20 Free Personal Letter of Recommendation Templates

A personal letter of recommendation is also known as a character reference.

By definition,

A personal letter of recommendation is a letter written by a recommender to boost an applicant’s job, house, club, or school application through insights into the person’s character by outlining positive attributes, morals, and values.

These letters may be used in place of a job recommendation letter or they may be used for court hearings, parole hearings, or immigration cases. These letters speak more to a person’s character or personality than their experience. Unlike other letters of recommendation, you may ask close friends to write them, even if they do not know the depth of your work experience. They should talk about your character traits and your work ethic outside of your employment but they can also reference achievements you have made in your career.

Free Templates and Samples

Free Editable General Recommendation Letter Template 01 for Word File

Free Editable Recommendation Letter for a Neighbor Template 01 for Word File

Free Editable Recommendation Letter for a Colleague Template 01 for Word File

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Free Editable Recommendation Letter for a Roommate Template for Word File

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    Great Professional Recommendation Letter Example for Word File

      When are Personal References Used?

      This letter should be written by a recommender well-known to an applicant. A recommender should therefore be aware of instances that would warrant the writing of a personal reference. The following are instances where a recommendation can be used:

      Suppose an applicant would like admission into an institution; such a recommendation should be written to boost his/her academic profile. However, in some institutions, the letter can only be written at the discretion of the admissions board.

      If required by professional associations and guiding bodies

      Professional associations and guiding bodies may require an applicant to submit a recommendation letter before incorporation into the organization, society, etc. For instance, lawyers seeking admission to the bar require a recommendation letter.

      Jobs applications by college or high school college students

      College and high school students with no employment history can use the letter. The letter can stand in place of professional references for first-time applicants with no work experience.

      When purchasing or renting big living spaces

      A property owner may request that an applicant obtain it before making any property or rental agreements. The information in the letter will provide more insight into the applicant and help boost the trust of the property owner.

      Who Can Write a Recommendation Letter?

      This letter is a personal recommendation and can be written by the following people:

      • A Pastor
      • Teacher/Professor
      • Former/Current Employer
      • Client
      • Neighbors
      • Friends
      • Co-workers
      • A fellow student/graduate from an education program


      Recommendation letters from family members are believed to be biased and, hence, less likely to be taken seriously.

      No matter who you ask, you should ensure that they can fully understand your character and your accomplishments. You may want to prepare certain things for those that you ask for a reference.

      Writing the Letter

      It should adhere to the following procedures when written in email format:

      Step 1: Subject line

      First, the subject line should include the purpose of the letter, the name of the applicant the recommender is writing about, and, if known, the position the applicant is applying for.

      The following are examples of a subject line for the letter:

      EXAMPLE 1

      Subject line: Personal Recommendation Letter for John Smith

      EXAMPLE 2

      Subject line: Personal Recommendation Letter for Ann Willerby, Sales Agent

      Step 2: Salutation

      Secondly, it should include a salutation that either specifies the recipient’s name or addresses the recipient in the manner of ‘To whom it may concern’ should the letter be general. The following are examples of salutations a recommender can write in the letter:

      EXAMPLE 1

      Dear Mr. Adams,

      EXAMPLE 2

      To whom it may concern,

      A recommender can also choose not to write a salutation and go straight into the first paragraph.

      Step 3: Body paragraphs

      Next, the letter should contain the body paragraphs that provide the recipient’s recommendation information. The recommender should hence include the following information in the body paragraphs:

      3.1: Introduction

      The introductory paragraph should explain the relationship the recommender shares with the applicant, the length of time he/she has known the applicant, and what qualifies the recommender to write the referral. The following are examples of introductory paragraphs for the recommendation letter:

      EXAMPLE 1

      I am honored to be writing a recommendation letter for John Smith. John and I are friends, and we have been co-workers for five years at Anderson’s Realtors. In my seven years as a sales agent, I have never seen anyone put in as much hard work and dedication as John has.

      Example 2

      I am delighted to recommend my hardworking and dedicated student, Ann Willerby for admission to Belmont University. I have known and taught Ann for four years at Smithstone High. Ann is an innovative, obedient, and talented student who is also goal-oriented.

