40 Good Examples of Employment Recommendation Letters

An employment recommendation letter is a letter written to an entity or employer on behalf of a former employee or co-worker to validate their work, skills, and performance, as well as to support their pursuit of a job position.

In the event that a former employee or colleague has reached out to get a recommendation letter, it is safe to conclude that their potential employer wants someone competent, trustworthy, and in the professional sector to substantiate what the job applicant claims to be true, plus an additional evaluation of their habits and performance.

It plays a huge role and can sometimes be the determining factor in securing employment.

When the job application is highly competitive and applicants have strong CVs or resumes, interviewers or the hiring committee will be looking for that one thing to distinguish the applicants. However, the recommendation letter must be well written.

Free Templates

Following are the customizable templates that can be downloaded for free:

Free Employee Recommendation Letter Example 01 for Pdf File

Editable Employee Recommendation Letter Example 02 for Word File

Printable Employee Recommendation Letter Template 01 for Pdf File

Printable Employee Recommendation Letter Example 03 for Pdf File

Free Employee Recommendation Letter Example 04 for Pdf File

Free Employee Recommendation Letter Example 05 for Pdf File

Printable Employee Recommendation Letter Example 06 for Pdf File

Downloadable Employee Recommendation Letter Example 07 for Word File

Free Employee Recommendation Letter Example 08 for Word File

Printable Employee Recommendation Letter Example 09 for Word File

    Pre-Writing Considerations

    A good recommendation letter is not simply achieved when directly written on paper. Therefore, writing should be preceded by certain steps.

    Below are things one should take into consideration before they start writing one.

    Think carefully before saying yes

    It is flattering to be asked to craft such a letter; however, this should not be the only reason one recommends the other. The recommender needs to ensure they are in a position and capacity to recommend the candidate. This is determined by the relationship or acquaintance between the recommender and the recommendee.

    The recommendation is expected to be based on personal interactions, and if there was never that sort of relationship, it is best to decline the request kindly. However, if one is in a position to write an excellent letter, they should do so; people will usually reach out for one’s recommendation if they trust and highly regard them.

    Talk to the employee first

    Employment recommendation letters will vary from one situation to the next. It is unwise to assume that one knows all there is to know just because one has ever written one before. Job applications come with guidelines and specifications. Schedule a meeting with the candidate to discuss what they would like included in it and the job application requirements.


    It should be customized to fit the job requirements. For example, a quality like tech-savvyness would not be quite befitting when referring someone for a fashion model job.

    The candidate knows better about the job and the company they are applying for. Having a conversation with them provides clarity and brings up things one might not have considered lighting.

    Some of the questions to ask as the recommender are as follows:

    • When the applicant needs the letter
    • The name of the hiring manager should be addressed to a more general recipient (To Whom It May Concern)
    • The applicant’s strongest skill and qualities
    • The applicant’s interest in the job
    • The applicant’s greatest accomplishment within the company

    Examine an employee’s job record

    Since the letter is supposed to use examples to describe how the applicant fits the job description, an examination of the applicant’s employee records becomes vital. Look out for standout moments and exemplary performances during their tenure. If the applicant worked for the company a long time ago, examining their job record can help in remembering things one might have forgotten. Take note of any information that can be included in the letter.

    Recommendation Letter Format

    A recommendation letter is an official document, and as a result, it must be structured and presented as such. One might opt to use a template or write it from scratch. Regardless of the preferred option one chooses to take, the letter must be inclusive of several fundamental components.

    The first component is the header. The header should be structured like a formal business letter. The sender, the recipient, contact information, and the date must be declared. The company must be present, but it must also specify to whom the letter is being sent (the hiring manager).

    A standard header will look like the one below:


    Jim Clarke, Hotel Manager,
    Big Seven Hotel,
    1005 12th Street,
    Washington, WA 1234,

    March 25, 2021

    Denise Hive, Hiring Manager,
    Rockwell Restaurant,
    3321 Palm Street,
    Texas, TX 5678


    The company letterhead can be used too.

    If the letter is to be issued via email (email reference), the subject will typically be the first component. It should indicate the name of the person being recommended (the candidate).


    A salutation to the recipient of the letter must be included. Letters addressed to a specific person and those written for general reference have different salutations.

    For personal reference, address the person accordingly by their name and appropriate title.


    Dear Dr. Hunninghan, or Dear Mrs. Brooks,

    General reference letters should be addressed to “To Whom I May Concern.”

