Asking for Letters of Recommendation

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Applying for a new job or seeking admission to college often requires a letter of recommendation. This lesson includes some helpful tips on who to ask for a letter and what is needed in an effective letter.

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation is a referral or reference document sent by a reputable person to support and recommend a person for a position or vouch for a person's character. Letters of recommendation are often used when a person is applying for a job or as part of the admittance process for college. The letter of recommendation states the strengths a person has, the value a person may bring to a position, and the personal opinion the writer has about the person's integrity.

Let's imagine you are applying for a job as a Director of Finance at a hospital. You have worked in finance for many years, most recently at a hospital in your former town. You have since moved and are looking for a new job. Your former boss was pleased with your performance and agreed to write you a letter of recommendation. In that letter, she explained that you were dependable, prompt with projects, and a valuable team member. She also outlined your specific skills that were valuable in your work. When you offer a copy of the letter to the manager of the new position, he is impressed by the referral given by your previous boss. This gives him a favorable impression of you as a potential employee.

Consider Who to Ask

There are a number of people to consider when asking for a letter of recommendation.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support