What Is a Professional Recommendation Letter?
A professional recommendation letter details and affirms the best qualities and achievements of an old colleague. This letter helps them secure a specific job position in another company, as well as help them further their chances for a better life. A professional recommendation letter is commonly submitted along with other job application requirements, such as a resume and a cover letter.
How To Write a Professional Recommendation Letter
A professional recommendation letter puts an applicant in a favorable light for his application, just like what scholarship recommendation letters do. It is the applicant’s previous employer and colleague that usually writes the letter, highlighting the applicant’s best qualities as a person and employee. Provided on the list below are steps on how to write a professional recommendation letter.
1. Provide the Basic Information Needed in Its Letterhead
Just like every formal letter, you must write the necessary basic information in its letterhead first when writing a recommendation letter for an old colleague. This information includes the names and addresses of both the employer and author. That way, it helps the employer know about the author, as well as provide more credibility.
2. Address the Letter Accordingly
Professionally addressing the letter adds more credibility to the letter’s purpose. In this case, you should address the recommendation letter should a particular company or person. You may go by the professional the company’s hiring officer if it should be addressed to a specific company. You may also include “Ma’am/Sir” in the recipient field if it’s not.
3. Specify Your Relationship With the Applicant
The primary ingredient for a professional recommendation letter’s success is credibility. And the best way to do it is by specifying your relationship with the applicant. As mentioned, these letters are written by the most credible people to vouch for the applicant. So if you are writing a recommendation letter for an old colleague’s job application, make sure to specify whether you are his previous employer, immediate superior, or colleague.
4. Highlight the Applicant’s Best Qualities
A professional recommendation letter vouches for the applicant’s qualifications with credibility. And now that you’ve established credibility to an old colleague’s recommendation letter, the next thing to do is to detail your former colleague’s best traits, as well as how it helped the company and his co-employees. This will help paint a positive picture of your old colleague towards his future employers and boost his chances of getting the position.
5. Close the Letter Persuasively, and Sign
After completing all the previous steps, it’s now time to close the letter persuasively. To do so, explain how your old colleague has been an asset to your company and why he would be to his future employers, as well. Aside from that, you should also express your willingness to answer any questions form them by providing your contact details. Doing so will help further add credibility to your old colleague’s application and boost his chances of getting the job. Then, sign the letter after to close the letter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who else can write a professional recommendation letter?
Professional recommendation letters are mostly written by the applicant’s previous employers and colleagues. But apart from that, these letters can be written by the applicant’s former college professors, mentors, or advisors. You can also write them as long as you’re credible enough to vouch for his qualifications for the position the applicant wants.
Do I need to talk with the applicant before writing a professional recommendation letter?
Yes, you must. Talking to the applicant before writing a professional recommendation letter allows you to tailor-fit the letter accordingly. What’s more, is it also helps you help boost the applicant’s chance of landing the job position as well. Aside from that, it will also allow you to contact some of the colleagues that you and the applicant know who could vouch for him as well.
How many professional recommendation letters does the applicant need for his job application?
Most companies will usually do so as for 2 or 3 professional recommendation letters to go with the applicant’s job application. However, The required number of these letters may also vary depending on the company’s job application requirements. So it’s best to ask the applicant himself regarding these so you can help him find others that can write a professional recommendation letter for him.
Is a professional recommendation letter similar to a job recommendation letter?
In some ways, yes. Although you write both these recommendation letters for job applications, they do differ depending on the position they want. Job recommendation letters are usually for applicants who are applying for clerical, menial, and non-administrative jobs. While a professional recommendation letter is usually for professionals who are applying for professional and administrative jobs.
Does a professional recommendation letter guarantee the position an applicant wants?
Not entirely. A professional recommendation does not guarantee the applicant the position. It may, however, help him to some degree depending on how credible and persuasive the professional recommendation letter is. Furthermore, this letter will only give a glimpse of the applicant’s qualities through his character references, which serves as the basis for the hiring officer to give the position to the applicant or not.
Vouching for an old colleague not only helps them find a better life somewhere else. It offers you a way of giving back for the sake of the good times that you shared with them. Writing a professional letter enables you to vouch for their character in a more credible way. Thus, allowing you to help an old colleague a chance to a better life in return.