A Personal Recommendation Letter is a document that serves as a character reference written by a recommender to endorse an applicant’s skills and abilities. A recommender may be a colleague, client, friend, business acquaintance, or any individual who can vouch for the capabilities, character traits, work ethics, achievements, skills, and expertise of a person. It may be used for a variety of purposes; in general, it is used for employment and educational purposes. Other situations that require a personal recommendation letter include child adoption, pet adoption, merit-based program, and real estate transaction.
Also referred to as a reference letter, recommendation letter of reference, or just reference, a personal recommendation letter should accurately capture and emphasize important personal and professional aspects of an individual. In terms of it being used as a supplemental document alongside a resume for employment application, it should elaborate on and highlight qualities that qualify a person and affirm how he or she is a good fit for the position that he or she is applying for in an organization. As an academic letter of recommendation, it is used by students applying for admission to a school. Review committees use the letter to gain insights on a student’s capabilities and personality that cannot be assessed during the application. Another use of a personal recommendation letter is as a character recommendation letter, which is used when an individual is in the process of providing specific information on another person’s character. It is commonly used when adopting a child, adopting a pet, and applying for a property rental.
If you are the person requesting a recommendation letter, sending a sample to the writer might help guide him or her. Providing clear instructions on the information that should be included, such as your skills and experiences is beneficial. Also, requesting from a reputable person strengthens your credibility.
Only write a personal recommendation letter if you can vouch for a person without reservation. Therefore, it is appropriate to decline a request politely if you are not at ease giving one. Otherwise, if you decide to write one, following a business format is important.
A personal recommendation letter should provide high-level, specific, and accurate information on an individual, highlighting particular skills, attributes, and qualifications. It is not necessary for the letter to be lengthy, but it should properly highlight points that give an advantage to an individual. Nevertheless, the length will vary, depending on its content.
Start the letter with a heading. Write the name of the recipient, his or her job title, the organization that he or she is affiliated with, and the organization’s address.
Begin the letter with a brief and straight to the point introduction. Introduce yourself, your relationship with the candidate, the length of your relationship. Briefly talk about the purpose of the letter in an engaging and informative tone, with the goal of catching the attention of the recipient.
You may write as many paragraphs in this section as needed. The purpose of the body is to state your belief in the candidate’s qualifications by highlighting capabilities, character traits, ethics, skills, achievements, and other necessary information relevant to what he or she is applying for. The key is to not enumerate points merely; therefore, providing sufficient details that support your claims is crucial and would assure the reader that you are a credible source who can testify to the candidate’s eligibility.
Do not sound overly enthusiastic when writing the body. Reinforce the idea that the candidate is qualified and competent without sounding too excited, as you might appear as insincere. Remember, do not mention anything that you cannot back up with facts.
End your letter with a summary of why you are recommending the candidate. Also, provide your contact information should the recipient require further information from you.
Write a closing remark, sign the letter, and provide your full name.
What is the purpose of a Personal Recommendation Letter?
A Personal Recommendation Letter is a document that provides information about an individual's qualifications for a certain position, achievement, or status. It is often included as part of an application for employment or admission to an academic program.
A Personal Letter of Recommendation is typically provided by someone who holds high regard for the applicant but has no formal relationship with him or her outside of a personal relationship. It can be very beneficial as it provides insight into the applicant's character and skills from a perspective that is often hard to find otherwise.
Some companies or schools prefer applicants to have a Personal Recommendation Letter to be considered for a certain opportunity. They use the document as a reference to help make a final decision. Personal Recommendation Letters can be useful as they provide information from an outsider's perspective.
Who should write my Personal Recommendation Letter?
A Personal Recommendation Letter can be written by anyone but should only come from someone who holds you in high regard. It is typically someone who knows you well enough to speak on your behalf, and these people are typically in higher positions of responsibility.
A Personal Recommendation Letter is often written by someone who knows you best and can comment on your character or ability to succeed at a certain task or goal. Your Personal Letter of Recommendation can come from a teacher, school counselor, religious leader, co-worker, supervisor, manager, or previous employer.
When should I ask for my Personal Recommendation Letter?
The Personal Recommendation Letter should be requested at least two weeks before the letter is needed. It is important to have time to collect all information and ensure that it is written clearly, correctly, and concisely.
If you are considering applying for a position, your Personal Letter of Recommendation must be collected well in advance, so there is enough time to draft and review it.
