is a pleasure to write a letter of recommendation for Ms. Doe.
  • Mr. Doe has asked me to write a letter of recommendation to accompany his application for employment. I am very pleased to do so.
  • I have known Ms. Doe since 2018, when she enrolled in my accounting class.
  • I was Mr. Doe's teacher in two advanced therapy classes during winter semester, 2018.
  • Mr. Doe, about whom you inquired in your letter of December 19, was a district manager with us from March 2010 to July 2018. Subsequently; he left to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures.
  • I am honored to support John/Jane Doe as a candidate for the position of
  • I am pleased to provide a reference for
  • I am pleased to write a character reference for
  • I am delighted to be asked to provide a reference for
  • I am happy to recommend
  • I am pleased to comment on
  • I can offer the highest recommendation for
  • I first became acquainted with
  • first came to my attention when
  • has worked under my supervision for
  • has worked directly under my supervision
  • It has been a pleasure to supervise
  • I have known Mr./Ms. Doe for
  • I have no hesitation in recommending
  • I have been his/her supervisor since
  • his/her performance as a
  • his/her qualifications and performance
  • I have had the opportunity to
  • in response to your enquiry,
  • in the past two years,
  • it is a pleasure to recommend
  • was a student in two of my classes
  • was employed by us from

3. Discuss the person's qualifications for the position. Statements of past performance, accomplishments, and contributions are helpful. Also mention any honors or awards the person has received during your professional relationship. In order to communicate your positive recommendation, the statements that you offer should be detailed and also be relevant to the desired position. The greater the detail, the better your letter will communicate your positive recommendation. General comments provide a neutral recommendation or suggest that you do not really recommend the person highly, perhaps because you have reservations about his/her prospects or performance.

  • While she was with us, Jane supervised the maintenance of all computer networks. This responsibility involved working with 42 separate offices.
  • His extraordinary ability to analyze problems and outline necessary courses of action always kept us on schedule.
  • She was always punctual and willing to accept new assignments.
  • Her ability to interact with customers and resolve their complaints in a pleasant manner gave us a significant advantage over our competitors.
  • In the past 10 years, he has submitted 23 suggestions that the Doe Corporation has implemented, saving the company thousands of dollars.
  • In a class of 30, he completed the course with the second highest grade.
  • In the first six months of her employment with us, her innovations saved the company over $12,000.
  • By restructuring the packaging process, he was able to reduce delivery time by 20%.
  • Her keen sense of organization and unlimited energy led to her promotion a year earlier than usual.
  • He has remarkable ability to motivate co-workers and to build a spirit of camaraderie.
  • Her greatest talent is in developing innovations for new products.
  • I cannot overemphasize his track record in writing successful proposals.
  • When our production date was moved up, he willingly worked overtime every day for eight weeks to help us catch up.
  • She is an active and articulate participant in staff meetings and policy discussions. She volunteers useful comments without being prodded and, when called upon unexpectedly to answer a question, she can always frame an intelligent response.
  • He grasps new concepts quickly and accepts constructive criticism and instruction concerning his work.
  • She finishes her work on schedule. When she has a concern or question about an assignment, she speaks her mind clearly and directly, giving voice to what others may feel but cannot or will not say.
  • a creative problem-solver
  • always cheerful and dependable
  • always met his deadlines
  • always behaves professionally
  • among her significant contributions to the company are
  • broad range of skills
  • I can attest to his integrity
  • careful attention to detail
  • comments are well thought out and clearly articulated
  • communicates her ideas clearly
  • communicates effectively in writing
  • completely loyal and trustworthy
  • deals sensitively with customers and co-workers
  • demonstrated particular strengths in
  • discharged her duties satisfactorily
  • follows tasks through to completion
  • fulfilled the job requirements admirably
  • gets along well with others
  • handles administrative tasks efficiently
  • handles responsibility well
  • has a take-charge personality
  • has a flair for organization
  • her sensitivity and concern for others
  • innovative and creative
  • a tireless worker
  • mature beyond her years
  • intelligent and ambitious
  • personable and easy to work with
  • keeps calm under pressure
  • meticulous attention to detail
  • one of our finest, most well-rounded undergraduates
  • outstanding leadership abilities
  • oversees a meeting tactfully and effectively
  • punctual and hard-working
  • self-motivated individual
  • demonstrated a wide-range knowledge of
  • willing to go beyond what is required
  • willing to take on new responsibilities
  • works efficiently and effectively
  • works independently and effectively
  • works well with little supervision

