Letter of Recommendation Template

Download and modify our free, pre-prepared letter of recommendation template to give a positive reference for a trusted friend, colleague, or student.

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Last Update June 12th, 2024

Also Known As

Reference Letter

Endorsement Letter

Professional Recommendation


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What Is a Letter of Recommendation

A Letter of Recommendation is a written and signed document that describes someone's character or how well they perform professionally.

These letters are most often used by applicants for jobs and college courses.

The letter is usually prepared by someone who knows the applicant well and often has been in a position of authority over them. For example, a teacher, professor, or manager.

Letter of Recommendation Sample

To have a clearer picture of what your letter of recommendation should look like, it can help to examine an example text and a template first.

Recommendation Letter Text Example


Dear, [Sir/Madam/To whom it may concern]

I am writing to recommend [recommended person’s full name] for [position or course of recommendation].

Having known [recommended person] for [months/years known] as their [friend/colleague/ teacher] I am certain that they will thrive in the [position/course] due to their [main positive qualities].

During their time [working/studying] with me, they have always impressed me with their [1-2 examples of other relevant strengths] and I am therefore confidently able to recommend [recommended person] based on this experience.

I would also be more than happy to provide further details about [recommended person] if needed. I can be contacted directly via [phone number] or my personal email address: [email address].



[Printed name]

[Job title]

In most situations, the letter may be requested as evidence of the applicant’s suitability before they sign an employment contract. It can also be used in other situations when a character reference is needed.

Recommendation Letter Sample

Use our sample letter below to get started or download it now to create your own modified version.

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A recommendation letter sample

Types of Recommendation Letter

Recommendation Letters vary in form. They can have different names and include specific information, depending on their purpose.

The most common types of Recommendation Letters are:

  • College Recommendation Letters
  • Employee Recommendation Letters
  • Graduate school Recommendation Letters
  • Law school Recommendation Letters
  • Personal Recommendation Letters
  • Scholarship Recommendation Letters
  • Teacher Recommendation Letters
  • Tenant/landlord Recommendation Letters

There are, however, many more types of letters that can be used to provide a personal reference. These might be used for situations such as court cases or entering the military amongst others.

Below, you can review in detail the different Letters of Recommendation you could write.

College Recommendation Letter

A College Letter of Recommendation endorses a student (normally in high school) to be admitted to a college that they are applying to. This letter accompanies the college application and can** help a student be accepted** to the college of their choice.

Usually, a teacher or someone who knows the applicant’s grades or talents writes this type of letter.

Landlord/Tenant Recommendation Letter

During the rental application process, a Landlord Recommendation Letter could provide a testimonial to an applicant.

Normally, an applicant’s former landlord will be asked by the former tenant to write the letter or by the person looking for a new renter.

The endorsement should note if the former tenant kept the place in good condition, paid rent on time, and other relevant details.

Professional Recommendation Letter

To advocate a person for a job position, you can use a Professional Letter of Recommendation.

This letter should describe the job applicant's workplace skills and any accomplishments from their previous job.

Generally, a coworker or former employer is asked to write this type of Recommendation Letter.

Personal Recommendation Letter

For a letter that mentions the applicant’s personality, you can write a Personal Letter of Recommendation. This letter can be written for someone applying to be a tenant, for a job, or another type of vacancy.

It should be written by someone who knows the applicant well and is trustworthy. You should confirm the applicant's good character.

In most cases, a personal friend writes this type of Recommendation Letter.

Character Reference Letter for Court

A Character Reference Letter for Court is used in trials to show the morals, values, and qualities of someone in court proceedings.

This kind of legal form helps judges and juries evaluate who the accused is. Typically, a Character Reference Letter for Court is written by a friend, a family member, or a co-worker.

Some examples of situations where these letters may be useful are drink-driving hearings and child custody cases.

Graduate School Recommendation Letter

A Graduate School Letter of Recommendation supports a college student’s application to graduate school and can help them get accepted.

Normally, this type of letter is written by a college professor or the person in charge of their internship. Either way, this person should have knowledge of the applicant’s ability as a student.

Law School Recommendation Letter

Write a Law School Recommendation Letter to support a college student's law school application.

This type of letter should cover the skills they have shown during their time as an undergraduate student, such as dedication, impressive legal knowledge, and more.

A professor or someone who took part in any internship with the applicant could write this type of letter.

Teacher Recommendation Letter

A Teacher Recommendation Letter endorses an educator for a position at an educational institution, such as an elementary school or high school.

The letter should highlight the teacher's credentials and why they are the best candidate.

It’s also possible to mention how well the teacher relates with their students, and you should also mention any of the applicant’s impressive achievements.

Scholarship Recommendation Letter

To endorse someone for a scholarship, you should use a Scholarship Recommendation Letter.

Advocate effectively by mentioning their accolades and personality strengths.

It should be clear why the applicant is deserving of the scholarship.

There are, however, many more types of letters that can be used to provide a personal reference. These might be used for situations such as court cases or entering the military amongst others.

Key Elements of a Recommendation Letter

A Recommendation Letter should include 5 key elements that provide necessary information with the appropriate formality.

  1. The Introduction and message of endorsement
  2. Concrete reasons you are advocating them to the position
  3. Personal experience with evidence showing off their quality (hard & soft skills)
  4. Closing argument summarizing how the applicant would be a great fit
  5. Signature with your full name and contact information

Details of a Recommendation Letter

How To Ask for a Recommendation Letter

When requesting a Letter of Recommendation, speak directly to the writer. This could either be in-person or by phone or by email.

You ideally should request the letter a few weeks before you think you’ll need it. This helps to take into account your referee’s schedule and how busy they are likely to be when you do this.

Writing a Letter of Recommendation

Before starting your own, it’s important to plan how to write your Recommendation Letter.

It’s a good idea to have a clear sense of the purpose of the letter. This will ultimately depend on who you’re recommending and what you’ve worked on with them.

Carefully consider these elements to include key details that best describe the candidate.

Using a pre-written template can help you get started with this. With our expertly prepared sample document, you’ll be able to see the factors that will help create a comprehensive and effective letter.

This can also be downloaded and specially personalized to fit key details of the person you are writing about.

FAQs About Letters of Recommendation

Learn more about how Letters of Recommendation are used and how they should be written using our FAQs below.

How Long Should a Letter of Recommendation Be?

A Letter of Recommendation should be 1-2 pages long but can be as short as a few paragraphs.

Ultimately, the quality of the letter matters more than the number of pages it covers. However, it’s important to strike the balance between those 1-2 pages right to ensure there’s not too much text or too little.

How To Get a Letter of Recommendation

Usually, people ask their referees directly for a Letter of Recommendation. This might happen when leaving a company or college, depending on your situation.

It is worth creating a list of possible names you would like to target to ensure you’ll get at least one “yes”. You will then need to contact your chosen person by either phone or email.

Make sure to do this with plenty of time to spare before you might need the letter, so your chosen person has enough time to draft the letter comprehensively.

How Long in Advance To Ask for a Letter of Recommendation?

It's generally advised to ask for a Letter of Recommendation about 2-3 months before it is needed. This gives the writer time to properly draft and complete the document.

You may be able to ask for a Recommendation Letter closer to when it is needed, perhaps 2 weeks prior to its submission. However, this isn’t advised if you want to get the most complete and properly prepared response.

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A recommendation letter sample

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Preview of your Recommendation Letter

_____ day of _____________, 20____
To Whom It May Concern,
During the _________ I have been _________ _________'s _________ at _________, I have witnessed him display exceptional skills as a _________.
I am confident that _________'s attitude and skills would make him a valuable contributor to any organization. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional questions you may have.

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