What should be written in my Personal Recommendation Letter?
A Personal Letter of Recommendation needs to consist of specific information and detail about your skills and abilities. They should provide a snapshot of you as an individual, covering both personal characteristics and work or academic performance. It is best if Personal Letters of Recommendation are no more than one page but can vary depending on the information being provided.
Your Personal Recommendation Letter should start with a statement about who you are and how long the writer has known you. It should then provide specific examples to support your character, skills, work ethic, academic successes, affiliated organizations, volunteer work, and any other related information.
Your Personal Letters of Recommendation should explain why the writer holds you in high regard personally and professionally. They should describe what makes you a good candidate for your next position or opportunity.
How long should a Personal Recommendation Letter be?
A Personal Letter of Recommendation should be no more than one page in length.
A Personal Letter of Recommendation is most effective when it is short, and to the point, so you want all information to be precise. It must have only a few sentences long but have specific detail about your skills, abilities, and character. Keep your Personal Letter of Recommendation concise and specific to the information needed.
How do you write a good Personal Recommendation Letter for a friend?
A Personal Letter of Recommendation is most beneficial when it specifically shows why you are writing the letter.
A Personal Letter of Recommendation must have specific details about the applicant's accomplishments, skills, character traits. You may include examples to support your claims. Personal Letters of Recommendation should be clear and concise.
The key to writing an effective Personal Letter of Recommendation for your friend is to remain as objective as possible. It should be specific and written from a professional perspective, not as if you are talking to the applicant directly.
Although you have an emotional relationship with the applicant, keep the Personal Letter of Recommendation professional to ensure that it is effective in securing the best outcome possible. It must be free of personal opinion and judgment, so the letter is seen as an unbiased opinion.
How do I write an effective Personal Recommendation Letter?
Here are some guidelines on how to write an effective Personal Recommendation Letter.
- For the format:
- The font size must be between 10 to 12, depending on your preferred font style.
- The font style must look formal. You can use either Arial, Times New Roman, Cambria, Helvetica, or Calibri.
- The font color must be black. Avoid using a colorful font as it may appear unprofessional.
- The spacing must be single spacing. Leave a space between each paragraph.
- Justify left the Personal Recommendation Letter so it is easier to read.
- Do not exceed two pages. If possible, keep it one-paged.
- For the content:
- Start with the heading. Enter the name of the recipient, his or her position in the company, company name and address, and date.
- Then, write the salutation. In this part, you have to specifically mention the name of the recipient of the Personal Letter of Recommendation so it can be personalized. If you are unsure of the name of the recipient, use a generic term like "To Whom It May Concern."
- After that, start with your opening statement. It must provide specific facts about who you are and how long you have known the Personal Letter of Recommendation recipient. Explain why you are writing this Personal Letter of Recommendation within the first sentence or two.
- You may provide specific examples to support your character statements. Make sure that the examples are related to the purpose of the Personal Recommendation Letter. For example, the applicant is using the document to apply for a job at a financial company, you may want to mention that the applicant has the skills to take good care of finances.
- Provide your contact information. It includes your phone or telephone number or email address.
What are the things to consider when writing an effective Personal Recommendation Letter?
The above guidelines will help you draft a professional-looking Personal Recommendation. However, you still need to give the Personal Recommendation a Personal touch. To do that, consider these tips:
- Make the Personal Recommendation specific, clear, and concise. Always anticipate that most professionals like their time not being wasted. When you draft a Personal Recommendation Letter, put yourself in the position of the recipient. If you would not normally read a Personal Recommendation Letter of that length, omit the Personal letter or make it shorter.
- You can add a personal touch to the Personal Letter of Recommendation but do not personalize it beyond what is needed. Avoid doing it as it may sound too personal and informal. The Personal Recommendation Letter should be professional in tone and content. Avoid using slang words or other jargon that the recipient may not understand.
- Always proofread the Personal Letter of Recommendation to catch any errors. A Personal Recommendation Letter must be flawless or free from errors. Any error will make the Personal Recommendation Letter unprofessional and invalid. Plus, if there are mistakes, you might have to draft another one. Make sure you proofread the Personal Recommendation Letter after writing it. When proofreading a Personal Recommendation Letter, read it out loud. It allows you to catch mistakes that your eyes might skim over if you read silently.
How do you start a Personal Recommendation Letter?
