How to Write a Letter of Recommendation - Continued

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Third Paragraph: Applicant Quality # 1
State the applicant's most noteworthy quality, and support that claim with a specific anecdote. For instance, you might say that Samantha is, first and foremost, a born leader; then, support that statement by telling about the time Samantha took the initiative to form a task force to deal with a glitch in the company's computer accounting system. 

Fourth Paragraph: Applicant Quality # 2
Again, state your claim with specific anecdotes and concrete examples.


Sixth Paragraph: State why you think the applicant's plans suit him/her.

Seventh Paragraph: State how you think the applicant will contribute to the program or company.

Last Paragraph: Strongly reaffirm your confidence in the applicant's abilities and conclude by telling the readers they should feel free to contact you in case they need more information. Don't forget to include your contact information beneath your signature and name.


Don't handwrite the letter; type it. Handwriting a letter is a sign that you are not serious about the task and will reflect poorly on the applicant.

Remember to use official letterhead, to sign the letter, and to include both complete contact information. When you have folded the letter and put it in an envelope, sign across the seal.

The length of letters of recommendation varies greatly, but five paragraphs is usually the minimum. On the same note, don't go overboard and churn out seven pages, even if you are highly enthusiastic about the candidate. Choose your content wisely, and remember that a concise letter is usually more effective than an overly verbose one.

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