How to Start a Recommendation Business Letter

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A recommendation letter, or letter of reference, can be used by companies and individuals as part of an application for a job, relationship or to prove credibility. Recommendation letters are written in a professional style and formatted in a classic business layout. A basic business recommendation letter template contains very specific information about the person or business, their best characteristics and attributes, and the key reasons why they should be considered by the letter's recipient.

Things You'll Need

  • Letterhead paper
  • Black printer ink

Use letterhead stationery. If you are writing the letter from a company, use your company's letterhead stationary. If you are writing the letter as an individual, you can create a custom letterhead with your name and contact information at the top.

Type the date. Put the date about 2 to 2 1/2 inches from the top of the document, depending on how large the letterhead's logo and text is. The date should be the current date or a date the prospective employee dictates, such as her interview date.

Type a salutation. Use the professional and neutral, "Dear Sir or Madam" if you do not know the recipient's name, or use the person's last name with the appropriate prefix.

Compose the first paragraph of the letter. The introductory part of the letter will introduce you or the business as the reference, and explain your relationship with the person you are writing the letter of recommendation for. Keep this paragraph brief and succinct; it should not be longer than 2 to 3 sentences.

Compose the main body. Provide three to five key characteristics, qualifications or other positive attributes of the person you are writing the letter for in the second paragraph. This may include specific examples of ways the person handled different situations or personal attributes that you noticed when working with him that would help him land a job. If you are writing about a business, you may include information about how well the business handled a certain situation, and/or why you have a mutually beneficial relationship with them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Recommendation letters do not need to be longer than 1 page in length. Always proofread your letter to ensure all information is accurate, up-to-date and free from spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. Print your letter on good quality letterhead paper or resume paper.
  • Always type your recommendation letters; handwritten letters are unprofessional and may not convey the right message to the recipient.

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