Request That Someone Write a Letter of Recommendation In Your Behalf — Letter-Writing Tutorial


Always ask a person whose recommendation will be respected--teachers from whom you have taken classes, immediate supervisors with whom you have worked, or other persons whose judgments the reader will value. The letter must be courteous, since asking for such a letter is an imposition on another's time. Since some letter writers would write a weak letter before declining, be confident that the writer will write you a good letter of recommendation.


1. Ask the reader to write a letter of recommendation in your behalf. Help the reader remember how he or she knows you (e.g. as an employee, classmate, student). Mention the dates during which your association took place.


  • I would be very grateful if you could write me a positive letter of recommendation for a position with Doe Electronics. As you know, I have been working as a student intern with that company for the past six months.
  • I am applying for a teaching position with the Community College and would be most appreciative if you could write a letter of recommendation in my behalf. I was a student in two classes you taught last winter semester (English 314 and 425) and was one of the assistants in your research project.
  • Since I have been working in your division for the past two years, I feel you are the person best qualified to assess my abilities. I would be honored if you would write a letter of recommendation in my behalf.
  • I am considering accepting a position with the state highway agency. Since I gained much of my surveying experience while employed with your firm from 2001 to 2005, I feel a letter of recommendation from you would be very helpful. If you feel you can write me a positive recommendation, I would appreciate it very much.
  • Since you know my work and accomplishments as a production supervisor better than anyone, I would like to ask you for a letter of recommendation.
  • Would it be possible for you to write a letter of recommendation for me?


  • a letter of recommendation
  • a letter from you would earn me serious consideration
  • academic background and training
  • I am turning to you because
  • I am applying for a position
  • you are the best judge of my abilities
  • As you know,
  • I feel confident that
  • I have always appreciated your
  • I have been laid off
  • I hope that you would be willing to
  • your help in submitting my application
  • information about my past experience
  • You may recall that
  • I need a letter of reference
  • perhaps you will remember
  • please remember my contribution
  • necessary to complete the attached form
  • I very much appreciate your help
  • I was in your class
  • I was responsible for
  • I will miss working with you
  • I hope that you will be willing to
  • we worked together on
  • I worked with you
  • would you be so kind as to
  • I would you provide a letter of reference
  • I would appreciate your recommending me
  • I would be honored if you would
  • I would be very grateful
  • I would find it very helpful
  • I would appreciate your help
  • I would appreciate your support
  • you are familiar with my work
  • your appraisal of my ability
  • thankful for your time and consideration

2. Describe the specific position for which you are applying.


  • I hope to be hired as a quality-control supervisor to oversee the technical work of certified inspectors.
  • I am applying for the position of senior lecturer in mathematics and statistics. My major responsibilities would be in teaching rather than in research.
  • I am applying to be a regional sales representative who will overseer the New England states.
  • I am submitting my application to be the football coach at the new high school.
  • I hope to be hired as an agent in the Drug Enforcement Agency, with responsibilities for monitoring border checkpoints.
  • I am applying for a management position with Doe Associates, and hoping that you would not mind writing a recommendation for me.
  • Would you be so kind as to write a recommendation for me to verify my abilities as an engineer?
  • I am trying to make a strategic career move from production to management, and I hope you will be willing to endorse my application with a letter of recommendation.


  • about the work I did under your supervision
  • I am applying for an opening
  • I am currently looking for a new job
  • I am a candidate for the position
  • I am applying to do graduate work in
  • I am currently seeking employment
  • I am applying for a position in
  • I am submitting an application to
  • as a result of the layoff
  • for a job I am interested in
  • hope to be hired as the
  • hope to move into management
  • hoping to be considered for membership in
  • important move for me
  • would be in charge of planning
  • involves organizing and scheduling
  • major responsibilities will include
  • make a career move toward
  • primary responsibility would be
  • put in a good word for
  • the job I am applying for is
  • this position is similar to
  • this position requires
  • verify my ability and experience as
  • will oversee the work of
  • will involve increased responsibility
  • will be in charge of
  • you know about my work with
  • you are well-acquainted with my efforts to
  • you are familiar with my success in

3. Give your reader some information to comment on by describing your past experiences, responsibilities, and contributions. Point out how your skills qualify you for the position. You want the reader to write more than "Jane is a good person." The information on a fully-developed resume would help the reader remember specific events as well as offer him/her positive information to use on your behalf. It may be helpful to attach it to your letter. In some cases, you may be able to insert your resume as an attachment with an email request.