    Brief introduction 

    The body section should follow the salutation. It begins with identifying the applicant being recommended and a description of how the recommender knows the applicant. The introduction should also declare how long the recommender has known the applicant and justify why they are qualified to reference the candidate.


    This letter is written to recommend Ana Bridge for the administrative assistant position at King & Jones Micro-finance and Investments. Ana was my secretary for more than one and a half years between October 2018 and July 2020 at the Gates Foundation. We had a very cordial working relationship, and other staff members and I were glad to have her on our team. 

    Applicant’s skills and strengths 

    The next paragraph of the body section is used to market the candidate by highlighting the qualities that would make them stand out and be more suitable for the position. Skills and strengths are observable and must have been identified during the candidate’s tenure. There should be a connection between the indicated skills and the requirements of the job they are applying for.

    A few qualities to consider include:

    • Resilience
    • Creativity
    • Social and leadership skills
    • Respect for the chain of command


    Gary is always up-to-date with new technology. This was a key factor in the annual sales increase of 25% recorded during the 3 years he worked for us. In addition, he takes initiative and is very creative, something I got to witness when I worked with him under the Reach Out Campaign in 2019. These are skills that would highly benefit the Asani Technologies R&D department, with Gary at the forefront.

    Particular examples to elaborate on the skills 

    Next, outline the experiences that make the candidate an exceptional employee. Anecdotes and specific achievements can be used to demonstrate the applicant’s suitability.


    Mrs. Olsen is a good orator and a very likable character. In May 2020, with the emergence of COVID-19, our investors were nervous due to the impacts of the newly introduced movement restrictions on our revenue. This led to some disagreements during the quarterly progress meeting, and Mrs. Olsen, being the facilitator, stepped up to bring calmness by giving a speech that saw our investors’ confidence in management and the company’s ability to adapt and make it through tough times increase. She received the honor of Most Valued Employee for the year 2020, to that effect.

    A concluding statement 

    Include a closing statement that summarizes why the candidate is suitable for the position in question. Reaffirm that the recommendation is being made without a doubt. An appreciation statement to the hiring manager should also be included, as well as a notification of one’s availability for follow-up questions.


    Mr.Winks will be a valuable addition to your team, and though I am a bit saddened by the fact that he is leaving us, it makes me happy to know that he is making progress in his career. I highly recommend Mr. Winks for the Systems Analyst position and consider him a worthwhile investment as an asset to your company.

    I offer my appreciation for taking the time to review my letter. I am available for any additional questions you might have. Kindly let me know how I can be of any assistance.


    The last component is the signing off and the signature. The letter should be finalized like a formal letter. It is also suggested that the recommender provide their contact information for any follow-up questions.

    Mary Stewart
    Phone: 144(555)-663

    If the letter is being sent via email, this section can include the following:

    Mary Stewart,
    XYZ Company,
    1222 Street,
    Ohio, OH 2456,

    Employee Recommendation Letter Template

    [Your Name]

    [Your Job Title]

    [Your Company/Organization]

    [Company/Organization Address]

    [City, State, Zip]

    [Your Email Address]

    [Your Phone Number]


    [Recipient’s Name or “To Whom It May Concern”] or

    [Recipient’s Job Title or “Hiring Manager/Admissions Committee”]

    [Recipient’s Company/Organization or University/Program Name]

    [Company/Organization or University/Program Address]

    [City, State, Zip]

    Dear [Recipient’s Name or “To Whom It May Concern”],

    I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend [Former Colleague/Employee’s Name] for [mention the position, role, program, or opportunity they are seeking]. Having worked closely with [Former Colleague/Employee’s Name] for [mention the duration of your professional relationship] at [Your Company/Organization], I have had the privilege of witnessing their professional growth, dedication, and contributions firsthand.

    During their tenure at [Company/Organization Name], [Former Colleague/Employee’s Name] demonstrated exceptional [mention key skills or qualities, e.g., “leadership abilities, problem-solving skills, and team collaboration”]. One of the most notable projects that highlight their capabilities involved [briefly describe a significant project or achievement]. This project not only showcased [his/her/their] [mention specific skills or qualities demonstrated, e.g., “analytical skills and strategic thinking”], but also [his/her/their] commitment to achieving outstanding results.

    [Former Colleague/Employee’s Name] possesses a unique blend of [mention qualities or skills, e.g., “creativity, resilience, and technical knowledge”], making [him/her/them] an invaluable asset to any team or project. [He/She/They] consistently approaches challenges with a solution-oriented mindset and an unwavering dedication to excellence. [Provide an example, if possible, of how they demonstrated these qualities in a challenging situation].

