Recommendation Letter Examples, Templates, and Tips

Do you need to write or request a recommendation letter? These examples of different types of letters of recommendation, including letters for employment, academic letters of recommendation, and character and personal reference letters, along with accompanying writing tips and advice, will help you write the perfect reference.

Whether you're requesting or writing a recommendation, the experience can be challenging. If you are a job candidate, it’s important to line up the best references to attest to your qualifications​ and to provide a recommendation that will help you get hired. When you're applying for college or graduate school, you'll need strong recommendations from educators.

If, on the other hand, you’ve been asked to write a letter of recommendation, you’ll need to script as detailed and persuasive an account of the applicant as possible. 

Use these tips, samples, and templates to guide you through the process of getting and giving a reference for employment or education.

01
What is a Recommendation?

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A recommendation letter is typically written by an employer, professional business connection, client, teacher, coach or by someone else who can recommend an individual's work or academic performance. Recommendations can also be provided by personal references who can attest to an applicant's character and abilities. 

In some cases, recommendations may be provided during a phone call or by filling out a form online or by email.

02
Letter Examples, Templates, and Email Messages

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Reviewing recommendation letter, template, and email examples can make it easier to write your own reference letters. Take a look at sample reference and recommendation letters, letter samples for character references, a reference letter template, letters asking for a reference, and advice on what to include in a letter of recommendation.

03
How to Request a Recommendation

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Do you need a recommendation for a job or school? In a letter of recommendation, someone who knows you personally or professionally speaks to your positive attributes. Here's information on who to approach and how to ask for a reference, with examples of email messages and letters to use to write your own request.

04
How to Write a Professional Letter of Recommendation

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Have you been asked to write a letter of recommendation? Some employers request reference letters from job applicants. Here's the information you need to write an effective recommendation letter, including how to structure each section of the letter, how to format a letter of recommendation, and the best way to send, upload, or email it.

05
How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for a Co-Worker or a Friend

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Do you need to write a letter of recommendation for one of your co-workers? Here's what to include in your letter, what to ask your colleague so you can give her the best recommendation, and a sample letter to review to get ideas for your own reference letter. If you're writing a personal reference letter, review these guidelines for recommending a friend.

06
Academic Letters of Recommendation Samples

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Recommendations from high school teachers and college professors can be used when applying for jobs and internships. Academic recommendations also are included in college and graduate school applications.

Review academic recommendation letter examples, including college recommendation letters, letters for students, letters from teachers, letters for teachers, and more academic letters of recommendation.

If you need a reference from a teacher or professor, here's how to ask for a letter of recommendation from an educator.

07
Character/Personal Letters of Recommendation Samples

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Looking for your first job? Concerned about the references your employer might give you? Have you been out of the workforce for a while?

Consider using a character reference (personal reference) in addition to or as an alternative to employment reference letters. Neighbors and acquaintances may be willing to write a reference for you. Business acquaintances, academic advisors, customers, and vendors can all make good references. Here are samples of character / personal letters of recommendation.

08
Email Recommendation Examples

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References can be provided via email as well as in a formal written letter. Alternatively, reference providers may be asked to upload their recommendation online. Follow the instructions provided with the reference request carefully to ensure your recommendation is received prior to the dealine for submission.

Here's a sample email reference letter, which shows how to write, format, and send an emailed recommendation letter.

09
Employment Recommendation Letter Samples

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These employment letter of recommendation examples include employee letters, letters from supervisors, recommendation letters for a promotion, letters from previous employers, personal recommendation letters, and other employment-related recommendation letters.

10
LinkedIn Recommendations and Endorsements

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To a potential employer, a LinkedIn recommendation is a reference in advance and it adds weight to your LinkedIn profile. The best way to get LinkedIn recommendations is to give them. When you recommend a LinkedIn member, you are attesting to their qualifications—and people love being recommended. They most likely will reciprocate if you take the time to recommend them. Here's how.

They don't have as much value as a written recommendation, but LinkedIn endorsements are a way to quickly recommend a connection's skills.

11
Student Recommendation Letter Examples

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Do you need to write a reference letter for a student? Or are you a student seeking references for work or academia? Check out these sample letters of recommendation for students, including reference letters, academic references, personal references, letters asking for a reference, and lists of references.

12
Letter of Recommendation Template

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This recommendation letter template shows the format of a typical letter for employment or educational purposes. Download and customize the template to write your own formal letter of recommendation.

13
Personal Letter of Recommendation Template

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This recommendation letter template illustrates the structure of a personal recommendation. Download it to use it as a starting point for writing your own personal or character reference for someone you are endorsing for a job or school.