  • It would be helpful to mention the work I did with your volunteer group.
  • I feel qualified for the position not only because of my academic training, but also because of the experience I gained while working with you on three language projects.
  • I appreciate your help because you know about my work with the sales force in Denver, and you were helpful in recommending me for the "Outstanding Rookie" award.
  • I believe the search committee would be particularly interested in knowing about my ability to work cooperatively in groups.
  • The personnel office already has my academic transcript, so it would be most helpful if you would give your appraisal of my ability to organize recreational programs and to motivate employees from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • I am enclosing a brief summary of my relevant experience and contributions. I hope it will be helpful.
  • I began my employment with you as an apprentice. In two years I advanced through the ranks to the position of senior editor.
  • During my employment, I was responsible for managing 10 major accounts.
  • If you recall, I saved the company money by streamlining the hiring process.
  • Since graduating with a B.S. degree in criminal justice, I have had 10years of law enforcement experience in both investigation and patrol duties.
  • I am looking for a position in which I can use the skills I developed while working for you. If you could discuss my abilities as a construction manager as well as my knowledge of federal highway specifications, I would appreciate it very much.
  • Since it has been several years since our last collaboration, I have enclosed a copy of my resume. Building on the solid foundation I established while working for you, I have steadily increased my skills and level of responsibility.
  • The attached resume will show you what I have been doing since our last discussion.
  • I am asking you to write a letter because you have first-hand knowledge of my abilities as a salesperson and as a supervisor of other salespeople.
  • It would be really helpful if you could describe my work on your management team.
  • Doe Corporation is specifically interested in people who have had experience with commercial design, so if you would talk about my work on your staff, I would appreciate it.
  • I am representing myself as something of an expert in South American economics, so it would be helpful if you could include information about the work I did for you in this area.


  • ability to work cooperatively
  • ability to motivate employees
  • advanced to the position of
  • I am enclosing a brief summary of
  • anything else positive about
  • are qualities I think I demonstrated in your class
  • we are looking for someone who is honest and organized
  • I began my employment with you as
  • experience relevant to the position of
  • experience I gained with you
  • you have first-hand knowledge of my
  • I have enclosed a copy of my resume
  • if you could mention the work I did on
  • you know about my work with
  • major points I am trying to emphasize are
  • you may recall that
  • you may remember my contribution
  • my ability to work with
  • my work habits and enthusiasm
  • position is similar to
  • primary responsibility would be
  • recommended me for
  • several years since I last saw you
  • I was responsible for
  • what I have been doing since we
  • would be interested in knowing about
  • would be helpful to mention
  • your appraisal of my ability to

4. Express your gratitude for the reader's time and consideration. Explain how the recommendation should be sent.


  • My sincere thanks for your help. Please send the recommendation in the envelope provided, with your signature across the seal.
  • Thank you very much for your consideration. You can send the recommendation directly to the university, as indicated on the form.
  • I will be most grateful for your help.
  • I thank you sincerely for your time and effort. Please send the recommendation to the Placement Office in the enclosed stamped envelope.
  • I know your time is valuable, so my thanks are deeply felt. Please return the form in the envelope provided, so I can include it with my full application.
  • It has been a privilege working with you. I will sincerely appreciate the recommendation you give me. I will drop by your office next week to pick up the form, unless you prefer to send it to me in the enclosed envelope.
  • Thank you for agreeing to write a recommendation for me. If you need further information, I'll be happy to supply whatever you need. Please call me at 555-5555.


  • please accept my heartfelt thanks
  • I appreciate your help
  • I believe I have a good chance
  • for your time and effort
  • for agreeing to write a
  • for your efforts on my behalf
  • for your help in this regard
  • it has been a privilege to work with you
  • I have enclosed a stamped envelope
  • in the envelope provided
  • I know that your time is valuable
  • a letter of recommendation
  • please send the recommendation directly to
  • I really appreciate any help you can give me
  • sincere thanks for your
  • thank you for
  • thank you for your prompt attention
  • thanks very much for your help
  • I will give you a call next week to follow-up
  • I will be most grateful for
  • I will drop by your office
  • I will always appreciate your help and support

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