A personal letter of recommendation is a reference document written from your perspective to boost your friend’s application for a job position, admission to a school, or membership to a private organization by providing insights into their personal attributes and traits.
It is recommended that you only write a personal letter of recommendation for a friend well known to you. Possible relationships that may warrant writing a recommendation letter include:
- A current or former classmate
- Long-time family friend
- Coach, mentor, or mentee
- Long-time neighbor
- Fellow club member or organization
- Business client or contact.
Over an extended period, these relationships help you develop a friendship with an individual. Hence if approached to write them a recommendation letter, you will be in a position to write a heartfelt and honest letter.
When can you write to your friend?
You can write a personal letter of recommendation for your friend under different conditions. The following are conditions that warrant a personal recommendation letter for a friend:
- A personal recommendation letter (for court): You can write a personal recommendation letter to be used in a child custody case or DUI occurrence. This type of personal reference letter states should state your friend’s moral or mental qualities to a judge. You can also write this type of recommendation letter to be used in other courtroom sceneries, including criminal proceedings or appeal cases.
- A personal recommendation letter (for immigration): You can also write a personal recommendation letter to boost your friend’s immigration application. The recommendation letter aims to portray a positive perception of your friend by highlighting his/her positive traits.
There are various considerations that you should make before writing a personal letter of recommendation. The considerations made will help you decide whether you are qualified to write a personal letter of recommendation for your friend. These considerations include:
Accept only if you can provide a quality letter
It would be best if you start by considering how well you know your friend. If you have only known him/her for a few months, you will likely convey vague information to the recipient, negatively affecting your friend’s chances. The personal Letter of recommendation should be detailed in its description of the applicant. The longer and stronger the relationship is between you and your friend have, the more authentic the recommendation is likely to come across to the recipient.
Ask for details about the job opening
Secondly, you must ask your friend for details concerning the job or position they are applying for. Seeking further information on the position will help you filter out irrelevant details and help you tailor the information to what the recipient needs to know about your friend concerning the position.
You risk writing a lengthy, inappropriately detailed personal letter of recommendation when you are not well informed of the position and required for your friend to fill it. You can even conduct an inquiry of the company, organization, or institutional culture to ensure that you can demonstrate how your friend can contribute to it.
Ask your friend about goals
Lastly, you should consider including your friend’s career goals linked to the acquisition of the position. This information helps demonstrate that your friend is driven, focused, and capable of diligently performing his/ her duties for his/her benefit and for that of the company or organization he/she is applying for.
How to Write Recommendation Letter for your Friend
A personal letter of recommendation could be all that stands between your friend getting the position that he/she wants. It is therefore critical that you ensure that the personal Letter of recommendation is well-formatted. Thus, when writing a personal recommendation letter for a friend, you should adhere to the following:
First, your Letter of recommendation for a friend should start with a salutation to the recipient. For example, suppose you know the hiring manager by name, then you should address him /her directly, for example, Dear Mr. Parker or Dear Dr. Jane, etc. On the other hand, suppose you don’t know the recipient by name or the personal Letter of recommendation is to be sent to multiple recipients. In that case, you can address the letter “To whom It May Concern.”
2) Body Paragraphs
Secondly, the body of a personal letter of your recommendation letter for a friend should contain the following information:
2.1) Introduce yourself
You should start the body of the personal Letter of recommendation with a self-introduction explaining the relationship you share with the applicant and why you are qualified to recommend him/her. The following are examples of such a self-introduction in a personal recommendation letter for a friend:
I am pleased to recommend my childhood friend Alice Keen whom I have known for the last thirty years, for a position as a graphic designer at your company. I have watched Alice hone her skills as a designer for the last fourteen years.
I am greatly honored to recommend John Smith for a position in your writers’ training program. My friendship with John has lasted ten years. We started as copywriters for the Daily Mail and have been friends ever since.
I am delighted to recommend my friend and former classmate Ann Wellington to be a sales agent in your marketing firm. Ann and I studied together at the University of Saskatchewan for five years. At that time, we became close inseparable friends.
2.2) Mention skills and qualifications
You should follow up by explaining why your friend is qualified for the position. This can be achieved with a detailed description of his/her skills and qualifications. The skills and qualifications mentioned should be relevant to the position your friend is applying for. You can even demonstrate an event or setting when your friend portrayed a particular exceptional skill. The following are examples of the skills and qualifications you can write in the personal recommendation letter for a friend:
Alice is hardworking and resilient. She has displayed exceptional time management and organizational skills. Her ability to create captivating and insightful designs has led to a demand for her work. This is especially true for the Lexan hair and body products, for which she is credited for designing the product logo. The logo is easily identified by their consumers and has contributed to the company’s positive image to this day.
