How to Write a Letter of Recommendation (With Example)

Letter of Recommendation also known as reference letters, are the crucial part of any admission and scholarship application. It contains the information and evaluation of the applicant from a third party. A strong letter of recommendation can assist any admission and scholarship applicant to stand out in the ocean of other. It reflects the personality of the referee and the person being recommended. Most of the scholarships require one or two letter of recommendations, although some universities make it optional. Composing a letter of recommendation for students can be both troublesome and tedious. Also, someone else’s career could be depending on your words. Therefore, an excellent letter of recommendation should be professional, persuasive, and convincing as possible.

This article hits all the important steps required to compile an excellent letter of recommendation. How to Write a Letter of Recommendation (With Example) Click To Tweet

1. Why letter of recommendations are required?

Usually, the admission committee doesn’t have access to meet the applicant in person. That’s why they demand recommendation letters from the teacher, academic advisor, and counselor to know about the applicant’s character, personality traits, and sense of responsibility other than his grades, official test scores. They also want to know how the applicant works with others? Letter of recommendation may vary in terms of formats as well as specificity and number of questions. However, the true sense of the recommendation letters lies in evaluating the applicant’s personality and character.


2. What to include in a Letter of Recommendation

A perfect letter of recommendation should clearly state your relationship with the candidate,  state the qualities of the candidate and letter of recommendation should not be generic.

     I. Your relationship with candidate

First of all, it should clearly states your relationship with the candidate. For instance, it can be a teacher-student, supervisor-student, and employer-employee relation. It evidently states how long a referee knows the person being recommended, and comment on the applicant’s academic and potential growth he observed during this period.

     II. Applicant’s qualifications and achievements.

An excellent recommendation letter also highlights the applicant’s personality, character, traits, and skills in relevance with the applied program and clearly mentions the reason what makes the applicant suitable for the desired program and scholarship?

     III. Authenticity

Avoid writing a generic letter of recommendation. Ideally, Letter of recommendation must be personal and it doesn’t feel like it could be utilized for any other person. Always try to include applicant’s achievements and skills in relevance to your past academic projects or job. If necessary, try to include an example highlighting the applicant’s ability to cope with the undesirable conditions in an impressive way.


3. Structure of Recommendation Letter

Recommendation letters are the most marketable asset in the applicant’s scholarship application. The length of the recommendation letter must be of one page and always be on the official letterhead. Always be careful in following the instructions, formatting style and when and where to send it. Some scholarship application uses their own format for a recommendation letter, but its true sense always remains the same. For example, evaluating applicant’s strength and personality traits according to the program and scholarship.

     I. Introduction

In any excellent recommendation letter, you need to begin with a line that gets your audience’s attention and makes them need to understand more. At the starting of the recommendation letter, mention your relation and nature of the relationship with the applicant, and always mention the name of the program/scholarship. It is mandatory to include the reason, how you know the person whom you are recommending. The starting of the recommendation should be something like this, “I am more than pleased to highly recommend Mr.ABC for XYZ scholarship/program”. Be careful and avoid empty superlatives like “one of the best student and one of the favorite student”.  

     II. Body: Highlights the candidates skills and strengths

In the body part of the recommendation letter, highlights the personal and professional qualities of applicant and link these qualities with the nature of applied program and scholarship. For instance, if you are composing a letter of recommendation for an engineering student, you can discuss his/her expertise in mathematics, programming, and physics. Also try to incorporate any meaningful event that happened between you, which highlights the applicant’s strengths and potentials to succeed in any challenging environment. It is also advised to include percentages and numbers in the recommendation letters in support of the applicant. For example; you can rate your students among the top 5% of the class in terms of academic excellence and class contribution. You can make scholarship committee to believe in applicant’s strengths and qualities by doing this. Most importantly, don’t just write statements only, you need to justify your recommendations.

     III. Ending and signatures

Finally, always end your recommendation letter with enthusiastic thumbs up. Show your beliefs that the applicant was the asset of the previous institute and he/she will definitely perform better in the future. Always include your signature and contact information in the recommendation letter. Signature should include your current designation, affliation and contact information can be email and phone number. 


4. Things to consider, before writing a Letter of Recommendation  

Before compiling the letter of recommendation, think and ask yourself whether you have time and the ability to construct an effective letter of recommendation? If you feel that you don’t have sufficient interaction with a specific student, and not know him well, do not hesitate to reject the offer of the academic referee. However, you can also write an effective recommendation letter for applicants by demanding his complete resume, set up a meeting, write an email to the student to know about his/her interest, and also you can inquire what the applicant wants to add in the recommendation. 

Example of perfect letter of recommendation

Recommendation letters are crucial and one of the direct ways to make an impact in any application process. You can be the reason for someone’s success by providing a meaningful recommendation letter. Don’t miss this opportunity.  Here’s a outstating letter of recommendation sample, you can follow it to create a perfect one.

Letters of Recommendation

Dear Selection Committee,

I am writing this letter to give my highest possible recommendation for Mr. [STUDENT NAME]. I know him since September 2016 as one of my graduate students. I taught him three courses including “Computer Logic design”, “Data Communication and Networks” and “Digital Signal Processing”. He demonstrated outstanding result and passed all these courses with “A” grade, as you can see from his transcript. 

I still remember when I was teaching him Data Communication and Networking. I gave the assignment to propose a technique for error detection during a binary data transmission. He did this independently within a week and he published a paper on it under my supervision. Apart from this, looking at his passion and motivation towards research, I offered him an undergraduate research assistant position in the my lab [WRITE THE NAME OF LAB].  Where he worked with me on various challenging research projects and it is a pleasure for me to say, I am author/co-author of two of his research publications which are published in reputed journals and conferences. His achievements and publications not only influenced other students to think out of the box but also motivated them to take interest towards the research activities.

[STUDENT NAME]  proved that he is keen and adept in learning using new and abstruse concepts. He has analytical thinking and whenever given a problem, he tries to investigate in mature manners. I found him actively participated in class discussion and illustrating his views confidently with convincing reasons. Moreover, he has strong programming skills, he implemented and verified results of various projects using MATLAB tool.

Overall, [STUDENT NAME]  is the best student I have ever worked with in my career. I always take his example as an ideal student. I confidently recommend [STUDENT NAME] for [PROGRAM NAME, at UNIVERSITY NAME] and I expect him to be one of the leading researchers in his field. I am assured that he will be valuable assets to your prestigious program.

If you have any query regarding Mr./Ms. [STUDENT NAME] skills and abilities, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.


Your name,


Name of department


Email address

Mobile number (optional)




Thanks for reading our blog post. In this article, we covered everything about how to write a perfect and attention grabbing Letter of Recommendation.  Proofread, once you complete writing a letter of recommendation, and send it.  If you need more information or guidelines, please do not hesitate to comment below. 


Join us on Facebook and don’t forget to share this post.


Team Study Catch