25 Sample Personal Recommendation Letters (Tips & Examples)

This recommendation letter is a document of personal reference written by a recommender that can give insight into an applicant’s personal attributes and traits.

It is also known as a character reference letter or a personal reference letter. It is used to help strengthen an individual’s application for a job position, organization, or school admission through a recommender’s endorsement of the applicant’s positive attributes, morals, and values.

Types of Personal Recommendation Letters

There are 3 basic types. Each one is written for a specific purpose.

  • Academic Recommendation Letter: 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 Letter: Potential employers may sometimes request an employment recommendation letter in addition to the usual resume/CV, cover letter, and portfolio. These 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 Letter: 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, or pet, or submit it to a prospective landlord. The person chosen to write this letter depends on what you need 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.

Free Templates & Samples

Personal letter of recommendation samples

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 01 for Word Document

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 02 for Word Document

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 03 for Word Document

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 04 for Word Document

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 05 for Word Document

Free Wedding Absence Personal Recommendation Letter Sample for Word Format

Free Family Member Personal Recommendation Letter Sample for Word Format

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 06 for Word Document

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 07 for Word Document

Free Student Personal Recommendation Letter Sample for Word Format

Free Loan Application Personal Recommendation Letter Sample for Word Format

Free Notarized Personal Recommendation Letter Sample for Word Format

Free Apartment Personal Recommendation Letter Sample for Word Format

Professional Exemplary Tenant Personal Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 08 for Word Document

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 09 for Word Document

Printable Personal Recommendation Letter Template 10 for Word Document

Professional Personal Recommendation Letter Template 11 as Word File

Professional Teacher Personal Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Professional Board of Appeals Member Personal Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

Professional Intern Personal Recommendation Letter Sample as Word File

    Personal letter of recommendation templates

    Free Neighbor Personal Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

    Free Colleague Personal Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

    Free Writer-in-Residence Personal Recommendation Letter Sample as Word Format

    Free Personal Recommendation Letter Template 12 as Word Format

    Free Personal Recommendation Letter Template 13 as Word Format

      When Are Personal Reference Letters Used?

      Such letters are used to give individuals a little of an 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 this document:

      • Child adoption: Some adoption agencies may request adopting parents to acquire it to help get to know more about them.
      • Pet adoption: Pet adoption agencies can also request it from a candidate to help establish whether the individual will be a responsible pet owner.
      • Apartment rental: A landlord can request potential tenants for this letter from their neighbors or previous landlord to help understand what kind of tenant the candidate is.
      • Scholarship programs: Some scholarship programs may request it from a student’s teacher or professor to help them understand the kind of student the candidate will be.

      Pre-Writing Considerations

      The letter must effectively communicate the applicant’s personality from the recommender’s perspective. Therefore, it is important that the recommender make certain considerations, such as the nature of the relationship shared with the applicant, before writing it.

      Who can write a personal recommendation letter?

      It should be written by individuals who can attest to an applicant’s personality, skills, and abilities.  Teachers, business acquaintances, clients, friends, etc. can write this letter. It is advised that a family member does not write it as they are biased toward the applicant.

      Things to ask the applicant before writing

      The recommender should consider requesting the applicant to provide them with information regarding the skills and qualities required for the position, for example, if a candidate is applying for a job position as an assistant the recommender should mention the candidate’s organizational skills in the letter.  A recommender who takes the time to find out the qualities required for the position will seem more professional from the recipient’s perspective.

      The following are the things to ask the applicant to write it in an appropriate manner:

      • Resume, if required
      • The deadline for the letter to be completed
      • What information you can provide that will help the applicant
      • Why they select you to compose the letter
      • Any character traits, achievements, etc. relevant to the purpose
      • Ask for any submission instructions
      • Applicant’s GPA
      • Lists of any papers they have published
      • Applicant’s awards, activities, and achievements
      • Volunteer or internship experience

      Other considerations

      The recommender must share good relations with the applicant they are writing the letter for. Writing negative statements about the applicant can discourage the recipient from considering them as a potential candidate for the position.

