Personal Recommendation Letter (25+ Sample Letters and Examples)

Personal recommendation letters are also known as written references. These letters are designed to give an insight to your character to the recipient. Depending on the purpose of the particular letter of recommendation, it may be used to demonstrate your work ethic, personality, achievements, awards, or skill sets.

Types of Personal Recommendation Letters

There are 3 basic types of personal recommendation letters. Each one is written for a specific purpose.

Academic Recommendation

Academic letters of recommendation are used by students applying for admission to a school. Review committees use these letters to get an idea about certain aspects of a candidate’s personality that cannot be assessed in the college application.

Employment Recommendation

Potential employers may sometimes request an employment recommendation letter in addition to the usual resume/CV, cover letter and portfolio. These personal recommendation letters are usually written by previous employers or co-workers and are considered useful when the applicant does not have much experience under their belt.

Character Recommendation

The character recommendation letter is used when someone is in the process of providing specific information regarding someone’s character. You may be required to provide one if you are considering adopting a child, pet, or submit it to a prospective landlord. The person chosen to write this letter depends on what you’re needing it for. For instance, if one is required before you can rent a certain apartment, then your letter should be composed by a previous landlord, if possible.

When Are Personal Reference Letters Used?

Personal reference letters are used to give individuals that little bit of added boost to their school application, job application or situations where a more in-depth description of a person’s character is required, such as renting an apartment or proving an individual has leadership skills. Below are some of the situations which often require a personal letter of recommendation:

  • College admissions
  • Scholarship programs
  • Child adoption
  • Pet adoption
  • Any merit-based program
  • Apartment rentals

How to Ask for a Personal Letter of Recommendation?

Asking someone to compose a personal letter of recommendation is a huge responsibility. After all, that one letter can make or break someone’s opportunity to get that position. When it comes time to select someone to compose your letter, keep in mind this individual should be associated someway with the purpose of your letter, to do the most good. For example, if you are applying for a teaching position in a real estate program, your next-door neighbor who has no knowledge of your professional life would not be a good choice. Look for an individual who is familiar with your achievements, such as a professor, boss, or co-worker.

As for the approach, if you are nervous, simply approach it as if you are seeking a favor from the individual, make sure you give them at least a month to prepare, and give them whatever information they may need to compose it. You may hand them an outline, a list of objectives that need to be covered, or simply compose the letter yourself, and hand it over for them to sign. Once completed, please do not forget to write them a nice, thank you note or purchase a small thank you gift. Once you ask them and they accept, it’s essential that you supply them with the tools they’ll need to complete the letter:

  • Resume, if required
  • The deadline when you need the letter completed
  • Describe what you need it for
  • What information they can provide which will help you
  • Why you selected them to compose the letter
  • Name any character traits, achievements, etc. relevant to the purpose
  • Provide them with any submission instructions
  • Your GPA
  • Lists of any papers you’ve had published
  • Awards, activities and achievements
  • Volunteer or internship experience

How to Write and Format a Letter of Personal Recommendation

It’s now time to sit down and compose your Personal Letter of Recommendation. Before you begin, know that you are to consider this letter as a formal business document. This means that you’ll be formatting it in block style. In block style, each section begins flush at the left, is single spaced with double spacing in between the sections.

Basic Elements of a Recommendation Letter

No matter what type of personal recommendation letter you are writing, it should contain 3 basic elements. First, you should compose a sentence or paragraph which briefly describes your connection to this person and your relationship. Next, provide the necessary information on their character. Depending on the type of letter, it may be work ethics, academic achievements, or skills. Back these up with examples. Finally, conclude the letter by explaining why you think this individual would suit the situation.

Sometimes the person who is the best candidate to write your letter lacks writing skills. If that’s the case, then you may write the letter, and have them sign off on it. Also, it’s good policy to send a letter of gratitude to someone who composed the letter. For example, if you needed a letter of recommendation from a professor, remember to send that person a note of thanks for composing the letter.

  1. First Paragraph

    Here, you are to tell the recipient how you are connected to this person and why you are writing a recommendation letter. Use language to enforce that you actually know this person.

    Example:
    Thomas Jenkins has been employed by me as my personal assistant from January 2016 to present. I hereby recommend him without qualification to your real estate program. I strongly believe that he will be an asset to your program with regards to his ability to communicate and instruct others.