    Beyond [his/her/their] professional expertise, [Former Colleague/Employee’s Name] is [mention personal qualities, e.g., “a compassionate colleague, a supportive team player, and a proactive learner”]. [His/Her/Their] ability to [mention an example of interpersonal skills, e.g., “build strong relationships with clients and colleagues alike”] has left a lasting impact on our team and contributed significantly to our collective success.

    I have every confidence that [Former Colleague/Employee’s Name] will bring the same level of dedication, skill, and positive energy to [mention the new company, role, or program]. [He/She/They] is fully capable of exceeding your expectations and making meaningful contributions right from the start.

    Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or via email at [Your Email Address] should you require any further information or insights regarding [Former Colleague/Employee’s Name]’s qualifications and achievements. I am enthusiastic about [his/her/their] future endeavors and believe [he/she/they] would be a remarkable addition to your [team/program].


    [Your Name]

    Employee Recommendation Letter Sample

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend Michael Johnson for any future roles he decides to pursue. Having had the pleasure of working with Michael for over three years at Innovative Solutions Ltd., where he served as a Senior Software Engineer, I have witnessed his remarkable professional growth and his substantial contributions to our projects.

    Michael is a person of exceptional intelligence and technical ability. In his time with us, he led the development of our flagship product, a task that required not only advanced technical skills but also a strong ability to manage and lead a team. His leadership was instrumental in the successful launch of the product, which has since become the cornerstone of our company’s offering.

    What sets Michael apart is his exceptional problem-solving skills and his unwavering dedication to quality. He has an innate ability to analyze complex technical issues and devise efficient and effective solutions. Michael’s contributions often went beyond his own projects; he was always willing to offer his expertise and insights to colleagues across the company, thereby improving our overall product quality and team knowledge.

    Moreover, Michael possesses excellent communication skills. He has the rare ability to explain complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders, making him an invaluable asset in client meetings and internal discussions. His contributions to improving our project workflows and communication practices have had a lasting impact on our team’s efficiency and cohesion.

    Aside from his professional competencies, Michael’s positive attitude and team spirit have made him a beloved member of our team. He is always ready to lend a helping hand or share a word of encouragement, contributing significantly to our team’s morale and workplace culture.

    In conclusion, Michael is a remarkable software engineer and team leader who brings out the best in those around him. His technical prowess, leadership abilities, and positive attitude would make him a valuable asset to any organization. I am confident that he will continue to excel and drive success in his future endeavors. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information or clarification regarding Michael’s abilities and contributions.


    Samantha Reed

    Project Manager

    Innovative Solutions Ltd.


    The letter of recommendation effectively lauds the candidate’s exceptional qualities as a software engineer and team leader, providing a comprehensive overview of their contributions and character traits. Beginning with the writer’s extensive experience working with the candidate at Innovative Solutions Ltd., the letter establishes credibility. It proceeds to highlight the candidate’s intelligence, technical acumen, and leadership skills, exemplified by their instrumental role in leading the development of the company’s flagship product. Concrete examples of the candidate’s problem-solving abilities and commitment to quality further reinforce their value to the organization. Additionally, the letter underscores the candidate’s adept communication skills, facilitating effective interactions with both technical and non-technical stakeholders. The acknowledgment of the candidate’s positive attitude and collaborative demeanor demonstrates their impact on team dynamics and workplace culture. Overall, the letter provides a compelling endorsement of the candidate’s capabilities and suitability for future roles, supported by specific instances and firsthand observations from the writer’s professional relationship with them.

    Employee Recommendation Letter Samples

    Free Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 01 for Word File

    Printable Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 02 for Word File

    Downloadable Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 03 for Word File

    Printable Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 04 for Pdf File

    Editable Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 05 for Pdf File

    Professional Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 06 for Pdf File

    Free Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 07 for Pdf File

    Free Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 08 for Pdf File

    Free Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 09 for Pdf File

    Free Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 10 for Pdf File

    Free Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 11 for Word File

    Free Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 12 for Word File

    Printable Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 13 for Word File

    Customizable Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 14 for Word File

    Editable Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 15 for Word File

    Free Sample Recommendation Letter For Employment 16 for Word File

      Employee recommendation Letter Templates

      Free Employee Recommendation Letter Template 01 for Word File

      Professional Employee Recommendation Letter Template 02 for Word File

      Free Employee Recommendation Letter Template 03 for Word File

      Free Employee Recommendation Letter Template 04 for Word File

      Free Employee Recommendation Letter Template 05 for Word File

      Free Employee Recommendation Letter Template 06 for Word File

      Free Employee Recommendation Letter Template 07 for Word File

        Professional Tips for Writing

        When writing a recommendation for employment, quality should be a key area of focus. As earlier mentioned, it can be the reason someone gets a job. Conversely, a poorly written letter has the opposite impact—it might cost the candidate the job. It is therefore important to have a well-written letter.

