Writing a Letter of Recommendation Redding CA

Those asked to write letters of recommendation already have enough credentials and power to be able to persuade the opinion of other people. However, an honor it may be, writing letters of recommendation can still be a daunting and difficult task.

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Writing a Letter of Recommendation

Being asked to write a recommendation letter should be considered as an honor. Why would anyone ask you to write letters of recommendation unless you have any significance or importance in his or her career? Those asked to write letters of recommendation already have enough credentials and power to be able to persuade the opinion of other people. However, an honor it may be, writing letters of recommendation can still be a daunting and difficult task. For one, you know that a lot is riding on these letters; how you write it could make or break a person’s career, even his life. Recommendation writing is a very stressful responsible, indeed.

Therefore, you need to know the basics of recommendation writing. How do you write these letters and what should you write in order to make them effect? Here are some effective letter writing tips and things to remember.

Basic letter writing tips

Basically, there is no actual rule for recommendation writing. However, it will help immense if you know why you are writing the letters of recommendation in the first place. This way, you will know exactly what to emphasize and what the letters should be looking for.

There are basically three reasons why people need letters of recommendation: employment, character reference, academic vouching. Employment recommendation letters should emphasize the traits and skills the person has that made him an effective worker in his previous employment. Obviously, this will only work if the letter was written by a previous boss or superior. Character preferences are more general and can be written by practically anyone who can vouch for a person’s good personal qualities. Academic letters of recommendation work like the first letter, except it should emphasize academic performance and aptitude.

Of course, beyond these letters, there are others not covered in these classifications. Fellowship applications, for instance, require letters of recommendation too. Here, the emphasis should be on the person’s skill pertaining to the fellowship’s area or field. If the fellowship is a writing program, you should obviously vouch for his writing prowess or potential.

One of the basic letter writing tips you should take note of: never write letters of recommendation for anyone you do not know. Consider: do you know the person well know enough to write something about it? Remember that these letters of recommendation will be considered as part of an application. This means it will carry a certain weight for the applicant. If you don’t think you can help him (or if you don’t think he deserves the recommendation), do not write him a letter. No amount of recommendation writing tips can help you write a good recommendation for the person.

Letter writing consideration

There’s no required format for letters of recommendation, but the key to effective letter writing is to keep it simple and concise. Most recommendation letters are only four paragraphs long, and all of the major ideas are already encapsulated here.
Needless to say, the first paragraph of letters of recommendation should already contain the purpose of the letter. Also, this part of the letter should already indicate who you are and why you are writing the letter. Are you doing the recommendation writing because you were a previous employer or superior? Were you a previous professor or mentor? Answer this question: what made you qualified to do the recommendation writing? You may indicate your qualifications and credentials; in fact, this could actually give some weight to the letter. But remember to keep that part brief. Remember: you are recommending someone else; you are nt doing the recommendation writing to emphasis your credentials.

A tip: if positive, indicate your feelings when you were asked to do the recommendation writing. Were you surprised? Honored? Happy? This will reflect what the person means to you. This is a very telling indicator and the people to whom the letter will be given to will definitely catch this.

The second and third paragraph should include the actual recommendation. This is where you emphasis qualities and traits. This is where letter writing skills (or plain writing skills) are necessary. Yet other one of the basic recommendation letter tips is this: show, do not tell.

For instance, you want to say that the person is tedious and willing to do everything to excel. Of course, these words are sterling and anyone who reads this will think the applicant as deserving for the spot. But, on the flip side, these are only words, and they are empty unless you prove them. Cite a specific instance or instances wherein the person demonstrated tenacity. Be specific. Not only will this work because of the “show, don’t tell” rule. It also means you know the applicant well enough to actually indicate a specific instance to prove your point.

Although a simple “thank you” note may work, the best ending for recommendation writing states the specific recommendation and a vote of confidence that the applicant is deserving of the spot or qualified. Use this to reiterate points raised during the previous paragraphs.

Beyond these, however, you should note that recommendation letters are also just another form of writing. And this isn’t exactly literature—which means to say you should make a point fast and clear. In an episode of the hit television show Ugly Betty, the editor/superior of the titular character wrote her a six page recommendation letter, which worked to their advantages. But in real life, long letters of recommendation are less effective than short ones. Evaluators read these letters looking for certain key points; by writing a short and concise letter, you are helping them find the point immediately.

Do you want to be creative? If you, nothing is stopping you—but remember the basic form of letters of recommendation. Make sure the key points (introduction, recommendation, and reiteration) are present and the actual recommendation can easily be found (emphasizing keywords is typographical blackmail and will not work). Creative letters of recommendation do work if they are personal and sincere, hence emphasizing the fact that you believe in the person so much you exerted effort on the letter. But recommendation writing should be efficient enough if you work with the basics.