Are you wondering what format to use for writing letters of recommendation? If so, the good news is that it doesn't really matter one way or the other. The only thing that matters is what kind of a person you are and how well you can put together a recommendation letter. In this article, we'll examine the different formats and see what they have in common.
The format for a letter of recommendation varies greatly depending on the person who is being asked to write the letter. It's also depends on the situation that is asking for the recommendation. For example, if your son is going off to college, you might want to get his senior year grades in order to write a good recommendation letter. Or if your daughter needs a new roof and you need to get an upgrade for her apartment, you could talk about the difficulties she's had finding tenants and giving them a chance. You could also talk about her successes, which will give her something to look forward to when she's looking for work.
Other times, a recommendation isn't that important, and you don't even need to write the name of the student. A simple statement or description of a great internship or experience would do just fine. This is why it's important to talk about experiences rather than names, because the student receiving the letters may not be as familiar with the person you are writing about.
So what format should you use? The recommended format is chronological. Start with your student's name, followed by the university or college, the location where the student lives (city or state), the date of graduation, and, if it's possible, a short phrase that summarizes the student's accomplishments. For example, "After completing an undergraduate program at (campus), (website) advocates(a) (graduate student's name), an experienced attorney served (the student's city or state). Please advise if I can make any additions." This format is particularly useful if your student has specialized skills, such as being an ethic consultant.
Don't forget to attach any documents that support the recommendations. These documents could include a portfolio that showcases your student's career goals and activities, letters of recommendation from professors who have worked with the student, awards, or honors received, a statement from a professional organization confirming the graduate's status in their field, and even letters of recommendation sent by employers. If you're using a school's website to send the letter, keep your student's name in mind and add your contact information. It should also contain a brief statement of your objectives for providing the recommendations and explain that the information you've provided will help the school to improve the quality of its students' lives and workplaces.
Don't be afraid of including your name. It's expected that most schools allow one or two anonymous names on the recommendation letters but make sure they are clear and don't appear in a negative light. In addition, it's perfectly acceptable for the sender of the recommendation letter use the name of the student instead of his/her own name. The recipient of the recommendation will get a copy of the letter, so you want it to sound positive.
The most common format for writing recommendations is chronological. The basic format follows the recommendation letter, which is introduced by the sender, then lists the name(s) of the student(s) and the school(s) for whom the recommendation is given. You can also indicate which school the recommendation is coming from; most schools allow this. The best format, and the format that should be used if you are sending anonymous recommendations, is to start with the name(s) of the student(s) and the school, followed by the name(s) of the individual(s) recommending the student and then, for the faculty member or person recommending the faculty member(s), the name(s) of the individual recommending the faculty member and the school. It's OK for recommendations to come from anonymous sources, as long as they are still in the same format (first name, last name, department, etc.)
One great format for writing letters of recommendation is to use the "I" statement. This is usually used by departmental or supervisory personnel, such as department chairs or deans. They introduce the person recommending the student, provide some background on the person, and then end with "For further consideration, please consider my request for education..." and sign it with their name, title, and school. Following this format will not only give your potential client a little more information, but will help him or her understand your motivation for writing the recommendation.