      EXAMPLE 3

      I have known Zack Samson for 15 years. Zack and I met as Boy Scouts of the Atomic Wizards patrol, where we became close friends. Knowing him for so many years, I believe that he would make a great nurse at May’s Field Hospital.

      3.2: Applicant’s skills and qualifications

      The second paragraph of the letter should state the skills and qualifications the recommender has observed in the applicant in relation to the position applied.

      EXAMPLE 1

      John has displayed communication skills, time management, and good listening skills in the time that I have worked with him. He has always taken the initiative to go beyond the client’s expectations and deliver what they are looking for. For example, John once helped a client find a two-million-dollar condo in a highly coveted neighborhood in Los Angeles that was conveniently a short distance from the client’s workplace.

      EXAMPLE 2

      Ann has always been a grade ‘A’ student with incredible leadership skills. She has been the chairperson of the math and journalism department for two years. Ann is a disciplined, diligent, and responsible student who I believe would be a great addition to your prestigious institution.

      EXAMPLE 3

      Zack is a kind, considerate, and loving person who always takes care of others. His social nature and well-mannered behavior make him a joy to be around. Zack also has great attention to detail and is wonderful at solving problems.

      3.3: Why is the applicant suitable?

      The third paragraph should explain why an applicant is suitable for the job. The recommender can mention reasons such as the applicant’s skills, qualifications, or experience. The reasons provided should reflect the desired qualities the employer needs to fill the position, for example:

      EXAMPLE 1

      The five years of experience as a sales agent that John has acquired and his ability to deal with clients make him the perfect candidate for the position.

      EXAMPLE 2

      When Ann informed me that she was considering joining your institution, I was delighted. She has demonstrated self-discipline and diligence in her studies. Ann has a growth mindset and a deep desire to excel in her endeavors. I am confident that her work ethic and academic achievements will meet your standards.

      EXAMPLE 3

      Zack’s ability to empathize with and care for patients makes him a great nurse. His attention to detail and sense of humor have enabled him to provide the best level of care for his patients. I, therefore, believe that he is the best candidate for the position. 

      3.4: Summary

      The final paragraph of the letter should state the reason for the recommendation by the recommender.

      EXAMPLE 1

      I can therefore undoubtedly guarantee that John’s excellent skills will always leave your client satisfied. It is for these reasons that I recommend John Smith.

      EXAMPLE 2

      Ann’s determination, resilience, and desire to learn make her a phenomenal student. I believe that she will be a great addition to your institution. It is for these reasons that I recommend Ann without reservations.

      EXAMPLE 3

      It is Zack’s commitment to the well-being of his patients that warrants my wholehearted recommendation.

      Step 4: Conclude properly

      A great way to conclude the letter of recommendation is for the referee to offer to provide more information about the applicant. The additional information may include the applicant’s character, morals, and values. In addition, the recommender can conclude the letter by providing his/her contact information should the recipient want to get in touch.

      EXAMPLE 1

      You are free to contact me with any further questions or details.

      EXAMPLE 2

      Should you have any further queries, kindly do not hesitate to reach out to me.

      Step 5: Signature and Contact information

      Finally, a recommender can end the letter by signing off with ‘Sincerely,’ ‘Best’ ‘Kind regards’ and providing his/her contact information.

      EXAMPLE 1

      Adam Hunter

      EXAMPLE 2

      Kind regards,
      Mrs. Emma Denman,


      Alex Lewis

      Personal Letter of Recommendation Template

      [Your Name]

      [Your Address]

      [City, State, Zip Code]

      [Phone Number]

      [Email Address]


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

      [Recipient’s Title/Position, if known]

      [Company/Organization Name, if applicable]

      [Company Address]

      [City, State, Zip Code]

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

      I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend [Name of the Person Being Recommended] for [mention the purpose – e.g., job position, volunteer role, award, etc.]. Having known [Name] for [length of time] as [your relationship to the person], I have had the opportunity to observe [his/her/their] personal qualities, character, and achievements firsthand. It is with great confidence and enthusiasm that I vouch for [Name]’s suitability for [mention the opportunity or recognition they are seeking].