  2. Second Paragraph

    In the next paragraph, you are to back up your preceding statement by referencing specific examples as to how they assisted you. This reinforces the idea that this individual is qualified and competent. Of course, you may use more than one paragraph for this section.

    Example:
    During his employment, he has proved himself by organizing open houses, handling various office duties, and securing leads for our company. He is creative, industrious and dedicated. He has also contributed to meetings, offering sound ideas which assisted us in meeting our goals.


    Throughout his stay, he utilized his soft skills, helping us close several important real estate deals. He has also ventured into dealing with contractors with regards to property development with great success. He initiated and coordinated several projects, as well as organized our annual charity functions.

  3. Summary

    At this point, all that is left is for you to compose a few sentences stating why you are recommending This person.

    Example:
    Thomas is an individual that has performed all duties with integrity and devotion, often putting himself last, and the project first. Working next to Thomas has been a good experience, and I believe that he will be an excellent addition to your Real Estate program.

  4. Last Paragraph (Conclusion)

    This final section contains your own contact information, such as phone numbers, professional emails. Here, you’re backing up everything you stated by giving the recipient an opportunity to speak with you personally.

    Example:
    It’s been my personal pleasure to recommend Mr. Jenkins for this position. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 555-555-2893, or Gray@none.com, and I’ll be more than happy to assist you in addressing any queries you may have.

Personal Letter of Recommendation Example

Roger M. Cray
321 W. Cherry Lane
San Jose, CA 90090
555-555-2898
Gray@none.com
 
December 13, 2018
 
Sarah Peterson
345 Cromwell St.
New York, NY 14444
 
Re: Personal Recommendation Letter: Thomas Jenkins
 
Dear Ms. Peterson:

Thomas Jenkins has been employed by me as my personal assistant from January 2016 to present. I hereby recommend him without qualification to your real estate program.

During his employment, he has proved himself by organizing open houses, handling various office duties, and securing leads for our company. He is creative, industrious and dedicated. He has also contributed to meetings, offering sound ideas which assisted us in meeting our goals.

Throughout his stay, he utilized his soft skills, helping us close several important real estate deals. He has also ventured into dealing with contractors with regards to property development with great success. He initiated and coordinated several projects, as well as organized our annual charity functions.

Thomas is an individual that has performed all duties with integrity and devotion, often putting himself last, and the project first. Working next to Thomas has been a good experience, and I believe that he will be an excellent addition to your Real Estate program.
 
It’s been my personal pleasure to recommend Mr. Jenkins for this position. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 555-555-2893, or Gray@none.com, and I’ll be more than happy to assist you in addressing any queries you may have.

Sincerely,

Roger M. Cray

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    How to Use Letter Samples

    Sample letters are a crucial component of composing the perfect personal recommendation letter. Keep in mind that a personal recommendation letter can help or hinder someone’s advancement in life, so having a solid model to follow almost guarantees you’ll not leave anything important out or include anything which may accidentally damage the individual’s chances.

    Tips on Writing Personal Recommendation Letters

    • Keep it professional and make no mention of personal relationships
    • Absolutely no gossip or mention of anything that could hinder the person from obtaining their goal
    • Stay truthful and accurate. Don’t include false praise, or traits that the individual cannot live up to
    • Choose the right person to write the letter
    • Select someone who likes you
    • Give the person all the information you’ll need, and request they stay on topic and not make additions or alter anything.
    • Proofread the letter for any errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation or factual errors
    • Send a thank you note to those who provided you with letters
    • Always keep copies of each and every letter you’ve sent
    • Give the individual 1 or 2 months to complete the letter, never wait until the last moment
    • Never fake a signature or ‘invent’ someone to write the letter
    • If someone has no writing ability, compose the letter yourself and have them sign off on it.

    There you have it, a basic start to composing a solid and sound letter of personal recommendation. While it is a daunting task, by following a basic format, and knowing what is expected of you, you should feel confident about the project. Keep in mind that it is to be seen as a formal document, so use business block style, and only provide the recipient with information relevant to the purpose of the letter. Keep in mind that you are to ask questions of things are not clear, as this simple letter could make or break a person’s chances for achieving their goals in life.