A Guide on Writing Formal Letter of Recommendation Request

Recommendation letters are important documents that represent an individual or a company’s good comments about you. As you try to submit one, you might wonder how to write a formal letter of recommendation request.

What if a Formal Letter of Recommendation?

Many employers may require you to provide a letter of recommendation as you apply for jobs. This can occur before, during, or after an interview.

You may be asked to provide letters of recommendation when you apply for admission to a university, a job, or a scholarship. Teachers, counselors, or managers typically write letters to prove your qualifications and character.

College applications typically require letters of recommendation. When looking for an undergraduate program or, sometimes, a graduate school, you usually need between one and three references.

Think about asking a teacher and your high school guidance counselor if you’re applying to college. Students you have worked with well (and a good rapport with) can also write you one.

A grad school application may need at least one or more letters from your professor. Ask professors who are in the same field as the program you are applying to.

Depending on how many graduate schools you are applying to, universities will ask for multiple letters of recommendation. Which is why you will need to request letters from a few relevant and reliable people.

Your letter of recommendation can also help identify your commitment and work ethic as an applicant. This will let the benefactor, school, or institution know that they will not ignore the consideration of your acceptance.

Usually, people who write recommendation letters include those who have seen your performance whether in a school or a company.

When you are applying for a job, your former managers or supervisors are often the best recommendation letter writers.

Why Do You Need Letters of Recommendation?

College applications often require letters of recommendation. An undergraduate or, sometimes, a graduate program will have one to three reference letters required.

Adding a recommendation letter to your cover letter or application may give you a competitive edge over other applicants. This applies even if your job application does not require a recommendation letter.

The recommendation letter is written by someone who can recommend your professional or academic performance. Since the message appears to contain accounts of your achievements, it may add valuable weight to your reputation.

You should only approach recommenders with whom you have been most frequently with.

Call and ask in person, so they are able to write it with enough time.

Provide the information necessary to write an effective letter by politely asking.

Although a recommendation letter is not always required, it can increase your chances of getting hired for your dream job.

A letter of recommendation can be quite intimidating, especially if you haven’t done so before. Especially, when choosing the person who will write one for you. You want someone who is honest and will highlight your accomplishments and best attributes.

Things to Remember before Writing a Formal Letter of Recommendation Request

When applying for a job, as mentioned above, recommendation from former colleagues play a vital role in your acceptance.

While it might seem intimidating or intrusive to ask for a letter of recommendation, many individuals are ready and willing to fulfill your request.

Many companies prefer references more than letters of recommendation, but there are circumstances when having letters of recommendations is required or encouraged.

Here are a few tips you can use to ask for a recommendation.

Check the instructions for the job or program applications carefully to determine if a letter of recommendation is required. Letters of recommendation may not be required in many cases.

However, if you provided them anyway, you might have an advantage over other applicants. Employers can hear from the recommenders what they value about working or interacting with you and your accomplishments that stand out to them.

If you do not need a letter of recommendation, you may send the letters as attachments to your application or follow-up emails.

How to Request a Formal Recommendation Letter Request

Choose the Best Recommenders

Take the time to determine which individuals in your network are most qualified to write you a letter of recommendation.

Managers or colleagues who have experienced work with you may be able to provide the most valuable insights. If the recommendation letter is for academic purposes, you might seek the help of academic counselors or professors.

Do not select your family or close friends for this task. Employers are likely to reject these recommendations as inaccurate or biased.

Talk to the Recommender

Although you should send a formal, written recommendation later, you inform potential recommenders prior to sending them a request. As a result, they are more likely to write your recommendation letter and are willing to do so.

If you talk to them, you should be able to update them about recent achievements and milestones you achieved. They can include these stories in their recommendations.

During this conversation, you must provide all relevant information. This includes what the recommendation is for and an overview of what it should consist of, and when you need it.

In addition to your recommendation letters, you may also want to include them on a reference list, if you are asked.

If you are requested to provide a reference list, then the people who write your recommendation letters may also be excellent options.

Having confirmed with each of your chosen writers, you should send them a personalized recommendation request.

In most requests for recommendations letters, the letter recipients will appreciate if you provide guidance. Because, they might be looking for specific information to write in the letter. Your current resume should be attached. So, your contacts can quickly familiarize themselves with you or refresh their memory about significant work experiences they had with you.

Send a Printed Copy

Next, email or deliver a printed copy to each person who agrees to write your recommendation letter. If you need your recommendation returned excellently, deliver it with instructions and contact information necessary for the recommendation.

You also have to clarify when you need the letter returned.

If the recommendation came later in the hiring process, you’ll probably find this information in the job posting or application.

Appreciate the Recommenders

Once your letters of recommendation have been completed, send thank-you notes to each individual who wrote a letter for you. Let them know you are grateful for their gesture. This is a common courtesy that will likely ensure better recommendation for you in the future.

Use a polite closing when ending the letter.

Please take a few minutes to review your appreciation notes to make sure there are no spellings, grammars, or syntax errors. If your message is free of errors, you show off your professionalism and attention to detail.

There are advantages to professional recommendation letters when submitting job applications. The best people to choose for your recommendation letters are managers or coworkers who have witnessed your work habits, skills and abilities.

Never ask friends for recommendation letters. You may find that your friend can provide an alternative-but useful-recommendation that is more detailed and intimate.

Sample Request for Formal Letter of Recommendation

Greetings, I am in the process of applying to [institution or company name]. Part of the application requires a letter of recommendation from someone who can effectively describe my work habits, skills and achievements.

Based on our years of experience together, I believe you can provide an effective, honest, and detailed letter on my behalf.

I would appreciate it if you could write a letter of recommendation for me that would emphasize my skills. In response to the letter, the deadline is [date].

If you cannot send a letter by that time due to this deadline, please let me know as soon as possible. Additionally, let me know if I can help you in writing your letter in a more detailed manner. I would be happy to share some information with you.

I thank you for your time and efforts.



To Wrap Up

When writing a Formal Letter of Recommendation Request, you should remember that the request is more than just asking for the letter.

You should also keep in mind that the formality of your letter will be the first step in receiving a favorable recommendation. Once you have these things in mind, you can create a request that would make the person feel comfortable writing the letter.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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