      [Name of the Person] is a person of exceptional integrity and dedication. One of the qualities that stands out most profoundly is [mention a key trait or characteristic – e.g., reliability, kindness, creativity, etc.]. For instance, [provide a specific example or anecdote that illustrates this quality and its impact].

      In addition to [his/her/their] commendable character, [Name] has demonstrated remarkable [mention a skill or attribute – e.g., leadership skills, compassion, problem-solving ability, etc.] on numerous occasions. A notable instance was when [describe an event or situation where the person showcased this skill or attribute].

      [Name] also possesses a strong sense of [mention another quality – e.g., community spirit, responsibility, etc.], which was evident when [describe an example or contribution the person made to the community or others].

      I have every confidence that [Name of the Person] will bring the same level of commitment, skill, and positive attitude to [mention the opportunity or recognition]. [He/She/They] is not only immensely capable but also a joy to work with, making [him/her/them] an ideal candidate for any endeavor [he/she/they] chooses to pursue.

      Please do not hesitate to contact me at [phone number] or via email at [email address] should you require any further information or insights regarding [Name of the Person]’s character and qualifications. I am eager to provide any assistance that may help in your decision-making process.

      Thank you for considering my recommendation. I am confident that [Name of the Person] will prove to be a valuable addition to your [mention the context – e.g., team, program, community, etc.] and exceed your expectations in every capacity.


      [Your Name]

      [Your Signature, if sending a hard copy]

      Letter Examples

      Example job recommendation letter

      To Whom It May Concern,

      I am writing to extend my recommendation for Emily Nguyen, who is applying for a position within your organization. As Emily’s former manager at Tech Innovations Inc., where we worked together for over three years, I had the privilege to witness her professional growth, strong work ethic, and the positive impact she had on our team.

      Emily’s role as a Software Developer required not only technical proficiency but also a high degree of collaboration, adaptability, and innovative thinking — qualities that she possesses in abundance. Her ability to navigate complex project requirements, combined with her dedication to continuous learning, made her a key contributor to our project’s success.

      One of Emily’s most commendable qualities is her collaborative spirit. She has a natural talent for communication and teamwork, which enabled her to work effectively with colleagues across different departments. On numerous occasions, Emily took the initiative to organize knowledge-sharing sessions for her team, significantly enhancing our collective proficiency and fostering a culture of open communication and mutual support.

      Moreover, Emily’s leadership potential became evident through her involvement in leading a cross-functional team tasked with developing a new application feature that was critical to our product’s next release. Under her guidance, the team not only delivered the feature ahead of schedule but also implemented an innovative solution that improved our product’s performance. Her strategic approach to problem-solving and ability to inspire her team were instrumental in this achievement.

      Emily’s integrity, reliability, and personable nature make her an exceptional colleague and team member. Her positive attitude and resilience in facing challenges were sources of motivation for the entire team. I am confident that these qualities, along with her technical skills and professional experience, will make her a valuable asset to your organization.

      Please feel free to contact me at 555-123-4567 or via email at michael.johnson@techinnovations.com if you require any further information or wish to discuss Emily’s qualifications and achievements in more detail. I am more than happy to provide additional insights into her capabilities and how they align with the needs of your team.

      Thank you for considering my recommendation. I am confident that Emily Nguyen will contribute significantly to your organization, just as she has to ours.


      Michael Johnson

      Senior Project Manager,

      Tech Innovations, Inc.

      Example immigration recommendation letter

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      I am writing to wholeheartedly support the immigration application of my close friend and colleague, Ana Maria Lopez. I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Ana for over ten years, initially as classmates at the University of Springfield, and subsequently as colleagues at Springfield Community Health Center. Through the years, Ana has consistently exemplified the qualities of hard work, integrity, and compassion, making her a valued member of our community and an exemplary candidate for residency in the United States.

      Ana’s dedication to her profession as a nurse is admirable. She has worked tirelessly to provide care to underserved populations in our community, often volunteering extra hours to ensure that patients receive the attention they need. Her commitment to healthcare excellence and patient advocacy has not only improved countless lives but has also raised the standard of care in our facility.

