A Letter of Recommendation from a Supervisor is a document that entails the positive traits of an employee such that they are in a better position to get a job.
You should provide detailed information on the skills of the candidate. Some of the aspects you can highlight include leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, and managerial skills as well. You should give a clear explanation that proves the capability of the employee to handle the task. The statements provided in the letter should always be supported by specific examples to make them valid. Besides, you can also add mild criticism because nobody can be perfect. However, it should be presented as a flip side of strength.
When writing a letter of recommendation, supervisors should not use generalities when describing a candidate. Also, they should not overstretch the truth. This will make the information look falsified. Supervisors should not use words like ‘I hope.’ Such words do not show confidence in the ability of the candidate. Instead, they should use words like ‘I am confident.‘
How to Write
Prospective employers often ask qualified shortlisted applicants for a letter of recommendation to get useful insights into the applicant’s work ethics, proven performance, and expertise in the given field. Supervisors are better positioned to provide a strong letter of recommendation for their junior employees to help them secure new or better job positions. This article provides a detailed description of writing a letter of recommendation from a supervisor and the essential things to include in the letter.
Step 1: Letterhead
A letter of recommendation from a supervisor is a formal document, and like any other official document, it should have a letterhead. When writing the letterhead, follow the business letter format to demonstrate your professionalism. If the applicant requests you to submit the recommendation letter through email, it is standard practice to omit the header information as the email already contains your personal information. However, in this case, you will have to provide an informative subject line that immediately communicates the letter’s purpose to the recipient. This ensures that your email is not disregarded by the recipient or ends up in their spam folder.
The letterhead of your letter of recommendation letter from the supervisor will typically contain the following details:
Your contact information
Begin the letterhead by providing your full legal names, your email and mailing addresses, respectively.
Include the date
After providing your personal contact information, skip a line and write the current date. When providing the letter’s date, follow the month/day/year format.
Add the recipient’s details
Next, include the recipient’s personal information and contact details. This includes their full name (if you already know them by name), their correct job title, and their addresses. If you are uncertain about the recipient’s name and title, it is safer to include the company’s name and business address.
Use a professional, formal greeting or salutation and address the recipient of the letter by their name. This is in the case where you already know the recipient’s name and their title. However, if prior research into the company does not disclose information about the hiring manager’s name, or if the applicant requests you to write a general letter of recommendation that they will use to apply to several job positions, you can use a more generalized salutation such as “Dear hiring team or To whom it May concern.”
Tip: Throughout your letterhead or header information, ensure that you use a professional font, such as Times New Roman, Arial Black, or Calibri. The font size of your text should also be easy to read to encourage readers to read through your letter.
Step 2: Introduction
Write an appealing introductory paragraph informing the reader who you are, how you know the applicant, and why you recommend them for the particular job. Start by introducing yourself and explain your relationship with the applicant to enable the prospective employer to understand why you are qualified to recommend the specific applicant.
You can use the introductory paragraph to provide brief and straightforward answers to the following questions:
1. Did you work together with the applicant?
2. For how long?
3. Did the applicant report directly to you?
Step 3: Body paragraphs
In most cases, the body of a letter of introduction from the supervisor is usually subdivided into two main body paragraphs that provide useful insights into the applicant’s skills, work ethics, and attributes relevant to the potential job. Use the body paragraphs to explicate the following details about the person you are recommending:
Describe the employee’s work habits, skills, and attributes
Before you embark on writing the letter of recommendation from the supervisor, you need to collect some important information from the employee to help you write a strong recommendation. Ask for a copy of the job description and carefully review it to identify the specific transferrable skills that the employer is looking for. When writing your recommendation letter, make sure to emphasize these skills and include the related keywords. This reflects positively on the employer, demonstrating that you took your time to craft the letter. It is also prudent that you evaluate the candidate’s work by focusing on their strengths and applying them to the position that he/she is applying for.
If the applicant is applying for a management position, showcase their relevant leadership skills and highlight any tangible successes in the field that can be measured.
Include specific examples
Use the second body paragraph of the letter of recommendation from the supervisor to highlight any specific examples that demonstrate the candidate’s suitability for the job and the qualities they possess. For example, describe any instances where the applicant stood out from his/her colleagues or use the comparison technique to help make a point to the reader of the recommendation letter. This helps to validate your claims, and it shows that you indeed know the candidate well enough to provide an objective recommendation of their work ethics and skills. However, only provide examples and anecdotes that demonstrate the prospective employer’s skills of a suitable candidate.
Step 4: Conclusion
The conclusion of a letter of recommendation from the supervisor is the recommender’s final chance to make an impression on the prospective employer and fully endorse their candidate. To effectively conclude your letter of recommendation from the supervisor, consider including the following details:
Restate your recommendation
First, restate your admiration for the work ethics, skills, and attributes that the employee possesses and restate your reason for recommending them. Maintain a positive and enthusiastic tone to demonstrate to the potential employer that you believe in the candidate and endorse them fully for the job they are seeking.
Provide your contact details for follow-up
Offer to answer any further questions the employer might have regarding the recommendation and the candidate you have endorsed. This further reveals that you are positive about the candidate and that you believe in their qualifications. Provide your reliable contact details, including your email address and mobile phone number, if you write an email copy. However, if you submit your letter as a hard copy, you can avoid including your contact details in the conclusion as you will have already included it on the letterhead.
Write an appropriate sign-off
After providing your contact details, end your letter using a professional closing remark such as sincerely, regards, kind regards, best wishes, etc., and provide your signature and name.
Tip: once you have finished writing your letter of recommendation for the employee, proofread it to check for spellings and grammar mistakes and correct them accordingly. Afterward, ensure that your letter includes all the important information, including any specific skills and related keywords that the employer had highlighted in the job description, and format your document appropriately.
