An academic recommendation letter is written by a representative of the school that a recommendee attended or is still attending, to inform about the capabilities and achievements of the student. It is usually needed during job interviews, educational scholarship placements, and award recommendations to persuade interviewers’ perspectives towards the student’s application.
The academic recommendation letter is purposed for highlighting the strengths, character, interests, activities, accomplishments, and contributions of the student during their time in school to increase their chances of getting a job, promotion, or a scholarship. The letter is written by teachers, school administrators, counselors, and coaches. It necessarily details a student’s academic results and considers his/her overall social aspect and character.
An academic recommendation letter is essential for providing the academic history, performance, and strengths of a student, similar to what a transcript does only with more personalization. Thus, the recommendation letter provides an organization applicant’s aims and extra information about their academics to complement other attached documents like a cover letter and CV.
Types of Academic Recommendation Letters
Mentioned below are some types of academic recommendation letters:
College recommendation letters
College recommendation letters are written to assist students in applying for college. They highlight the achievements, academic strengths, character, and contributions of the student while in high school or former college in case of transfers.
Graduate school recommendation letters
A graduate school recommendation letter helps employees, researchers, and undergraduates who wish to extend their education to graduate school. The academic prowess, project accomplishments, and strengths of the applicant are mentioned in the letter to show the graduate institution why they should give the student a chance to go further with their education
Job application recommendation letters
A job application recommendation letter is written to an organization or interviewer where a recommendee has applied for a job to increase their chances of getting considered. This kind of recommendation letter includes details of the strengths of the student applicant.
Letters to gain financial aid
Letters to acquire financial assistance are written to verify that a student applying for financial help is worthy of assistance from donors or scholarships to fund their studies. Financial aid is limited to students with excellent academic portfolios or who participate in curriculum activities like sports or community development; hence a written reference from their teachers, coaches, or administration is used to verify their qualification for the financial aid.
Letters to gain teaching assistant employment at a university
Letters to gain teaching assistant employment at a university is a recommendation letter used for acquiring a teaching assistant position at a university. It highlights the student’s progress in past or present learning institutions.
Who Can Give a Recommendation Letter?
Academic faculties of the learning institution that the student attended can give an academic recommendation letter. Such people, mandated to write an academic recommendation letter, include:
- Teachers can write recommendation letters based on their students’ academic performance, character, and particular traits since they have close interactions with them.
- Guidance counselors can also write an academic recommendation letter because they have most likely interacted with the student regularly to discuss their academic progress or career choices.
- Administrators, in most cases, do not mingle with the students as much as the teachers would. Still, they can also write an academic recommendation letter since they understand the student’s overall academic progress based on records and few interactions.
- Supervisors can write an academic letter of recommendation about a student they supervised during their projects, detailing their character and abilities demonstrated during the period of their interaction.
How Do You Write an Academic Recommendation Letter?
An academic letter of recommendation follows a professional and formal guideline. The letter’s writer should provide relevant details that should be included in an academic letter of recommendation. Following steps may be followed for writing an academic letter of recommendation:
Address the letter
An academic recommendation letter feels more personalized when addressed to the correct recipient; hence, the applicant should provide details of the institution, department, or individual that the letter should address.
Dear Hiring Manager,
Include a brief introduction
The introduction section of the academic reference letter should give a brief opening statement detailing the purpose of writing the letter on behalf of the applicant.
This letter expresses my support for Mary Anderson to gain admission into your graduate program at Harvard University in the sciences department.
Outline the applicant’s academic capabilities
An academic letter of recommendation is bound to present the overall performance of a student in various subjects and their progress, including their strengths. Some of the points of interest to talk about in this section include:
Extracurricular activities outside the classroom by the student should be noted in the recommendation letter to showcase their capabilities.
Example: Sara is a talented literary critic and poet, and she has my highest recommendation as a student and writer.
Awards or recognitions
To increase an applicant’s chances of being considered, one can write about the applicant’s awards or recognitions in the academic reference letter. In addition, recommenders can mention accolades or prizes given to the student in recognition of past performance.
Example: Sara was awarded as the best poet in the national drama festival competitions held in 2019.
Area of expertise
Disclose to the interviewer some of the areas that an applicant is best at writing an academic recommendation letter.
Example: Sara is talented at ballet and uses it to enhance her social capabilities.