      Beyond her professional contributions, Ana is deeply committed to our local community. She has been instrumental in organizing health fairs aimed at providing free medical screenings and health education to residents. These initiatives have significantly increased health awareness and access to care, particularly among immigrant and low-income families. Ana’s ability to connect with and serve people from diverse backgrounds is a testament to her empathy, cultural sensitivity, and unwavering dedication to the well-being of others.

      Ana is also an active member of the Springfield International Culture Exchange, where she volunteers her time to promote cultural understanding and integration through community events. Her efforts have greatly enriched our community’s social fabric, fostering a spirit of inclusivity and mutual respect.

      It is without reservation that I support Ana’s application for immigration. Her exemplary character, professional dedication, and positive impact on our community make her an outstanding candidate who will continue to contribute significantly to the fabric of American society. Ana embodies the values and spirit of community service, hard work, and compassion that are cherished in the United States.

      Please feel free to contact me at 555-789-4561 or via email at carlos.rodriguez@email.com should you require any further information or wish to discuss Ana’s application in more detail. I am confident that Ana Maria Lopez will make a remarkable addition to our nation, and I sincerely hope you will consider her application favorably.

      Thank you for your time and consideration.


      Carlos Rodriguez

      Example Scholarship Recommendation Letter

      Dear Members of the Scholarship Selection Committee,

      I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend Lily Chen for the Bright Future Scholarship. As Lily’s professor and academic advisor for the past three years at the University of Green Valley, I have had the pleasure of witnessing her remarkable academic journey, characterized by relentless dedication, exceptional intellect, and a profound commitment to making a positive impact on environmental conservation.

      Lily’s academic excellence is evident in her 4.0 GPA, but it is her passion for environmental science that truly sets her apart. She has consistently demonstrated an eagerness to go beyond the curriculum, engaging in research projects focused on sustainable agriculture practices. Notably, her research project on “Innovative Water Conservation Techniques in Arid Climates” received accolades at the National Environmental Science Symposium last year, showcasing her ability to contribute valuable insights to the field.

      Beyond her academic achievements, Lily’s leadership and initiative have been instrumental in establishing the “Green Innovators” club on campus, a student-led organization committed to promoting sustainability projects within the community. Under her leadership, the club successfully launched a campus-wide recycling program and organized workshops on sustainable living practices, significantly raising awareness and participation among students and faculty alike.

      Lily’s compassion and empathy shine through her volunteer work with the local community garden, where she educates children about environmental stewardship and the importance of biodiversity. Her ability to connect with and inspire the younger generation is a testament to her excellent communication skills and her genuine desire to make a difference.

      Lily Chen embodies the qualities that the Bright Future Scholarship seeks to nurture: academic excellence, leadership, and a deep-seated commitment to improving the world around us. I am confident that with the support of the Bright Future Scholarship, Lily will continue to excel academically and make significant contributions to the field of environmental science.

      Please do not hesitate to contact me at 555-987-6543 or via email at h.foster@ugv.edu if you require further information or wish to discuss Lily’s qualifications and achievements in more detail. I am eager to provide any assistance that may facilitate your decision-making process.

      Thank you for considering Lily Chen for this prestigious scholarship. I am confident that she will exceed your expectations and represent the Bright Future Scholarship Foundation with distinction.


      Dr. Helena Foster

      Professor of Environmental Science

      University of Green Valley

      Example Recommendation Letter for Renting

      Dear Mr. Clarkson,

      I am writing to provide a personal recommendation for Julia Sanchez, who is applying to rent an apartment within your esteemed Clarkson Property Management portfolio. As Julia’s employer for the past four years at Torres Bookstore, and as a family friend for over a decade, I have had ample opportunity to observe her character, reliability, and responsibility, all of which make her an ideal candidate for any landlord.

      Julia has been an exemplary employee, demonstrating a high level of dedication, punctuality, and integrity in her role as our Lead Sales Associate. She has consistently shown herself to be trustworthy, managing her duties with utmost care and always maintaining a professional demeanor. Her excellent organizational skills and attention to detail have significantly contributed to the smooth operation of our bookstore.