John’s love for writing is evident in the passion he puts into his work. In addition, his excellent communication skills help him convey his message to his readers. One of the most touching short story articles he ever wrote was called ‘Jane and her red rose’ the story is about a young woman who does everything she can to stop her red rose from death. The story was inspired by the human desire to keep those we love alive even when we know death is inevitable. The story received exceptional reviews from his critics, who described it as a heartfelt short tail.
Ann is excellent at building rapport and problem-solving. As her friend and former classmate, I can vouch for her ability to get the job done no matter the obstacles that stand in her way. In school, no challenge was too great for her. She ensured that she got the job done and got it done the right way. In addition, Ann is excellent at communicating her message to people; she not only ensures she gets her message across, but she takes the time to listen and understand another person’s prospect.
2.3) Emphasize the progress
Next, you should strive to demonstrate the progress and further development you have observed in your friend during your relationship. This can be done by stating the steps your friend has taken to improve his/her skills and qualifications, such as degrees, certificates, or volunteer positions he/she has taken up to improve his/her personal development. For example:
Alice has improved her designs from simply working with regular shapes to creating elaborate illustrations that capture a person’s imagination. Having subscribed to her graphic design website in its early stages, I can personally attest to improvement in her creative work throughout the years.
John’s desire to improve his writing abilities led him to discover your exceptional writers’ training program. This program is in line with him taking a new step in his life as an independent writer.
2.4) Add the statement of recommendation
In the recommendation letter, you should then state why you believe your friend is the best candidate for the position. The following are examples of how this can be conveyed:
Alice’s experience as a freelance graphic designer over the years is why I highly recommend her for a position in your company. I believe she will be an excellent addition and that her skill will be put to great use working with you.
John’s love and passion as a writer and his desire to improve on his craft is the reason I wholeheartedly recommend him for your training program. I believe you can play a significant role in pushing his career forward.
I undoubtedly recommend Ann for a position at our marketing firm. I believe that she has so much she can contribute to its success through her passion, dedication, and hard work.
2.5) Include contact information
At the end of the body of the personal Letter of recommendation, you should provide your contact information should the recipient feel the need to contact you for further discussion about your friend’s qualifications. A phone number and email address you can reach would be enough for any questions or clarifications the recipient may have. For example:
For questions or clarifications, contact me at [email protected] eamil.com or555-555-555
Please feel free to contact me at 555-123-456 or [email protected] for any questions or clarifications you may need.
Finally, you as a recommender should conclude the personal Letter of recommendation by signing it and stating your name and title(optional), for example:
Dr. Brenda Lee
Editor, Milltown Publishers
Personal Recommendation Letter for a Friend (Template)
[CITY, ZIP CODE]
[CITY, ZIP CODE]
DEAR [RECIPIENT’S NAME],
I am greatly honored to recommend my friend [applicant’s name] for a position at your organization as a [name of position]. He and I have been friends for fifteen years. [ The applicant’s name] is hardworking and dedicated.
In the time I have known [applicant’s name], I have observed his [state the skill observed]. One such incident was when [provide an example that demonstrates skill observed].
During the period I have known [applicant’s name], he has enrolled in various training programs in a bid to hone his skill to improve the quality of his work.
It’s for this reason I wholeheartedly recommend [applicant’s name] for a position at your organization. I believe that his resilience and determination make him the best man for the job.
You are free to contact me with any questions or clarifications at [recommender’s contact information.
How should you begin the recommendation?
In order for your letter to be considered credible, you should establish how you met the person, for how long you’ve known them, and what opportunities you had to evaluate the kind of person they are. This should lead to sharing some of the positive qualities that would make this person an asset to the role they’re interested in having. You want to really sit and think about it so that you can write something that will be sincere, specific, and helpful for describing your friend’s strengths.
What should you say in a recommendation letter for a friend?
In describing your friend, specific anecdotes can be helpful though you should be concise and summarize the most important points. You want to paint a picture of this that will be more personal and revealing than their resume. Recommendation letters are important because they can help distinguish between multiple people who have similar qualities. Ask yourself some questions such as, what are my friend’s best qualities that will help them in this role? Do you know this person to be responsible? Is it their creativity that makes them stand out? Are there examples of when this person has helped others? Think of different possibilities and then write some ideas down. Expand on the ideas and then pick two to three as the focus of your letter.
What makes for a strong recommendation letter for a friend?
