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A Few Tips on How to Write a Letter of Recommendation

Contributed by Pranee Thiparat, Ph. D.(Fulbright,1984)

Department of International Relations

Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

. Types of Letters of Recommendation

a.        For Employment

b.      For Academic Admission

c.      For Admission and Scholarship

. Guidelines before agreeing to write a letter of Recommendation

a.       Only if you can write a supportive letter

b.       Ask for a current resume and complete description of the position or program to which the person is applying

c.       Assemble and review all other relevant information about the person you are recommending

d.       Interview, if needed be, you may find some important Accomplishment and etc.

. Content of the Letters of Recommendation

.1 Employment Letter

-          Previous Position held

-          Summary of Job responsibilities

-          Strengths, skills and talents

-          Initiative, dedication, integrity, reliability, etc

-          Ability to work with a team

-          Ability to work independently

. Writing a letter: Some Guidelines

  1. Present the person truthfully but positive(vs. unrealistic which will be easily discounted)
  2. Tailor the recommendation to the position
  3. Explain how you know the applicant
  4. State your qualifications
  5. List the applicants’ exceptional qualities and skills, especially those are specific to the applicant filed of interest or job request
  6. Emphasize key points. Be sure to be meaningfully elaborate, don’t simply restate
  7. Give value judgment of the applicant’s qualification and potential
  8. Give specific examples to back up your statement
  9. Length: One page
  10. Make the ending strong without overdoing it
  11. List your contact information
  12. Proofread!!!!!

. References

 Michael Ernst, Writing a Letter of Recommendation, October 2002

Melvin Luthy, Recommendation Letter Tips, Tricks, and Advice, WriteExpress

Cynthia Verba, GSAS Guide for Teaching Fellows on Writing Letters of Recommendation, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University Online Document

Susan Whalley, How to Write Powerful Letters of Recommendation

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