Showing posts from July, 2014

Letters of Recommendation, with an example

Today I wrote four letters of recommendation for four colleagues. It was fun to gather my thoughts on the skills and strong points of these friends with whom I work, and I hope my letters will be helpful for each of them. I've written many letters of recommendation over the years, and have some tips for doing them well.

1. Focus on what is special and unique about the person you are writing about (Jan).
2. Use action verbs and avoid passive voice (do not say, "Jan is responsible for teaching"; say "Jan teaches")
3. Focus on what you have observed, not what you may think are Jan's motivations.
4. Keep your comments positive but provide evidence for what you say.

Here's an example of a recommendation letter:

The International Leadership InstituteCompany addressPhone

July 3, 2014Recommendation for Jan NovakIt is my pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Jan Novak. We have been colleagues as Writing Instructors in English at the …