Recommendation Letter From Supervisor (14 Best Examples)

A recommendation letter from a supervisor is a document written by a supervisor stating an employee’s qualifications for a specific job.

They are typically used to help a former employee seek a new opportunity. They contain positive statements about employees and provide details of the work they performed for the supervisor.

When a past or current employee searches for a new job, chances are they will be required to submit a letter, also known as a reference letter. These letters were written by a prior supervisor who had a positive experience with an employee. A quality letter will help a candidate move forward in the application process, as it will demonstrate their professional capabilities to the hiring manager. Reference letters help employers decide whether or not to interview a candidate because they contain important information about an employee’s strengths and skills. They outline the employee’s work performed, duration of employment, positions held, examples highlighting their positive attributes, and more.

Because these letters can make or break a candidate’s job application, it is helpful to accept a former employee’s request for a letter if you had a positive experience working with them. However, a request should be denied if you cannot speak favorably of the candidate.

Free Templates

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Sample 01 for Word Format

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Template 01 for Word Document

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Sample 02 for Word Format

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Sample 03 for Word Format

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Sample 04 for Word Format

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Template 02 for Word Document

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Sample 05 for Word Format

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Sample 06 for Word Format

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Template 03 for Word Document

Professional Editable Supervisor Recommendation Letter Template 04 for Word Document

    But Why should I Ask for One?

    Without a quality recommendation letter, it may be impossible for a job candidate to score an interview, therefore leaving them no chance of being hired. This letter from a supervisor that is thoughtful, detailed, and positive easily catches the eye of a hiring manager. It may be the key to an interview for the job seeker. Because reference letters are typically collected at the start of a hiring process, they provide valuable information for potential employers in deciding who to interview. These employers have not yet met the candidates and may only have non-personal information from a resume.

    It gives insight into an employee’s personality. This helps the hiring manager determine if the job seeker will align with their workplace culture. Resumes are great for highlighting specific work achievements, but a reference letter from a supervisor is more likely to showcase their work style.

    Additionally, when you accept the request to a supervisor, you are endorsing a candidate. This shows a hiring manager that the candidate has formed positive relationships with other professionals in the past. It will also support the job seeker by illustrating work-related achievements more vividly than is possible in a resume. For these reasons, a good reference letter indicates to a potential employer that the candidate is worth interviewing, as they could hopefully bring similar accomplishments to a new workplace.

    When you put in the effort, it doesn’t just benefit the employee and their possible future employer. It can be a networking tool that helps you strengthen relationships in your field. Writing a reference letter is a big favor, and there’s a chance you will need a favor in return from the employees you support by supplying recommendations. Also, they’re more likely to speak favorably of you and your leadership as they progress in their careers.

    How to Write 

    It can be overwhelming if you’ve never written a recommendation letter for an employee before. Reference letters are complicated because they require a lot of information within a small space. They are also subject to professional formatting guidelines. However, learning to write a recommendation letter is worthwhile and a kind gesture for an employee who’s performed quality work for you.

    Follow the guide below for step-by-step instructions on writing an effective letter:

    1. Add header

    The header follows formal business letter formatting. Start with your name, address, and contact information.


    Matt Ryan
    1234 Main St.,
    Center Town, NY 12345,

    1.1. Add date

    Underneath your information, write the date you are sending the letter with the month spelled out, the numerical data, and the year.


    April 10th, 2021

    1.2. Add recipient’s detail

    After the date, conclude the header with the name, title, business name, and address of the receiver.


    Kate White
    Director of Customer Service
    White Manufacturers,
    1234 Main St.,
    Business Town, NY, 1234

    2. Write a salutation

    Reference letters are typically addressed to a specific person. In this case, the proper salutation is “Dear (last name):”. However, if you do not have an individual recipient, you may write “To Whom It May Concern:”. 

    3. Give introduction

    The introduction should not be very long. Its purpose is to let the reader know who is writing to them and why.

    3.1. State the intent of the letter

    Start the letter off with a clear statement of why you are writing it. It should be clear from the first sentence that this is a recommendation.


    “It is my great pleasure to recommend Sarah Smith for the role of customer service director at White Manufacturers.”

    3.2. Briefly introduce yourself

    It is essential to let the recipient know your role and how you are connected to the person you’re recommending.


    “I have supervised Sarah Smith in the customer service department for five years, and she has continually impressed me with her patience, determination, and interpersonal skills.”

    4. Body

    The body of the reference letter should detail why the candidate is recommended for the role. This can be done by following the steps given below:

    4.1. Give details of your relationship with the candidate

    It’s a good idea to start the body paragraph by clarifying exactly how your roles interact in the workplace. Did you directly oversee them throughout their career, or did you supervise them on a project? If you haven’t already, clarify how long you have worked with the candidate.


    “As sales director, I supervised Dave for 3 years as he served in the position of sales representative.”

