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How to write a letter of recommendation

04.11.2016

It’s sink or swim, so writing letters of recommendation is, in fact, entirely a graduate’s or young professional’s responsibility. There are general rules for writing recommendation letters, but there are also certain nuances when it comes to young specialists.

 You are the one who will have to write a letter of recommendation. Therefore, in order to make this easier for you, we have drawn up several rules.

 Use paper with a letterhead!

A letter of recommendation typed on a regular piece of paper without any details or logo of the company you worked at, will not seem credible to anyone.

 In the first paragraph specify who, when and where was working or participating in an internship program.

Specify your full name and surname; commonly used abbreviations like “BKS LTD” are acceptable. Make sure to specify the full title of the position you occupied.

 Here’s an example for this paragraph:

“…Alex WhileBeginners was an intern at Juststarting Ltd. (LA) from 09.01.2012 to 12.31.2012 in the position of accounting assistant”.

 Your main job duties should be listed in the second paragraph.

Here you must describe something that you really did. For a graduate or young specialist, it is okay to list even insignificant duties like mail delivery or making document copies. If you are a young professional, your future employer will appreciate this information.

 In the third paragraph, give an overall evaluation of your work and specify your key achievements.

Naturally, you should describe yourself only in a positive way, but your evaluation must be as objective as possible. And it’s just extremely important to specify your key achievements. You should remember that some things that may seem insignificant for an experienced professional may look quite noteworthy when it comes to a young specialist, as shown below.

 Here’s an example for this paragraph:

“During internship ___ has proven himself to be a careful and responsible staff member. He took an active part in drawing up a quarterly progress report, was interested in all aspects and details of his work and continuously developed as a professional”.

 In this example, the key achievement is drawing up a quarterly progress report. For a potential employer, it’s important information that describes their experience and the potential for professional growth of a young specialist in the near future. It indicates that the young specialist can be trusted with independent work on a quarterly report.

 In the fourth paragraph, evaluate the level of qualification and knowledge.

In this section, your approach must be as honest and objective as possible. You should specify only information that you would disclose during your job interview.

 An example of a paragraph:

“___ has excellent theoretical knowledge while in practice learned the basics of accounting, including mastering specialized software (1C accounting software package and others)”.

 In the fifth paragraph describe your personal qualities.

Since a young specialist can’t boast vast working experience, a detailed and somewhat informal description of personal qualities will be a plus. For example, instead of writing that you are “purposeful”, try to be more specific and say, for an instance, that you “can correctly define goals and achieve them consistently” or “can set tasks and solve them consistently”.

 In the sixth paragraph, you need to provide a final recommendation.

It is necessary to provide a clear recommendation for a certain position or type of activity. For example, “I recommend Alex Alex for the position of accountant (junior accountant)”.

 The seventh paragraph must contain the referee’s signature.

The referee’s full name is required here, with no abbreviations. It’s also necessary to specify contact details: including phone number and email address.

We recommend that you provide a link to your online references at the bottom of the letter, for example, on websites like LinkedIn or WhileBeginners.com. The latter allows you to place a full standard resume and a scanned copy of your letter of recommendation, or get some feedback via the special feedback form.

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