      Beyond her professional capabilities, Julia is a considerate and respectful individual. Her ability to maintain positive relationships with those around her, coupled with her respectful nature, ensures she is well-liked by colleagues and customers alike. Julia’s strong sense of community and her proactive approach to resolving any issues amicably further attest to her maturity and responsibility.

      In addition to our professional relationship, knowing Julia personally has allowed me to witness her responsible and thoughtful nature firsthand. She is meticulously tidy and takes great pride in her living space, treating it with the same respect and care as she does her workplace. Julia’s financial responsibility is also commendable; she is diligent about her personal finances, always ensuring her obligations are met promptly.

      Given Julia’s stable employment, her responsible and respectful nature, and her proven track record of reliability and financial responsibility, I am confident she will be a respectful and dependable tenant. Julia possesses all the qualities one would look for in an ideal renter, and I wholeheartedly recommend her without any reservations.

      Should you require any further information or wish to discuss Julia’s application in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at 555-321-9876 or via email at simon.torres@torresbookstore.com. I am happy to provide any assistance that may facilitate your decision-making process.

      Thank you for considering this recommendation. I am confident that Julia Sanchez will be a valuable addition to your residential community at Clarkson Property Management.


      Simon Torres

      General Manager

      Torres Bookstore


      The provided samples of recommendation letters across diverse contexts—employment, immigration, scholarship, and housing—effectively showcase the candidate’s qualifications, character, and suitability for the respective opportunities. Each letter is tailored to address the specific requirements of the position or application, demonstrating a clear understanding of what the recipient is looking for.

      In the employment recommendation, the letter highlights the candidate’s technical skills, leadership, and teamwork, directly linking their achievements to potential benefits for the new employer. The immigration letter emphasizes the applicant’s community contributions and professional dedication, portraying them as a valuable asset to society. The scholarship letter showcases the student’s academic excellence and passion for environmental conservation, aligning their personal initiatives with the scholarship’s goals. Lastly, the rental recommendation focuses on the applicant’s reliability, financial responsibility, and respectful nature, ensuring the landlord of their suitability as a tenant.

      Each letter is persuasive due to its personalized anecdotes and specific examples that illustrate the candidate’s strengths and contributions. By articulating the unique attributes and accomplishments of the individual, these letters provide compelling evidence of the candidate’s potential for success in the new role, program, or community. The use of a respectful tone, professional language, and direct appeal to the reader’s considerations further enhances their effectiveness, making them useful templates for crafting persuasive recommendation letters.

      Professional Tips on Writing

      It should be powerful enough to move the recipient. A recommender should therefore keep the following in mind when writing a letter:

      • The recommendation letter should be positive: A recommender should only provide information that works in the applicant’s best interest. It is therefore critical that the letter positively convey the applicant’s character.
      • Keep the letter short: The recipients of the letter are busy and have to consider several applicants; hence, they are easily discouraged from reading a multi-page letter. Writing a short letter will encourage the recipient to read it entirely. It is also important that the information is not complicated or hard to read.
      • Do not include private details: It should not go into intimate details about the applicant’s personal life.  Providing private information can potentially ruin an applicant’s chances of attaining the position he/she seeks.


      A personal letter of recommendation can strengthen an application. It is important for the recommender to make sure they highlight the recommended individual’s good qualities. The information contained in the letter should evoke thought in the mind of the recipient.

      About This Article

      William Lehr
      Authored by:
      Human Resources Specialist, MS Office Expert
      William Lehr combines a profound understanding of human resources with a certified expertise in Microsoft Office, making him a dual asset in any professional setting. With a keen insight into the intricacies of HR, William adeptly manages talent acquisition, employee relations, and organizational development. His Microsoft Office proficiency further amplifies his effectiveness, allowing him to design and implement seamless workflows, reports, and analytical tools. Whether it's optimizing HR processes or crafting efficient MS Office solutions, William's comprehensive skill set ensures that organizational objectives are met with precision and excellence.

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