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How to Write a Letter of Recommendation

Recommendation letter is an essay that written for students or employees who are looking for education and experience. The purpose of the letter of recommendation is to address the capabilities and characteristics of an individual stating why he/she is a perfect fit for the university application or job designation.


Letter of recommendation is basically a document that states the competence of the individual that helps the university or organization to understand his/her strengths.

What is LOR (Letter of Recommendation) needed for?

Letter of recommendation is valued by universities and firms as it gives the institution or employee and insight of the individual’s personality and achievements. The person who provides the information or writes the referral/recommendation letter is called a referee. The letter signifies the experience of the referee with the individual as a student or employee per se. The referee recommends and highlights the qualities and accomplishments of the student or employee stating how he/she has improved and has been advantageous for the surrounding. Students or employees can approach following people for recommendation letter:

For Students

  • Students can approach their college professor or dean who they approached for guidance and advice. The referee should be aware of the student’s background and academic status in order to compose a relevant LOR which points out their strengths and experiences.
  • If the student has interned at an organization and has managed to integrate good impression on their manager, he/she can approach them for LOR. Internship or a work experience in general talks about how professionally inclined the student and how he/she adds value in work. 

For Employees

a. With an experience at an organization, employees can approach their managers or superior designated employee. The referee should be aware of the activities you have performed at the firm and should have affirmative insight towards your contribution at the organization.

LOR is a mandatory requirement for international students. Universities and colleges list LOR as one their requirements enlisted. LORs are typically 400 to 500 worded document, students are required to submit minimum 2 letters of recommendation. LOR is a support document that configures the applicant’s profile. Letter of recommendation should be composed by the referee with effective information of the individual.

FORMAT for Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

Recommendation letter is generally spread in 5 paragraphs addressing the individual’s capabilities and role. The paragraphs are divided with each component that delivers sufficient or necessary information about the individual. It is important to choose the referee carefully, as the recommendation letter should be composed by someone who has positive insights about the individuals and truly stands or believes in claims and experiences.

  • First paragraph must establish the referee’s nature of association with the individual along with describing briefly describing the individual’s education or professional designation. And concluding the paragraph with the hint of why the referee is pleased to recommend the individual.
  • Second paragraph must briefly discuss about the qualities of the individual that the referee recognises as his/her potential strengths. This paragraph must entirely focus on how these capabilities have improved or impacted the individuals overall personality.  
  • Third paragraph must be sentences of experiences that provide a factual scenario describing the student or employee’s strength and dedication towards a project.
  • Fourth paragraph must be a description of qualities contained in the individual that describes his or her capabilities and determination towards the profession or study.
  • Fifth paragraph is a conclusion paragraph that mainly focuses on how the individual can profit from joining the university or how he/she can be a great addition to the firm or institution. Along with why the referee strongly recommends the individual.
  • Sixth paragraph: Referee must provide personal contact details to the institution or organization for further contacting assistance.

There are few set of guidelines for composing a Letter of recommendation-

  • Accurate and relevant information should be composed
  • The referee should have positive insight towards the individual
  • The language and composition of the letter must be understandable, preferably written by someone who is familiar with the format and language
  • Avoid grammatical mistakes
  • Keep the sentences short and on-point
  • Make sure you do not exceed over 500-600 word limit
  • Discuss about the role and responsibilities of the individual
  • The referee must be aware of the individual’s timeline of at least 6 months
  • The referee must have a qualification that is recognized
  • Provide accurate contact details of the referee

Letter of Recommendation Samples:

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