How to Write an Employee Recommendation Letter (With Example)?

How to Write an Employee Recommendation Letter (With Example)?
Last Updated: November 29, 2023

Employees play an important role in assisting former employees to get a new position elsewhere or to attain enrolment into educational programs. With the grave importance of this task, one has the responsibility to shape a person's future by clearly articulating the person's qualifications, abilities, and knowledge. An employee recommendation letter validates one's work, skills, or academic performance to prospective employers. This letter is written by the current or previous employer, vouching for their competencies throughout their employee-employer relationship.

A letter of recommendation for an employee is a document that details the assessments of one's qualities, characteristics, and abilities being recommended for a role or function. This article will take you through how to ensure that this is done effectively and provide an example to illustrate the principles that will be brought forward.

Understanding the Purpose of the Employee Recommendation Letter

A testament or proof of one's capabilities, how one conducts oneself at work, and character is the purpose of an employee recommendation letter. According to Coursera, a letter of recommendation for employees produces insights to the possible employers or educational institutions on how and why the individual is such a valuable addition.

To develop a quality and personalized letter of recommendation for an employee, it is important to source all the information from the employee. Firstly, one has to request a copy of the employee's resume, the job description or job posting they are applying for, and any specific examples or achievements they would like you to highlight in the letter. These insights will assist in writing a letter tailored to the specific employee and properly outlining who they are.

Structure of a Recommendation Letter


The structure of a well-presented recommendation letter should include the following:

Introduction: this is where you briefly outline your relationship or connection with the employee, including the time you have known or worked with each other and in which environment.

Body: in this section, there is a need for exact examples of past events showcasing the employee's abilities, attributes, and qualifications.

Conclusion: this last remark is where one reiterates their recommendation and leaves their contact information for any further questions.

How to Write an Employee Recommendation Letter: Tone and Language

It is very important when writing a letter of recommendation for employees to use the right tone and language. Below are some tips to consider on this journey:

Professional and Positive Tone: You must keep a professional tone no matter how well you know the individual, highlighting their positive attributes and achievements. Most importantly, one should avoid using casual language in this letter of recommendation for employees.

Avoid Common Recommendation Letter Pitfalls: In this letter, avoid using generic phrases that do not add value to the addressed matter. Instead, look into the details showcasing the employee's talents that suit the current subject. For instance, for an educational institution, the focus should be more on the individual's characteristics, yet with a job opportunity, it should be more on their capabilities.

Honesty and Authenticity: Provide an honest and genuine assessment of the employee. Highlight their strengths while also acknowledging areas for growth, if applicable. However, maintain a positive tone and focus on the employee's qualities.

Personalization Matters: The most important part of the letter of recommendation is making it as personalized as possible. The key here is to avoid generic templates, as they miss the personalized feel that will make a recommendation credible and stand out. Write a letter for your employees to suit the opportunity they aim to attain. This will show the interest, passion, and time spent drafting the recommendation.

Highlight Key QualitiesThe soul of the letter of recommendation for employees lies in the body. Here is where one showcases the strengths of the employee. Within this section, try and implement some of the following:

  • Include specific accomplishments.
  • Add case studies or narrations to illustrate the individual's quality.
  • Write about their work ethic and interpersonal skills.

Address Weaknesses Tactfully: The saying is truly right that no one is perfect. With that, it is very important to mention any areas where the employee needs some improvement. Always highlight their willingness to learn and grow, demonstrating a balanced perspective.

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Letter of Recommendation for Employee: Example

To help you better understand the principles discussed, here's an example recommendation letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

I strongly recommend [Applicant Name] for [position with Company Name].

I am [Your Name], a [your position] at [Company]. I have [number] years of experience working in [your industry] and have seen many young professionals come and go. [Applicant Name] is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.

During our time together, [Applicant Name] displayed great talents in [skill, trait, experience, class, etc.]. When we first met, I was immediately impressed with [Applicant's Name], and when we worked together, her understanding of [key topic] grew far more than that of her peers.

[Insert personal story elaborating on key skills, traits, or experiences].

It's not just [Applicant's Name] technical skills that impress me, however. [Name] was a joy to work with because of [Pronoun] 's amazingly positive attitude and [positive trait]. [Pronoun] [positive trait] and [positive trait] were also necessary and valued not just by myself but by [Pronoun] peers, who often relied on [Pronoun] to get the job done.

I am confident that [Applicant Name] would be a great fit for your [Company]. Not only will [Pronoun] bring the kind of skills and experiences you're looking for in an applicant, but [Pronoun] will also quickly become an asset and help your [Company] grow in any way [Pronoun] can.

If you need more information or specific examples, please do not hesitate to contact me at [contact information]. As a recommendation letter likely only provides a snapshot of [Pronoun] talents and achievements, I would happily elaborate further on my time working with [Pronoun].


[Your Name, Company, and Title]

In conclusion, a letter of recommendation for an employee showcases the qualifications, capabilities, and the employee's likelihood of success in the next role. There is a need to use thought and personalization in the matter. The above article has provided a guide on how to go about writing a letter of recommendation. A well-crafted letter of recommendation is very important in aiding one's career prospects and aspirations.

Cindy Baker
Tanyaradzwa Shava
Hey there, I'm Tanyaradzwa Bruno Shava – an HR enthusiast and wordsmith. My passion lies in crafting compelling job descriptions that attract the right talent and sharing insightful articles on all things HR. Join me as we navigate the world of human resources, one engaging read at a time. Let's unlock the true potential of teams together!

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