Follow any instructions on the employer’s application material submission guidelines, including the file type, deadline, submission method, etc., to help your employee make the best possible impression.
Sample Letter of Recommendation from Supervisor
Following are some samples provided for you:
Sample Letter 1:
HR Administration officer
ABC Company Ltd,
1234, 4th street
August 23rd, 2021
Hacco Industries Company
345 Woodvale Avenue
Dear Mr. Caritas,
I am delighted and greatly honored to recommend Clara Jackson for the executive assistant position in your company. I came to know Ms. Jackson back in 2020 when she first reported to our company as an intern and directly reported to me as her overall supervisor and mentor.
As an intern, Ms. Jackson demonstrated a natural ability to learn new systems and processes in our company. She quickly mastered our existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system even though she was rather young and inexperienced compared to the other employees who were already working for us long-term.
Ms. Jackson is both creative and innovative. She was able to come up with improvements that will save our company money. For instance, she found a way to reduce the cost of printing by 30%. Overall, I believe Ms. Jackson is an excellent choice for taking on the role of your executive assistant.
As far as her personal attributes are concerned, I can guarantee that she is a hard worker. She never took any sick leave during her employment with us, and she was always punctual. In addition, Ms. Jackson is very honest and trustworthy. I am convinced that you will not regret your decision to hire her.
I highly recommend Ms. Clara Jackson for the position of executive assistant at your company. Please contact me at (212) 555-1234 if you have any questions or need further information.
HR Administration officer
Sample Letter 2:
July 3, 2018
Mrs. Shelly Griffin
Bob & Sons Enterprises.
3080 X Street, CA
Dear Mrs. Shelly,
I take immense pleasure in recommending Laura White for the secretarial post at Bob & Sons Enterprises. I have worked with Laura for ten years at TXJ Company Ltd. as her supervisor. She diligently offered her services as a secretary to keep the business in a buzz of production. I believe that her zeal will ensure growth in your Company.
As the Secretary, Laura was an exceptional support system. She always scheduled appointments with her time management abilities. She organized her duties and always communicated all vital information to the clients. Above all, Laura had the initiative and self-drive, which was good for business. Her honesty and professionalism were admirable.
Unfortunately, Laura is forced to relocate to Los Angeles and be with her family. We are in a tight position losing one of our best employees. Nonetheless, I am confident that her services will be better felt in your organization.
I strongly recommend Laura for the position of Secretary. I am confident that she is proficient in her duties. Please reach me if you have any questions regarding Laura’s conduct and work.
Sample Letter 3:
July 3, 2018
Mr. Troy Gold
G & S Restaurant.
335 X Street, CA
Dear Mr. Gold,
I wish to recommend Alex Mendes for the role of Pastry Chef at G & S Restaurant. I have supervised Alex at Subs and Sands restaurant, where he was the Assistant Pastry Chef. I am sure that his talent and hard work will be of significant advantage to G & S Restaurant.
Alex is an extensively skilled chef who portrays his art in his baking. He manages the day-to-day activities in the pastry and bakery. He has adorned our kitchen with creative pastry ideas and designs. Alex is excellent with customers and not to mention an exemplary teacher.
It is with dire regret that we have to let go of our top-notch Pastry Chef. He needs to relocate due to a lack of growth opportunities on our end.
I am glad to recommend Alex for the available Pastry Chef position. I am convinced that he will deliver as per your expectations and even better. Please contact me if you have any concerns about Alex.
Related: Sample Employee Work Statements and Writing Tips
Following are some free downloadable templates for you:
[The recipient’s name]
[The recipient’s address]
Dear [name of recipient]
It gives me great pleasure to provide this reference letter for [name of candidate], who is applying to the position of [position] at your company. I have known her since her first workday with my team in August 2009. She was a young and ambitious graduate student then, and as we progressed through graduation together to our current positions, I have seen her grow into a seasoned professional and leader.
I first met her in my mathematics class at the local community college. She was quiet but attentive, taking careful notes on the board. In our weekly lab sessions, she was eager to learn about computational modeling and simulation of complex systems—even more so when she learned that I worked in a similar field.
I remember when she approached me with her resume and application to work at my company after perusing our website [insert relevant URL here]. She was determined to join my team to begin working toward her master’s degree during the summer break. I had been planning on hiring temporary labor for the project [insert project name here], but after realizing how capable she was with her background in [insert relevant coursework, knowledge of the subject matter, etc.], I instantly knew that she would be a great fit for my team. She has been an invaluable asset to my company ever since, as well as one of my favorite students.
Within the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of having [insert your name here] as a student in my course. While there is no doubt that she has worked hard to succeed and will continue to do so, I feel like it would be unfair, not to mention how much initiative she regularly takes outside of class time. For example, her participation in [insert community service activity] has been truly impressive over the past few months. She was able to juggle schoolwork, her volunteer work, and a part-time job all at the same time while still managing to maintain excellent grades and always have a smile on her face.
I strongly believe in [insert the candidate’s name], and I do not doubt that you will appreciate her expertise, strong work ethic, and transferable skills once you consider her for this esteemed position. If you’d like me to clarify anything for you or if you have any question concerning this recommendation, kindly feel free to contact through my email at [Insert your email address] or my mobile phone number at [write your mobile number]
Recommendation Letter Examples
A letter of recommendation from a supervisor is an important document that can make or break an applicant’s prospects of getting a job. While not all companies have a policy requiring written reference letters from applicants, most do, and hence as a supervisor, you should always be prepared to write one for your subordinate employees. This guide has provided you with comprehensive information on crafting great recommendation letters that make your subordinate employees competitive and helps them in their job searching process.