4. If appropriate, give reasons for the termination of the individual's employment.

  • I believe he left us to pursue a more challenging job opportunity.
  • He left the company when we were downsizing our Boston operation. He was the most recently hired.
  • We are sad to see him leave our firm, but we understand that he needs to relocate for family considerations.
  • The loss of government contracts has caused us to curtail operations in our Springfield plant where she was employed. If circumstances were to change, we would not hesitate to rehire her.
  • We are reluctant to let him go, but recognize that this position would be an excellent professional opportunity for him.
  • Although we wish she would stay with us, we don't want to stand in the way of her professional advancement.
  • We are sorry to learn that she is leaving; our loss is clearly someone else's gain.
  • a more challenging job opportunity
  • I am sorry to see him go
  • I am reluctant to let him go
  • I am sorry she is leaving
  • we are sorry to lose her
  • we are sad to see him leave
  • as a result of a layoff
  • contributions will be missed
  • gave no reason for his resignation
  • good career move for her
  • have curtailed operations in
  • in line with the company's policy
  • it is with regret that we
  • left us to pursue
  • most recently hired
  • needs to relocate because
  • our loss will be someone else's gain
  • understand that he needs to
  • when we were downsizing
  • we will certainly miss
  • wish that she could stay
  • wish we were in a position to
  • would not hesitate to rehire

5. Close with a clear statement of your recommendation and a willingness to cooperate further.

  • Mr. Doe will be a great addition to your staff. If I can assist you further, please call.
  • I am pleased to give my unqualified recommendation for John Doe to be your personnel director.
  • Because she has been so innovative and conscientious, I do not hesitate to recommend her very highly to your company.
  • I have no hesitation in recommending Mr. Doe to you as a highly effective manager; I believe he will exceed your expectations.
  • Jane Doe has my strong recommendation. She will be a credit to your firm.
  • I am confident that Mr. Doe will continue to be very productive. He has my highest recommendation.
  • If I could, I would rehire her because I am sorry to see her go. Nevertheless, I know that this move is important to her family.
  • I give her my highest recommendation, without reservation. Please call me if you have further questions.
  • I have nothing but admiration and respect for John. He leaves my company with my highest recommendation.
  • It is satisfying to be able to give him my highest recommendation. I hope this information proves helpful.
  • Based on her performance with us, I am confident she will do very well in any sales context.
  • I know of no reason why you should hesitate to hire Mr. Doe.
  • I offer my highest recommendation for Ms. Doe as a prospective member of your task force.
  • I enthusiastically recommend Mr. Doe as a promising candidate.
  • Seldom have I been able to recommend someone without reservation. It is a pleasure to do so in the case of John Doe.
  • I will be pleased to answer any additional questions you may have.
  • I am very interested in Mr. Doe's application and will be happy to provide further information.
  • an asset to your organization
  • every confidence in his/her ability to
  • I give my unqualified recommendation
  • has always proved satisfactory
  • has my highest recommendation
  • I have admiration and respect for
  • I have no reservations in
  • I hope this information proves helpful
  • if I can further assist
  • if you have further questions
  • if you need additional information
  • if you would like more information
  • recommend without reservation
  • recommend him/her very highly
  • writing to request your favorable consideration of
  • should be given serious consideration
  • should you have any questions
  • under other conditions with another supervisor
  • under the right circumstances
  • I will be happy to speak with you
  • will be happy to speak with you
  • will meet your expectations
  • will be successful in any enterprise he undertakes
  • will be a credit to your
  • will measure up to your high standards
  • will be a great addition to
  • would be an asset to any company
  • would be a valuable addition to

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