If you're planning to go abroad for continuing your higher education or applying for a new job, you have to send certain documents along with your application form to the particular university or employer. Documents other than your academic proofs such as letter of recommendation, work experience, etc plays an equally important role in the qualifying criterion as academic excellence. As you'll be among a multitude of similarly qualified candidates, letter of recommendation and other such document can help you stand out from the crowd. As concerned university or employer would try to know you more as a person apart from your academic skills and to determine your ability to perform adequately. Letter of recommendation from a past employer or from a professor who has been associated with your personally would provide significant information.
An effective recommendation letter would verify your experience, boosts confidence, builds credibility, and confirms competence. However, the subject within the letter could be different as one written for the academic purpose would be absolutely different from the one written for employment perspective. Thus, it's an important document and one should consider a trusted source to write the same for him/her own.
Types of recommendation letters:
The three basic type of recommendation letters are:
Academic: The recommendation letters meant for academic purposes are written by teachers, professors or trainer who has been familiar with you for a long time. The basic traits that should be outlined in these types of letters are one's aptitude, ability to perform in academic setting, and enthusiasm to learn the course. It should include the personal things about the individual that are not gained by overlooking academic certificates and scores.
Employment: The recommendation letter written for professional purposes are best done by supervisors or boss. These letters detail out credible history of your skills, abilities, job performance, and accomplishments. The letter is valuable for your future employer for reference check.
Character: This type of recommendation letters can be written by any of your close friends, family members, relatives, or other associates. Character recommendation letter can be used for various purposes and generally outline the personal qualities of an individual.
Instructions for writing recommendation letters:
As the letter of recommendation is meant to know an individual personally, a personalized letter would be more effective, but it should not be creative in any case. Well, there are no defined rules for the length of a recommendation letter but try to keep it short with crisp and simple sentences. As the person to whomsoever it may concern will have limited time to review it, make sure that the credentials are meaningful and it consists of a close insight to the individual personality. The basic structure of a recommendation letter should be:
--The first paragraph of a recommendation letter should state the purpose, how and since when you know the individual. Keep it concise and don't overload it with unrequired stuff.
--The second and third paragraph of a recommendation letter constitutes the body. Both these paragraphs must contain relevant examples and traits related to the individual. Try to put the most relevant examples to the position being pursued .
--The fourth and the final paragraph of a recommendation letter should contain the specific recommendation that shows your confidence in the individual.
Revise your letter well before making the final draft.