Start with a Personal Recommendation Letter heading.
All Personal Recommendation Letters must have a heading that contains the name of the recipient, his or her position, company name and address, and date. Then, it is followed by the salutation, where the Personal Recommendation Letter recipient's name is specifically mentioned.
The struggle in writing a Personal Recommendation Letter is usually how to start the first paragraph of the body. You may begin with phrases such as:
- "I am writing in support of Mr. John Smith."
- "The purpose of my Personal Recommendation Letter is to tell you about the attributes and skills that will help you succeed with XYZ."
- "In connection with XYZ, I would like to share some information that may be helpful for your decision."
- "I write this Personal Recommendation Letter to express my strong personal belief that Mr. John Smith should be considered for a position with your company."
You may also begin by explaining why you are writing Personal Recommendation Letter. For example, you can say:
- "I am writing to recommend the applicant for the position of XYZ."
- "I write this Personal Reference Letter to introduce you to someone I know and trust: Mr. John Smith. I strongly believe that he will be an excellent candidate for you."
- "I am writing a Personal Recommendation Letter to recommend that you hire Mr. John Smith for the position."
The key is to stick with the objective or purpose of the Personal Recommendation Letter.
How do you end a Personal Recommendation Letter?
The Personal Recommendation Letter ends with a personal statement or willingness to help. You can say:
- "Please call me if I can be of any Personal Assistance to you."
- "I sincerely hope that my Personal Personal Recommendation Letter helps you in deciding what Personal Referral Letter you will choose."
- "I hope you will consider my recommendation."
- "Please let me know if you need any further information."
- "I would be happy to answer any Personal Recommendation Letter you may have."
You can also conclude the Personal Recommendation Letter with a close. A few examples include:
- "Sincerely, Roger Williams"
- "Best wishes, Roger Williams"
- "Best regards, Roger Williams"
Always sign a Personal Letter of Recommendation, even if you are using a computer-generated signature stamp. The last thing you want is for the recipient to think that the Personal Recommendation Letter is forged or that the applicant wrote his or her own letter.
What are the basic sections of a Personal Recommendation Letter?
A complete Personal Recommendation Letter contains the three basic sections, such as:
- Introduction and Background — The introduction must state the reader's name, your relationship to the person being recommended, and the position that is being applied for. The background must explain why you are qualified to write the Personal Recommendation Letter.
- Specific Assessments — Personal Recommendation Letters are mainly used to prove that the person being recommended has specific traits or skills, so this section of the Personal Recommendation Letter must provide proof of these claims. You must include specific details that help prove your assessment, such as strengths, workplace habits, intelligence, or work ethic.
- Summary of Recommendation — The Personal Recommendation Letter must provide a summary of the main points discussed in the letter. The Personal Recommendation Letter should highlight what specific characteristics are possessed by the person being recommended, as well as why this is important for the position they are applying for.
How do you recommend someone for a position?
Use a Personal recommendation Letter to recommend a person for a specific position or job. It is a document used to recommend people for employment, tenure, endowments, scholarships, and fellowships.
A Personal Recommendation Letter must be written by someone who knows a person being recommended personally. Thus, if you know the person and you can vouch for his or her skills and character, you may draft a Personal Recommendation Letter for him or her.
You may also recommend the person to a job or opportunity verbally. You may call the company or business and express your thoughts about the person in question. Personal Recommendation Letters are often used in lieu of verbal recommendations when they can be presented in writing instead.
What makes a Personal Recommendation Letter stand out?
In Personal Recommendation Letters, it is important to use your personal knowledge of the person being recommended. Personal Recommendation Letters must be genuine, so only make claims that you profoundly believe. Personal Recommendation Letters must also give specific details about the relevant qualities and skills of the person being recommended.
If you follow the guidelines and tips mentioned above, you will be able to draft a Personal Recommendation Letter that recommends the best person for the job.
Should a Personal Recommendation Letter be typed or handwritten?
Although you can handwrite a Personal Recommendation Letter, consider typing it instead. There are issues that may arise from handwriting a Personal Recommendation Letter, such as:
- the recipient may not understand your penmanship;
- the Personal Recommendation Letter may be illegible as most companies may prefer a printed letter;
- the Personal Recommendation Letter may not be clear, which could cause issues for the person being recommended; and
- the Personal Recommendation Letter may be discarded if it does not look professional.
