Adjectives for Recommendation Letters: a Great Guide

A letter of recommendation is a document that describes a person’s good qualities, work ethic, and abilities.

Therefore, it’s important that the adjectives for recommendation letters accurately capture the best traits of the individual you’re recommending. Preparing a great application letter for a position is vital.

But any academic or job program will be incomplete without a letter of recommendation.

A man writing on a paper placed over a black table
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

People looking for a new opportunity frequently request a letter of recommendation from a senior or respected expert. The letter is deemed more credible when it comes from a reliable source.

Knowing the right words to use in your letter might help it be more impactful and efficient. In this article, we’ll look at some effective adjectives to use in a letter of recommendation.

Why Is a Letter of Recommendation Important?

A letter of recommendation highlights a candidate’s qualities and benefits, boosting their chances of getting hired or chosen. This is particularly beneficial for high-school or college graduates as they lack post-academic experience.

A recommendation letter can be of many types. Typically, you need to submit at least one letter of recommendation when you apply for a job, study program, or other similar position.

It offers an impression of your personality and character as seen through the eyes of another. This letter is also taken into account for higher-level job positions later in your career. Moreover, this letter is often a required document for the eligibility of certain academic scholarships.

Great Adjectives for Recommendation Letters

Having a letter of recommendation that is exceptional in its writing and overall sentiment may give you the edge over other candidates. People frequently use the same words when recommending someone as they successfully paint a positive picture of their character.

However, there are many other impactful words that you can use in your letter. The following list contains strong adjectives to describe how well-qualified the individual is for a position, along with example sentences.


The best students or employees succeed by pushing beyond the limits set by themselves and others.

A person who is driven is one who is goal-oriented and highly motivated in their profession. It could also be used to describe someone who takes the initiative regularly. ‘Driven’ is a great word to include in recommendation letter writing.

Example: John is a highly motivated and driven individual who always welcomes work challenges.

Valuable Asset

A valuable asset is someone who brings stability and longevity to a particular situation. The term “valuable asset” refers to someone whose abilities and skills are valuable enough to invest in. They have a high level of communication and social skills which makes most aspects of the company run smoothly.

Example: I am highly confident that he will be a valuable asset to any company.


Being genuine is of paramount importance in human relations. And writing a recommendation letter will make a much greater impact if it is done while honoring the personal honesty of the individual.

Genuine refers to a person’s sincerity and commitment to being who they truly are. It conveys their sincerity, which many people regard as reliable quality. You can try using the word in the middle of the reference letter.

Example: She has a genuine interest in her work.


A qualified person is capable and has the education, training, and experience necessary to carry out a job successfully.

When someone is referred to as qualified in a letter, it usually signifies that they have all the required skills. Try inserting this word in the middle or end of your recommendation letter.

Example: She is a highly qualified individual in her field of work.


Someone adaptable can handle unforeseen changes in a particular work or career and is flexible.

Occasionally, adaptive people support these changes because they perceive them as a challenge that keeps their workday fresh and stimulating. You can try using the word at any point throughout the recommendation letter.

Example: He is an incredibly adaptable man who can adjust to any new task fast.


Dependable is an adjective to describe an employee who can be counted on to properly do the work required for their position. A person who is dependable and trustworthy and has a strong work ethic is someone who comes highly recommended.

Example: He has established himself as a loyal and dependable source of information.

More Adjectives for Recommendation Letters

When writing recommendation letters, you must make them sound as convincing as possible. If this means finding some great-sounding words to embellish your letter, go for it! Here are a few more frequently used adjectives to describe the intellect, work ethic, temperament, and vigor of an individual.

Words for Intellectual Abilities

  • analytical
  • astute
  • bright
  • discerning
  • far-sighted
  • imaginative
  • insightful
  • inquisitive
  • intelligent
  • judicious
  • knowledgeable
  • logical
  • original
  • perceptive
  • resourceful
  • skilled
  • self-reliant
  • thoughtful

Words for Work Ethics

  • alert
  • committed
  • confident
  • determined
  • efficient
  • hard-working
  • methodical
  • orderly
  • prompt
  • precise
  • persistent
  • resolute
  • responsible
  • serious
  • thorough
  • tenacious

Words for Personality or Temperament

  • affable
  • assured
  • bold
  • considerate
  • composed
  • earnest
  • frank
  • good-natured
  • gregarious
  • likable
  • open
  • patient
  • polished
  • spirited
  • sociable
  • tolerant
  • team-oriented

Words for Energy or Vigor

  • active
  • ambitious
  • diligent
  • eager
  • energetic
  • enthusiastic
  • fast
  • industrious
  • independent
  • on-the-ball
  • pace-setting
  • productive
  • self-starting
  • speedy
  • vigorous
  • zealous


The words and phrases in a recommendation letter are important to identify an individual’s true potential and value from a different perspective. So, if you need the right adjectives to insert in your recommendation letter, the words in this post will come in handy.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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