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How a Recommendation Letter Can Help You Reach Your Dreams

Written by CB Community

Letters of recommendation provide information about a person’s character and abilities to potential employers.

Personality traits, employment history, volunteer experience, and academic accomplishments are all included in a recommendation letter.

Many people use letters of recommendation for various purposes. And it’s crucial to know how to write a recommendation letter.

Recommendation letters can fall into one of three broad categories: those addressing academic performance, recommendations for employment, and character references.

Types of Recommendation Letters

Academic Recommendation Letters

Students often use academic recommendation letters during the application process.

Undergraduate and graduate programs equally require at least one but preferably two or three letters of recommendation from applicants.

College admissions committees can learn about the applicant’s academic and professional accomplishments, references to their character, and personal characteristics from letters of recommendation that may not be included in the application.

Additionally, references are typically required for scholarship and fellowship applications.

Character References

Recommendations and references on someone’s character are helpful in many contexts, including renting an apartment, working in the legal field, or adopting a kid.

Almost everyone will require a letter of recommendation at some point in their lives.

These letters of recommendation are typically written by someone who knows the candidate well, such as a previous employer, landlord, business associate, neighbor, doctor, etc.

Employment Recommendations

People actively seeking employment rely heavily on letters of recommendation for jobs and professional recommendations.

You can use recommendations in various ways, including posting them online, sending them in with your CV or application, including them in a portfolio, or even handing them out at job interviews.

The standard request for references from prospective employers is three. Candidates should have at least three letters of recommendation ready when applying for a job.

Why is a Letter of Recommendation Important?

Here are 5 reasons why a letter of recommendation is essential:

1. They Add Value

Although LORs (letters of recommendation) are not required, they add value and raise the caliber of your application.

A letter of recommendation will be a crucial tool in helping you stand out from the competition whenever you apply, whether it’s for college admissions or a full-time job.

2. Each One is Unique

Because a different person writes each LOR for a different person, each one is unique.

This indicates that this document will discuss another person’s perspective and experience working with you.

These circumstances are singular and cannot be repeated.

By sending a carefully customized LOR, you can take advantage of this and leave a lasting impact on the admissions committee/employer.

3. They Showcase Qualifications

Remember that the institution you’re applying to is looking to invest in just the most qualified applicants.

Because of this, a letter of recommendation should not be taken lightly.

When two or more applicants are equally qualified for a position, the strength of their letters of recommendation (LORs) is often used to decide the winner.

4. They Demonstrate Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Only LORs can fully explain your weaknesses and demonstrate your strengths. Answers to inquiries on your shortcomings or flaws are a common requirement of LORs.

However, this is a fair topic to ask, even if the university you’re applying to specifically requests negative feedback.

The admissions board can use this information to further evaluate your application.

5. They Highlight Your Goals

Your goals in seeking a job or majoring in the subject matter should come through in a strong letter of recommendation.

This will be especially useful in helping you structure your letter properly. If it’s a cover letter for a job, you should research the position’s title and request a job description.

Make sure to ask the recipient to share any relevant details they may have learned from the letter.

Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation

Do Not Undervalue Your Abilities

The last thing you need in a letter of recommendation is for the writer to be modest. Include as many relevant skills and qualifications as possible on your list, and give examples to back them up whenever possible.

Acknowledge the Recommender’s Relationship With You

Writing from the recommender’s perspective can make this difficult, but it’s essential for credibility. Tell them about your history together and how long you’ve known one other or worked together.

Ensure That Your Resume Contains Only the Most Relevant Experience and Qualifications

Remember that your recommender can only vouch for your skills and qualities based on what they have seen in your work setting.

Use the Third-Person Point of View


As obvious as it may be, put yourself in the shoes of your recommender and write your letter. Proofreading thoroughly ensures you have not accidentally written in the first person. It’s also a good idea to reread it if the author has altered the writing style or tone.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.