It’s possible that someday a friend will request that you write them a recommendation letter to support their application to a job, an educational program, or another situation where they have to provide proof of good character. While recommendation letters are often written by employers, teacher or other authority figures, a well-written letter from a friend can be very helpful for someone who wants to demonstrate their good qualities. The recommendation letter will provide context for how you know that person, what you have observed of that person’s character and why you recommend them for this particular role.
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
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
Assuming 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.
Sample 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 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.
Recommendation Letter for Friend (Examples and Templates)
Make sure to properly review the samples that we have provided before writing your letter. This way, you will get a general idea of what your letter should look like. In as much as the examples provided, templates and guidelines are a great starting point for your letter; you should be flexible enough to tailor your letter to fit your friend’s experiences and the job they are applying for.
Keep in mind that a well-drafted recommendation letter is a lot like your friend at the role-playing party. You want them to offer you the best possible introduction they can without blowing smoke up the tailpipe of whoever will be reading it. Ensure that the letter is brief and straight to the point; keep them realistic and honest, and as always, Best of Luck!