Positive character traits
When writing an academic recommendation letter, one is expected to outline the applicant’s best traits to influence a good perception of the recipient towards the applicant. Describing a candidate’s positive traits increases their chances of being considered for a job, admission, or scholarship.
Example: Sara is a team player and brings out the best in team members by presenting excellent team projects in all her collaborations.
State in the academic recommendation letter the ambitions of the applicant that coincide with the job position they applied for or the study course they aim to pursue in college or graduate school.
Sara has always had the ambition to be a neurosurgeon and purposed to advance their medical degree in the field during her graduate program.
Give an example of the applicant’s academic achievement.
The strengths of the applicant should be backed by their achievements when writing an academic recommendation letter.
She produced an extraordinary year-long thesis paper on creative identity development. She compared works from three different periods and synthesized cultural and historical perspectives to inform her analysis
End the letter
The final part of the recommendation letter contains the writer’s closing statements that emphasize why the recipient should consider the applicant.
The applicant possesses exceptional skills, an academic portfolio, and admirable traits essential in performing job tasks. Your consideration of hiring Sara for the job position would be highly appreciated.
Provide your contact information
The writer of an academic recommendation letter should conclude the letter with their contact details. In most cases, one writes their official capacity contact or the institution they work for.
Mark Twain High School.
Email: [email protected]
Tips for Writing a Great Recommendation Letter
In case one is requested to write a recommendation letter, it is necessary to consider the following tips:
Think before accepting a request
One should assess the adequacy of their knowledge of the applicant who approaches them to write an academic recommendation before accepting the request. In addition, the teacher or academic official should check if they have spare time to write and submit the letter on time to the recipient before accepting the request to write a recommendation letter.
Focus on a particular school/job
Great recommendation letters are filled with content that focuses primarily on the specific school, course, or position that is being applied for. Unfortunately, the deviation may make the letter seem wordy or unnecessary and may even diminish the application’s chances of acceptance.
It is the writer’s responsibility to gather as much information about the student as possible. Having an adequate database of information will enable to give a comprehensive review in the recommendation letter.
A great recommendation letter must also make good use of models. Having standards makes the message stick and relate to the reader.
Keep a positive tone
It is also essential to keep a positive manner throughout the letter. Having a positive tone will also enable the writer to give a comprehensive review of the recommendation letter.
Provide contact information
The other part of the recommendation letter that is quite important is the contact details segment. It is the last part of the letter, and one must use his official contact or the official contact of the institution.
Follow the submission guidelines
A recommender has to follow the submission guideline, such as submission deadlines as required by the institution being applied to by the applicant. The institution may require one to use a particular mode of communication; for example, the recipient may require the letter to be sent via email.
Template of Academic Recommendation letter
Name of recommender
Name of the recipient
To Whom It May Concern,
Paragraph 1: the recommender should introduce themselves, state the reason for writing the letter and their relationship with the applicant
Paragraph 2: State the capabilities, skills, achievements, and traits of the applicant.
Paragraph 3: Conclusion stating why the recommender thinks the employers should consider the applicant based on the skills possessed by the applicant and the skills required by the employer.
Contact information of the recommender
Signature (hard copy letter)
Name of recommender
Official capacity or title
The institution they work for
Sample Academic Recommendation Letter
Dear Admission Committee Members:
I am pleased to write a letter of recommendation for Jane. She has excellent communication, writing, speaking, and presentation skills. I believe she can be an excellent mentor one day.
I have known Jane since 2 years. She was a student of creative writing program in my college. I have seen her writing articles for different magazines, which were a huge hit. You can search the articles by doing a simple Google search of her name.
It would be beneficial for any organization to hire Jane as a creative writing instructor. I highly recommend her services.
Academic Recommendation Letter Format
Address, Phone number, email address
456 Business Rd.
ABC City, NY 45350
Dear Admission Committee Members:
Insert the relevant content here. Start with the introduction of the student, mention skills, abilities in this paragraph.
In the second paragraph mention how you know this person and what has been your experience with them. It should be positive highlighting abilities of the person.
In the closing paragraph mention how enrolling in the particular program or getting a job with a certain company would be beneficial for that institute because of the positive qualities of this person.
An academic recommendation letter is vital for portraying the positive attributes of an applicant to help improve their chances of getting a job or acquiring school/college admission. The letter should be written formally, and writers can rely on an academic recommendation letter template to assist them in writing.