      The recommender must also ensure that they know the applicant well enough. The relationship between the recommender and the applicant will often be reflected in the details written in this letter.

      A recommender writing a letter for a school or a scholarship for a candidate should ensure that the recommendation letter demonstrates the applicant’s positive qualities as a student.

      Writing a Personal Recommendation Letter

      A recommender should ensure that the letter directly speaks to the qualities of the applicant. The recommendation letter should focus on what enables the applicant to perform their job effectively. The recommender helps the recipient decide whether the applicant is a good fit for the position on offer.

      No matter what type of letter you are writing, it should contain 3 basic elements. First, you should compose a sentence or paragraph that 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.

      It is therefore important that it includes the following information:

      Addresses of the recommender and recipient

      The recommender of the letter should state both their name and mail address and that of the recipient.


      Mary Adams
      453 Maker’s Lane
      San Jose, CA90090

      January 10, 2018

      Andrew Baker
      347 Conwell Street
      New York, NY 3467


      The recommender should follow up by including a salutation that specifies the name of the recipient. Suppose the recommender is writing a general letter they can address it ‘To whom it may concern’.


      Dear Mr. Andrew,

      Relation with the applicant

      The recommender should start the letter by explaining how they know the applicant. It should establish what kind of relationship the recommender and applicant share to provide the recipient with context as to why the writer is best suited to recommend the candidate.


      I am honored to be writing this recommendation letter for Mary Adams for a position as an assistant at your organization. Mary and I are co-workers at Gin Tec Limited. We have worked together for 15 years.

      Thomas Jenkins has been employed by me as my personal assistant from January 2016 to the 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 regard to his ability to communicate and instruct others.

      Length of time the recommender has known the applicant

      Secondly, the recommender should state the length of time that they have known the applicant which could be weeks, months, or years. The length of time the recommender states in the letter informs the recipient of how well-acquainted they are with the applicant. The longer the period, the more reliable the recipient will consider the information in the letter to be.


      I have known and worked with Mary for 15 years. In that time, I have watched her grow into a determined hardworking, and resilient individual. Mary has displayed communication skills, time management, and good listening skills.

      Examples of applicant’s qualities

      The recommender should then state the applicant’s qualities in relation to the requirements for the position and examples that demonstrate how the applicant has made use of them. The use of relevant examples strengthens the impact of this letter on the recipient by demonstrating how they can make use of the qualities.

      The qualities stated and their examples should positively highlight the applicant’s best attributes. It is also essential that the recommender’s use of examples make the applicant stand out. For example, if the applicant is applying for a job as an EMT, provide an instance where their attention to detail resulted in them saving a life.


      John demonstrated his attention to detail in the winter of 2017 when a building collapsed in downtown Manhattan and one of the survivors claimed it is okay. He noticed there was bruising around the survivor’s navel area. The doctors said that had the patient not sought treatment he would have died within hours.

      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 that 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 regard to property development with great success. He initiated and coordinated several projects, as well as organized our annual charity functions.

      Add the statement of recommendation

      The recommender should summarize it by re-establishing the qualities they have stated earlier and officially recommending the applicant for the position. The official recommendation made by the recommender demonstrates their confidence in the abilities of the applicant.


      I undoubtedly guarantee that Mary’s communication skills and attention to detail will make her a great addition to your organization. It is for this reason that I recommend her for a position as an assistant in your organization.

      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.

      Conclude properly

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


      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 example@none.com, and I’ll be more than happy to assist you in addressing any queries you may have.

      Personal Letter of Recommendation Example

      Dear Ms. Peterson;

      I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend Michael Carter for the role of Marketing Manager at Bright Edge Technologies. As the Director of Marketing at InnovaTech Enterprises, I had the privilege of working with Michael for over four years, where he consistently showcased exceptional talent, dedication, and a passion for marketing excellence.