    4.2. Enlist the candidate’s academic and professional achievements

    Highlight any of the candidate’s specific accomplishments that could be relevant to their future role. If possible, quantify the effect the candidate had.


    “Jason fund raised 1,000 dollars for…”.

    4.3. Provide a list of their relevant skills and attributes

    Describe the candidate in terms of the skills and traits that will serve them in their future role.


    “Alex is a hardworking and talented coder.”


    If you’re not sure what to highlight in an employee’s reference letter, think about their role in your workplace and the position they are seeking. There is likely some overlap between the work performed in both roles. It’s best to write about skills they possess that they will use for their next employer.

    4.4. Give examples

    The recommendation letter shouldn’t sound like a bulleted list of positive qualities. Using specific examples that showcase a candidate’s achievements helps bring their personality to life for the hiring manager in ways a resume cannot. You only need to reference a few accomplishments to write a great recommendation letter.


    If you want to showcase your leadership, talk about a time when the candidate led a new project. Just be sure that the examples line up with skills that are transferable to the new position. An example will not contribute much if it is not relevant to the job description. To start, think about the candidate’s skills that had a tangible effect on your company.

    “Ashley used her talent for graphic design to make eye-catching and engaging social media content that increased our following by 200% in 3 months.”


    Try to use at least two examples to ensure your letter doesn’t sound like a checklist. However, be sure that your examples describe skills and achievements that would be relevant to their future workplace.

    5. Closing

    The closing should not be lengthy. Simply re-state your recommendation, provide contact information, and sign your name.


    I am confident that Sarah Smith would succeed in the role of customer service director at your company. Please feel free to contact me at 321-654-1987 with any further questions. I am happy to speak more about Sarah’s past work and qualifications for the role.

    Matt Ryan (signature)
    Matt Ryan

    Samples Letters

    In this section, we present a suite of recommendation letter samples. The intent is to offer a reference point and practical assistance when writing such letters.

    Letter of Recommendation 1

    To Whom It May Concern,

    It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation for Ms. Jane Doe, who has been a part of our team at Global Solutions Inc., New York, for the past three years. During her tenure as a Project Manager, Jane has consistently demonstrated exceptional skills in managing complex projects and leading her team to success.

    Jane’s ability to analyze project requirements and devise effective strategies is remarkable. Her innovative approach to problem-solving has significantly improved our operational efficiency. She possesses a unique blend of technical expertise and leadership qualities, making her an invaluable asset to our organization. Her dedication to meeting deadlines and maintaining high-quality standards has contributed immensely to our client satisfaction rates.

    Furthermore, Jane’s interpersonal skills and team spirit have fostered a positive and productive work environment. She has mentored several junior colleagues, helping them develop their professional skills. Her commitment to excellence and continuous improvement is evident in all her endeavors.

    I am confident that Jane will be an extraordinary addition to any organization she chooses to join. She has my highest recommendation for any position or endeavor that she may seek to pursue.


    John Smith

    Senior Director

    Global Solutions Inc., New York

    Letter of Recommendation 2

    Dear Selection Committee,

    I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend Mr. David Johnson for any leadership role he aspires to undertake. As his supervisor at Tech Innovators, London, for over four years, I have observed his remarkable growth and consistent performance as a Senior Software Engineer.

    David has been instrumental in the development and success of several high-profile projects. His technical acumen, coupled with his ability to grasp and apply new technologies, has set him apart. His contributions have not only enhanced our product offerings but have also played a significant role in shaping our technology roadmap.

    His leadership skills are equally commendable. David has successfully led diverse teams, ensuring collaboration and mutual respect among team members. His ability to communicate effectively with clients and stakeholders has been a key factor in maintaining strong business relationships.

    Additionally, David’s dedication to mentoring junior staff and his commitment to fostering a learning environment is praiseworthy. His passion for knowledge sharing and skill development has greatly benefited our team.

    In summary, David is a proven leader with a rare combination of technical prowess and people skills. I have no doubt that he will be a valuable asset to any organization.

    Best regards,

    Emily White

    Chief Technology Officer

    Tech Innovators, London


    These sample recommendation letters are exemplary in showcasing the key elements of effective and professional endorsements. 

    Firstly, they are structured formally and concisely, adhering to the norms of business communication. Each letter begins with a courteous salutation and closes with a respectful sign-off, framing the content appropriately. 

    The content itself is informatively rich, providing specific examples of the candidates’ skills, achievements, and contributions to their respective organizations. This specificity is crucial as it gives credibility to the endorsements and paints a clear picture of the candidates’ capabilities and accomplishments. The letters also highlight a balance of technical and interpersonal skills, which is essential in today’s work environment. Such details not only vouch for the candidates’ professional competencies but also their potential for future growth and adaptability. 