You don’t have to be a professional writer to write a good recommendation letter, but it’s important to proofread and write clearly. Your letter should show you took the time and effort to write something thoughtful because this speaks well of both you and your friend. The qualities you mention should relate to the position your friend is applying for in order to present a strong case for why he or she is a good candidate. It’s also a good idea to add your phone number to the letter and encourage them to call if they have any questions. While they may not actually call, it’s a nice touch that makes your letter stronger and more credible because it shows you really want to support your friend.
What to Write and What Not to Include
Following are the things to be included in the personal recommendation letter:
- Focus on the particular job: make sure to ask your friend for information on the job that they are applying for. This way, you will be able to focus on the specific requirements of the position.
- Please explain how you know the person: In the letter, make sure to explain how you know the person properly and for how long you have known him/her
- Include specific examples: when writing the letter, provide specific examples to help bring out the applicant’s positive side.
- Remain positive: when writing the letter, state that you believe that they are the perfect candidate for the position. Emphasize this both at the beginning and at the end of the letter
While writing a personal recommendation letter for a friend, you should avoid:
- Assuming that you already know about the job: Do not assume that you already know about the position they are applying for. Assuming that you know about the position that they are applying for is wrong.
- Writing a letter for someone you don’t know: Writing a letter for someone you don’t know very well or someone you don’t want to write to is wrong as this may cost them their job.
- Providing lots of compliments but no specifics: if you don’t know the person well enough to provide specifics about them, then it is probably a good sign you shouldn’t write the letter for them in the first place.
- Being untrue: when you set high the skills of the person you are writing for, you are basically making promises they can’t keep. Avoid writing anything untrue in the letter to avoid setting them up for failure.
Following are samples and templates to understand the sentence structuring better:
Personal recommendation letter for a friend – Text version
Dear Mr. Adams,
I’m writing to recommend my friend Angela Dwight for the position of teacher’s assistant at Plymouth Elementary School. I’ve known Angela since 2013 when we met as members of a neighborhood book club. I’ve always admired her warmth, intelligence, and commitment to being a good person. She would be an excellent assistant teacher and an asset to your school.
Angela and I became close friends over the last six years. I admire her commitment to volunteering every week at a local animal shelter. She has been invited to come along on four different occasions and I was impressed with her compassion and hard work in helping these needy animals. I enjoyed participating with her because she inspires me to want to make a difference.
One of Angela’s best qualities is that she always wants to help. When I mentioned to her that my doctor suggested I should lose weight, she offered to go on walks with me around the neighborhood. This was very helpful in motivating me to exercise. She also frequently emails me healthy recipes with ingredients she knows I like. Angela is an incredibly generous person who always wants to make a difference for others.
Angela is passionate about teaching and she loves children. She would be an excellent assistant teacher because she is caring, hard-working, and a naturally warm person.
I hope this letter will help you get to know my friend better and that you will give strong consideration to her candidacy. Please contact me with any questions and I would be more than happy to help.
Sample Letters & Templates
Professional Writing Tips
Writing a personal letter of recommendation can seem like a daunting task; however, various tips you can use to ensure that you write an efficient letter. These tips include the following:
- Address properly: The personal Letter of recommendation should adequately address the recipient. Addressing the hiring manager directly helps make the Letter more personalized. However, if there are multiple recipients, you can address it ‘To whom it may concern.
- Make it concise: A personal letter of recommendation for a friend should also be brief, simple, and straight to the point. The recipient of the recommendation letter is likely to be busy from the number of applications he/she has received. A lengthy personal letter can discourage the recipient from even reading it; hence a two-or-three-paragraph-letter is recommended.
- Remain positive: You should ensure that the personal Letter of recommendation conveys a positive message. Avoid any negative details concerning your friend as this can defeat the whole purpose of writing the recommendation letter.
- Use business official format: You should ensure that the personal Letter of recommendation is written in the official business format. This will help shape a reliable perception of the face value of the recommendation letter. Using the official business format will also ensure a consistent flow in the letter.
- Focus on one to two traits: You should focus on one or two traits that qualify your friend for the job. Focusing on these few traits should help keep the information relevant. Examples demonstrating your friend’s qualities and skills should focus on the traits you’ve already provided.
- Follow submission requirements: You should enquire from your friend on how the letter is to be submitted to the recipient. For example, some organizations may exclusively request for submission via email, while others may request for mailing of the personal Letter of recommendation or personal hand delivery by the applicant.
A personal letter of recommendation can help strengthen a weak resume, especially for applicants with no work experience. A friend that is well known to the applicant can provide vital information on his/her attributes. Before you agree to write a personal letter of recommendation for a friend, you should consider the type of relationship shared with him/her and the period you have known him/her.