      Michael joined InnovaTech as a Marketing Assistant and rapidly advanced to the position of Senior Marketing Specialist, a testament to his innovative thinking, analytical acumen, and leadership qualities. He was instrumental in conceptualizing and executing our “NextGen Tech” campaign, which not only enhanced our brand visibility but also increased our sales by 30% within six months. His ability to blend creative marketing strategies with data-driven decision-making made him an invaluable asset to our team.

      Possessing a rare combination of creativity and analytical skills, Michael has an exceptional ability to identify and capitalize on market trends. His proficiency in digital marketing tools and techniques has enabled him to develop and implement strategies that effectively engage target audiences. Beyond his professional prowess, Michael’s interpersonal and communication skills are exemplary, allowing him to build strong relationships with clients, stakeholders, and team members.

      Michael’s positive attitude and work ethic are contagious. He consistently inspires his team with his enthusiasm and dedication, fostering a collaborative and productive work environment. His leadership extends beyond task management; he is genuinely invested in the professional growth and well-being of his colleagues.

      I am confident that Michael Carter will bring a wealth of expertise, innovation, and leadership to the Marketing Manager role at Bright Edge Technologies. His track record at InnovaTech Enterprises is a clear indicator of his potential to contribute significantly to your organization.

      Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information or insights regarding Michael’s qualifications and accomplishments.


      Samantha Lewis

      Director of Marketing

      InnovaTech Enterprises


      This sample cover letter is a good example for someone looking to understand how to write an effective recommendation letter for a colleague or employee for several reasons. Here are the key reasons why this letter is a useful model:

      • Professional Introduction and Context: The sample letter opens with a clear statement of recommendation and establishes the writer’s authority and relationship with the candidate. The letter indicates that the recommender has directly overseen the applicant’s work, which lends credibility to the endorsement.
      • Specific Achievements and Contributions: The writer highlights key accomplishments, like rapid advancement at InnovaTech and a pivotal role in the “NextGen Tech” campaign, which resulted in a significant sales increase. This not only showcases the applicant’s skills but also provides tangible evidence of their impact.
      • Balance of Skills and Qualities: The letter effectively balances the discussion of technical skills (such as his analytical acumen and proficiency in digital marketing tools) with personal qualities (like creativity, communication skills, and a positive attitude). This rounded portrayal suggests that the recommended person is both competent and a good cultural fit.
      • Results-Oriented Narration: By linking actions to concrete outcomes (like the 30% sales increase), the writer highlights the effectiveness and a result-oriented approach of the candidate, which is highly valued in marketing roles.
      • Leadership and Interpersonal Skills: The mention of leadership qualities, ability to inspire teams, and investment in colleagues’ growth indicates a team player and a potential leader who can foster a positive work environment.
      • Concluding Endorsement and Openness for Further Contact: The letter concludes with a strong endorsement and an offer to provide further information, indicating genuine support by the recommender.
      • Professional Tone and Clarity: The tone of the letter is professional, concise, and free of jargon, making it accessible to anyone who might read it, regardless of their familiarity with the applicant’s specific field.

      Overall, this letter serves as a useful sample for writing a recommendation letter, as it combines a professional tone, specific examples, a showcase of relevant skills, and personal endorsement, all of which are key elements in making a strong recommendation.

      Professional Tips for Writing

      Writing this letter is a big responsibility. The recommender should be effective in communicating the applicant’s qualities. The information contained in it should be enough to elicit consideration from the recipient. It is, therefore, important that the recommender consider the following tips when they decide to write it:

      • Think before saying yes: The recommender of the letter ought to have no reservations regarding the applicant they are writing about. The recommender should decline a request to write a recommendation for an applicant who is not well known to them.
        The recommender should ensure that they can write a referral that depicts their confidence in the applicant. Suppose the recommender cannot, then they should politely advise the applicant to find someone else who can write a recommendation that does not jeopardize consideration for the position by the recipient.
      • Know the deadline: The recommender should find out the deadline for the submission of all applications. This will enable that recommender to find out how long they must write the letter.
        Suppose that the recommender feels that they cannot write the letter in time for the submission deadline, then they should inform the applicant to provide them with enough time to find someone else to write the letter.
      • Be honest: The information provided by the personal recommender should be honest. Honesty by the recommender indicates that they are a credible individual and that the recipient should trust their recommendation. Writing an honest recommendation letter that is not full of exaggerated details also reflects positively on the applicant.
      • Focus on positive qualities: The recommender should focus on the uplifting qualities of the applicant. Stating the applicant’s positive qualities can help the applicant stand out from other candidates.
        Focusing on the positive qualities of the applicant will also help strengthen the applicant’s resume. It is especially helpful for inexperienced applicants who are applying for a position for the first time.
      • Keep it brief: It is advisable that the recommender ensure that it does not exceed one page. The recipient of the letter is probably dealing with applications from many candidates; therefore, they will be inclined to skip a lengthy recommendation.


      A brief letter for personal recommendation will save time for both the recipient and the recommender.

      • Avoid getting personal: It should not provide intimate details about the struggles the applicant has undergone. Intimate details about the applicant can make the recipient feel uncomfortable while reading it.
        The information provided by the recommender should be relevant to the position the applicant is seeking. A recommender that provides a candidate’s personal information is also viewed as unprofessional and therefore an unreliable reference.
      • Be polite and professional: The recommender should be polite and professional. The recommender should avoid aggressive language because a recipient will not respond well to it, resulting in a negative impact on the candidate’s application.
        The recommender can demonstrate professionalism by writing the letter in the official business letter format. The recommender can also send the recommendation via email if they are on a tight deadline.
      • Focus on relevant information: The information contained in it should be relevant. The recommender should not get carried away by unnecessary details that add no value to a candidate’s application.
        Irrelevant information that has nothing to do with the position can still damage a candidate’s application, regardless of its positive focus on the applicant.
      • Include the contact information: The recommender should include an offer to answer any question or provide further information about the applicant by providing their contact information—an email address and a phone number—that the recipient can use to reach them.
      • Proofread and edit the recommendation letter: The recommender should ensure that they proofread the letter to avoid seeming unprofessional if the recipient comes across grammatical errors.

      Also, a few quick tips for this letter:

      • 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
      • Always keep copies of each and every letter you’ve sent
      • Never wait until the last moment to write the letter

      Frequently Asked Questions

      How do I end a personal reference letter?

      A recommender can end it by summarizing previously established qualities about the applicant and stating their official recommendation. The recommendation for the position should be straightforward and to the point.

      Does a letter of recommendation need a date?

      Yes, a recommendation letter should have a date identifying when the letter was written. The date of the letter should be written after the recommender’s name and address.

      What is the standard length of a personal recommendation letter?

      It should be one page. The letter should be brief and to the point.

      How can I write a strong personal recommendation letter?

      A strong recommendation letter should have a formal tone because the recommender and the recipient are not well known to one another. Also, it should be chronologically written to ensure it is an easy read for the recipient.

      About This Article

      Ryan Powell
      Authored by:
      Professional Business Management, Quality Assurance, Human Resources, Supplier Management
      With over 15 years in professional business management and an additional 4 years in e-commerce, Ryan Powell has distinguished himself as a strategic leader, steering sites to generate revenues exceeding $100 million. His approach emphasizes proactive problem-solving and profit optimization. Personal attributes such as strong organization, time management, and team collaboration bolster his professional portfolio. Ryan's experience spans leadership roles from Supervisor to General Manager, with notable contributions in Tier 1 Aerospace sectors, partnering with industry leaders like Boeing and Raytheon. He's adept at quality assurance, aligning with AS/ISO 9001 standards, lean methodology, financial management, including P&L oversight, and human resource strategies that prioritize employee retention. Ryan's comprehensive skill set positions him as an invaluable asset to growth-focused organizations.

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