    Additionally, the tone throughout is positive yet measured, avoiding hyperbole and thus maintaining professional integrity. For someone seeking guidance on writing a recommendation letter, these samples serve as excellent templates. They demonstrate how to effectively articulate a candidate’s strengths, impact, and potential, all while maintaining a formal and professional tone. 

    These characteristics are fundamental to a well-written recommendation letter, making these samples not just instructive but also reflective of best practices in professional endorsements.

    How Can a Supervisor Write an Effective Recommendation Letter

    Using a template or looking at some samples is  great way to ensure that it is effective. However, there are some additional strategies you may find useful in the writing process.

    Review the following tips to ensure you’re writing a high-quality reference letter:

    Research company policy

    Make sure you consult any company policy regarding reference letters before starting the writing process. There may be restrictions on what you can include in a letter.


    Some companies dictate who can write reference letters and if you must go through human resources.

    Write positively

    Recommendation letters are not the place to give criticism. It is best to accept the request only if you have positive things to say about the candidate. Accepting the request when you’re dissatisfied can risk you a defamation lawsuit.

    A negative reference letter will also waste both parties’ time as it will only hurt the job-seekers prospects. Even if you think highly of the candidate, it’s worthwhile to proofread your letter for negative statements. While it’s certainly legal to make evidence-based statements, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  

    Tailor the recommendation to the job

    Generic letters that could be applied to any role are usually ineffective. Make sure you reference the position the candidate is seeking and emphasize the qualities you have observed that make them a good match. It will help to retrieve the job listing from the candidate and see what they are looking for.


    You may have witnessed the candidate’s proficiency in a program they will use in the role. Additionally, naming the company in the letter will help show you aren’t recycling a broad letter. If they’re seeking a higher-level position than the one they held at your company, discuss the qualities that make them ready for the upgrade; not just the qualities that made them great at their previous job.

    Speak to the employee before writing

    Most of the time, you will not need to spend much effort thinking about what to put in a recommendation letter, as the employee likely already has an idea of what they would like you to say. Speaking to the employee beforehand will give you a better idea of how they are marketing themselves to the company and why they think they’re a good fit.

    Meet up with the candidate and ask them about the role they’re applying to and the skills and accomplishments they’d like you to highlight, as well as their biggest accomplishments with your company. It’s also a good idea to ask about deadlines and get the name of the hiring manager.

    Lastly, it can be helpful to look at the employee’s application, resume, or cover letter to see how it can supplement those materials.

    Look at the employee’s job record

    It can also be useful to review the candidate’s job record.


    Your company may have stored some notes written by you or other employees.

    It would be especially helpful to locate coworkers who may have more information or get some ideas if you did not oversee the job-seeker directly.

    Be truthful

    It is important to tell the truth. Lies can be obvious and easily disproved. Also, it’s not fair to the other candidates. If you feel like you would not be able to write a positive letter telling the complete truth, it’s better to decline the request.

    Be professional

    It is a formal business letter, so it’s best to make sure the tone isn’t too casual. Keep in mind that the letter will likely be read and filled by a hiring manager in your field, so an unprofessional letter can hurt your networking prospects.

    Explain why your opinion matters

    Make sure you highlight your role and relationship with the candidate at the beginning. The recipient must know that the letter is coming from a professional and reputable source, not a friend. This will help ensure that the hiring manager values your opinion.

    Start the letter with enthusiasm

    The beginning should show that you are enthusiastic about the candidate. Open with a strong statement of recommendation.


    Instead of writing “I recommend James for the role of…,” you can write, “It is with much enthusiasm that I recommend James for the role of…“. 

    Format correctly

    An improperly formatted reference letter from a supervisor is unprofessional. The basic format is a heading with the sender and recipient’s information, a salutation, 3-5 paragraphs that fit on one page, and a conclusion that includes your contact information. Looking at sample reference letters or templates will help you make sure you’re using the correct formatting.


    Read through your letter at least three times to ensure you did not leave any errors. It’s helpful to have a coworker look over it as well. Additionally, reading the letter aloud will help you make sure the letter sounds natural, yet professional.      

    Follow the submission guidelines

    Make sure to record the deadline, the name of the hiring manager, and the delivery method given by your employee. The letter may be emailed, mailed, or submitted on another website. A late letter may hurt the candidate’s chances of getting accepted.  

    Final Remarks

    Impressive recommendation letters matter to job candidates, but they can be tricky to write. However, if you keep this guide in mind, you will find it can be quite simple to write it. Start the letter with a strong statement and end with contact information for follow-up.
    The most important tips include using business formatting, writing positive statements, and including at least two specific examples. In addition, be sure to include the employee’s role in their previous job, the length of their employment, and the skills/accomplishments they displayed at your company. If you put in the effort, you could play an essential role in scoring a coworker an amazing new opportunity. 

    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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