How to Write a Professional Letter of Recommendation + Biotech Letter Example
Looking for an example of a professional letter of recommendation you’ve been meaning to write? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Has a student, colleague or mentee of yours asked for a recommendation from you? If you’re looking for how to compose one, a template or a sample letter, we’ll teach you how and what to write.
What is a Professional Letter of Recommendation?
A professional letter of recommendation is a formal letter typically written by a previous employer of a person searching for another work or job opportunity.
This letter strengthens a person’s credentials whlie applying to a new employer since they are receiving an endorsement from a trusted professional. This can give the new employer trust in the job applicant since they are being praised by a previous supervisor.
This letter is usually given by a mentor, supervisor, professor, client or colleague stating how someone is suitable for the work they are applying for.
How Do You Write a Recommendation Letter?
The format of a professional recommendation letter follows a standard business letter format. It should be written on just one page. It needs to have a business letterhead, author’s name, title and contact information. It also needs to have an introduction, a formal recommendation and an invitation to contact the author if the new employer has any questions about the job candidate. Lastly, just how any formal letter ends, it is concluded with the name and signature.
The content of the recommendation should be showcasing a person’s strengths and examples of those strengths. It should contain the What, When, Where, Why and How: what makes this person recommendable, when and where have you worked with this person, why are you willing to give him a commendation and how did he/she impressed you the most.
Parts of a Letter of Recommendation
Now that you have an idea of how to write a letter of recommendation, let’s break down each part to further grasp how it is written.
The introduction has five parts. First, the name, personal address, and contact information. Just like any formal letter, the name of the one writing will be on the first line. The next line will be the person’s address, and the last line will be the email and phone number.
The second part is the date. Write the complete date when you’re composing the letter.
The third part is the name and address of your organization. The first line contains the department or office you’re in, followed by your organization’s name in the next line. The next is the complete address of the organization you’re working for.
The fourth part is the salutation. Unless you know who exactly will read the letter, this part is commonly addressed to “To whom it may concern.”
Lastly, start the letter with an introductory paragraph. This is where you formally declare that you are writing a recommendation letter for someone.
The body of the letter includes the actual recommendation itself. As discussed above, the body should contain what, when, where, why and how you write the letter.
This includes listing the strengths and examples of how the person you’re recommending worked well for you and your company.
Lastly, the conclusion of a letter of recommendation is divided into four parts.
The first one is your conclusion. This is where you’ll wrap up your recommendation.
Next is the invitation to contact. This paragraph is where you’ll invite the reader to contact you if they have any questions regarding the job candidate.
The third is the letter closing where words like “all the best,” “respectfully” or “sincerely” are normally written.
The last part is the name and signature. Since most letters are written on a computer nowadays, this is where an e-signature will be placed. For those composing a hard copy, the actual signature will be followed by the full name of the person writing.
Example of a Letter of Recommendation
555 Street Name, City, State 90210
May 20, 2021
Department of Biology
University of Washington
123 Street Name.
City Name, State 54321
To Whom It May Concern:
With much respect and enthusiasm, I recommend James Smith for the position of Senior Data Analyst at Precision Medicine Group.
I was James’ professor throughout his four years at the University of Washington, including a biotechnology class in his junior year. James displayed a level of knowledge, grit and analytical thought that I rarely see in my students.
His data analysis and research skills are one of a kind. For his dissertation, “Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating the early placental development using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) datasets,” he received incredible honors and was highly commended by our institution.
James’s intelligence is so out of this world, that he would be bored by most advanced biology courses. He is ready to assume and excel in more advanced studies and possesses the self-motivation to create and execute an independent course of honors study successfully.
His extraordinary analytical skills complement James’s academic strengths -- he has been helping our department for the past two years researching and developing a new drug we’re studying.
He has a very special mind, and I trust he will go beyond what you need from him and exceed further.
Please let me know if I can provide any more information to strengthen James’s candidacy for the position. Feel free to contact me in the email and number I left at the beginning of this letter.
All the best,
You can use this example letter of recommendation as a template for writing your own.
Do you have other things you propose to add to our sample letter? Let us know.