However, if you decide to handwrite your Personal Recommendation Letter, make your handwriting legible and clear.
A Personal Recommendation Letter is often used as a written form of reference, so it must look formal and professional to prove that you take the matter seriously.
Will Personal Recommendation Letters be acknowledged?
A Personal Recommendation Letter is usually not acknowledged formally, but if you are applying for a job or internship through your school, the Personal Recommendation Letter may need to be included in the application package.
A Personal Recommendation Letter that is attached to a resume or other application materials may receive an acknowledgment from the company.
What should a request for a Personal Recommendation Letter include?
If you want to request someone to write a Personal Recommendation Letter for you, you must provide that person the following:
- Your name and contact details;
- The purpose of the personal Recommendation Letter;
- The specific position you are applying for or the type of opportunity you would like to be recommended for;
- The details of the recipient; and
- The Personal Recommendation Letter's deadline.
Take note that you must provide the above details if the person you want to write for you agrees to your request.
It is also best to provide that person a gift to show gratitude for his or her time and effort in writing a Personal Recommendation Letter on your behalf.
What makes a Personal Recommendation Letter convincing?
To make your Personal Recommendation Letter convincing, have it written by a person who has a high degree of credibility and has a good track record. A Personal Recommendation Letter from people who have been awarded for their work or have been given public recognition is more likely to be believed than a Personal Recommendation Letter from people with no such titles.
You should know that a Personal Recommendation Letter will only stand out if the person writing it knows you well enough to describe your personality, work ethic, and experiences in detail.
Make sure you choose someone who knows you well to write Personal Recommendation Letters for you.
What should you highlight in a Personal Recommendation Letter?
A Personal Recommendation Letter must contain a list of the person's qualities and skills that are relevant to his or her professional field.
A Personal Recommendation Letter should highlight your qualifications, accomplishments, experiences, and strengths as they relate to the position you are applying for. The letter must also offer details on why you would be a perfect match for the position.
Take note that a Personal Recommendation Letter is not an opportunity to brag about yourself or tout your achievements without being asked for this Personal Recommendation Letter. A Personal Recommendation Letter is used to prove to the company how you can benefit their business. Thus, you must relate your accomplishments and strengths to the company's growth and progress when they hire you.
In what way can you use a Personal Recommendation Letter?
Here are some examples of how a Personal Recommendation Letter can be used:
- Employers use a Personal Recommendation Letter to hire new employees.
- Parents may write a Personal Recommendation Letter for their children who are about to start college or enter the workforce.
- A Personal Recommendation Letter can also be written by customers or clients who are satisfied with the services of a certain company or individual.
- A Personal Recommendation Letter can also be written by colleagues or classmates who want to recommend you for an award, recognition, scholarship, internship, or job opportunity.
- A Personal Recommendation Letter can also be written by people who want to support a person's good reputation in the community.
Who should you not use as a reference?
The individuals you must use as a character reference to vouch for your abilities must be eligible or well-respected in the industry you are about to venture into. Although you can let a friend or family write a Personal Recommendation for you, they may be seen as biased by the letter's recipient because you are blood-related or have a relationship with that person. The Personal Recommendation Letter from them may be easily turned down as it does not project you as a qualified individual.
The goal of having character references is to accumulate facts about an applicant's eligibility with objectivity.
Can you use a friend as a personal reference?
Yes, you can have your friend as your personal reference as long as he or she is credible and experienced. Otherwise, it will be difficult to convince the person reading the Personal Recommendation Letter that what he or she is saying about you is true.
Thus, if you want to present a Personal Recommendation Letter from a friend as part of your job application, make sure that the Personal Recommendation Letter is written by someone who has been in your acquaintance for at least several years and is an authority within his or her own field.
What happens if you lack experience?
If you lack experience, it is best to have a Personal Recommendation Letter from people who can vouch for your potential and promise. A Personal Recommendation Letter from mentors, professors, or managers is recommended.
Who should you list as a personal reference?
When you are applying for a job where the Personal Recommendation Letter is needed, look into who the authority is within that field. Personal Recommendation Letters from important figures or people of high status within your industry are more likely to be believed by the reader than Personal Recommendation Letters from less credible sources.
Some of the individuals you can list as reference are:
- Professors who taught you;
- Supervisors or managers who supervised your work; or
- People who are already in your field of profession or are related to the industry.