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Never agree to write a letter of recommendation unless you Have the time to write it Know the individual well enough to discuss him or her in a tangible way Honestly feel comfortable writing the letter It is easier and better for all involved to politely say no when any of these conditions are not met.
No need to reinvent the wheel While it's true that the more personalized a letter of recommendation is the more effective it will probably be. And it's true that writing a letter, any letter, involves a certain amount of creativity.
It's also true that in terms of their underlying dynamics, what they cover and how they are organized-- letters of recommendation are almost always the same. In other words, good recommendation letters are highly formulaic.
So, approaching your letter from this context will not only make your writing easier-- it will make your recommendation more useful. Additionally, if you are unfamiliar with the conventions of business letter writing, be sure to review the suggestions shown here.
Put yourself in the reader's shoes The reader of your letter will most likely have read hundreds of recommendations before, and will have only limited time to devote to it. The business reader will have the applicant's resume.
The academic reader will have the applicant's transcript and his or her standardized test scores. Additionally, both types of readers will have the opportunity to interview their respective candidate.
What they need from you are four things.
A sense that your credentials are meaningful and therefore what you say in your letter is worth listening to A sense that you know the candidate well enough to form sound judgments A sense of whether or not you are vouching for the candidate Insights into the candidate's personal dimensions.
Insights that cannot be gleaned from a resume or transcript, and often not from an interview. These four items form the underlying dynamics of recommendation letters. Include all four in your letter, make them easily discernable, and you will have accomplished your task.
Each of the four underlying dynamics plays a role in determining the ultimate value of a recommendation, but only one requires much writing. Dynamic How communicated Writer's credibility What is writer's expertise? How important is writer?
How relevant is writer's background to his or her recommendation?
How long has writer been in a position to judge individual's talent and performance? In second sentence in opening paragraph of letter see letter format section below Writer's overall opinion of individual Is the writer strongly positive about individual, lukewarm, or something else?Craft a professional recommendation letter (or reference letter) in minutes using our free downloadable templates and samples.
Our comprehensive guide covers everything from how to write a letter of recommendation to how to ask for one. Step by step guide to writing a letter of recommendation. Employment recommendation Whether you are laid off or leave your job on your own accord a letter of recommendation from your employer can be a valuable tool for finding a new job.
The query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. The query letter is so much of a sales piece that you should be able to write it without having written a single word of the manuscript.
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