        To ensure this is possible, the following things are worth considering:

        Be honest and professional

        The letter is meant to “sell” the applicant to the potential employer, and sometimes one might be tempted to lie or exaggerate the letter’s content to make this happen. As helpful as one wants to be, they should not do it. It should be about authenticity, and it is more of a statement of facts. Try to balance the letter with the applicant’s good qualities and some weaknesses. Employers appreciate that level of honesty.

        Do not make an omission that would consequently influence the decision of the hiring manager. It is considered worse than giving a realistic description of a weak point.

        Regardless of one’s relationship with the applicant or the potential new employer, it should be professional. Note that recommendation letters often go to the applicant’s file as official records. In addition, they are letters of reference,


        During promotion, and the last thing one would want is to have an unprofessionally written one lower their chances of being promoted.

        Keep it positive

        The letter should channel positivity to the reader. They should be able to deduce the assurance from the recommender throughout the letter. Comments that might suggest doubt should be avoided.

        The recommender should note that, if all the applicants are not competent in their work, do not write a letter conveying the same to their new potential employer. Negative letters raise the possibility of potential defamation lawsuits. In such a situation, avoid it all by tactfully and professionally declining to recommend the person.

        Use a business-formal format and tone

        Before proceeding to write such a letter, first settle on the correct format to use. The most common one is the business format; however, some companies do have customized formats that they would like their documentation to be in; if this is the case, one should use it. The use of templates can also guide a person when writing a recommendation letter.

        Keep the tone formal and be polite when making requests or issuing directives.

        Discuss two or three qualifications

        Including two or three major achievements by the candidate can boost their chances immensely. Make sure to support the claims with evidence by citing specific examples.

        Focus on the job description

        Often, the applicant will provide a job description (their duties and responsibilities should they get the job). Try to relate the letter to the skills and qualities required to carry out the job successfully. One can look at the job listing and the applicant’s resume and think of ways to link the two.

        Send an email when appropriate

        Sometimes, an email reference is sufficient. Applicants will sometimes request an email reference due to either job application specifications or urgency. If they do, it is best to oblige. An emailed recommendation letter is written in the same business format as the header omitted. The subject should declare who is being recommended and for which position.

        Follow the request instructions

        Job applications will always issue instructions on how recommendation letters should be written and submitted, as well as the deadlines. Plan how to fulfill all these instructions, as failure to do so can negatively reflect the ex-employee’s application status.


        A recommendation letter is an opportunity for a recommender to help a former employee, colleague, student, or business associate secure employment. If at all one can vouch for the candidate, they can use a recommendation letter to outline the skills, qualities, and experience that make the applicant a suitable candidate for the job at hand. They should be kept honest and professional. If one is not comfortable recommending someone, it is best to decline the request rather than provide untrue information or negative comments about the applicant.

        About This Article

        Shannon O'Brien
        Authored by:
        Career and Life Strategy Consulting, Workshops, E-learning
        Shannon O'Brien, the visionary Founder and Principal Advisor of Whole U., has positioned her Boston-based consultancy as a beacon for those seeking purpose and balance in their careers and lives. Whole U. offers a spectrum of services, from individualized advising to immersive workshops and e-learning platforms, all designed to empower individuals to chase their true calling and cultivate a harmonious life. Recognized for her unparalleled expertise, Shannon has been honored as both the #1 Career Coach and Life Coach in Boston by Yelp users. Her insights and contributions have been spotlighted on platforms like Boston.com, Boldfacers, and the UR Business Network. Cementing her authority in the field, Shannon holds a Master's degree in Technology, Innovation, & Education from the prestigious Harvard University.

        Was this helpful?

        Great! Tell us more about your experience

        Not Up to Par? Help Us Fix It!

        Keep Reading


        Employment, Letters and Emails, Verification

        42 Employment Verification Letter Samples & Templates


        Cover Letters, Letters and Emails

        Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Samples

        Demand Letter

        Demand, Letters and Emails

        Free Demand Letter Templates (22 Types)

        Thank You for Your Feedback!

        Your Voice, Our Progress. Your feedback matters a lot to us.