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In this short course, Kelley School of Business lecturer and author Judy Steiner-Williams shows you the elements of a strong recommendation letter and how to use specificity to make your remarks memorable and relevant. At the end of the course, you'll also see how to ask for a recommendation if you need someone to write one for you.
The introduction gives the overview of the candidate's qualifications. Next, you only to devote a paragraph to each of those three areas. So you analyze what support you can offer the Jon has strong communication skills. The first body paragraph begins describing that support. An example of his communication strengths in his current position is when Jon recognized a need to revise the monthly reports. They were usually jumbled, hard to read, and time consuming to prepare.
Jon prepared a prototype with headings that helped speed up the process, which resulted in more meaningful, easier to read reports for everyone. He has also received accolades from his clients and his supervisors for his clear, direct communication style. Next, what about his people skills? You work directly with Jon, and you know that he advanced two positions in eight months because he was an effective, tactful negotiator during conflicts between coworkers or sales staff team members. So in the next paragraph you share this support.
Additionally, as the go-to person when team members were having differing opinions, Jon always remained professional and tactful. They knew that he would objectively look at both sides and offer unbiased input and feedback. He was able to remain calm and help members stay on topic. His informal negotiating skills were quickly noticed, and he was promoted twice within his first eight months. All those who worked with him valued his consistency and his tactfulness. Jon was a highly valued team member who kept the team on task.
Working with him was a rewarding learning experience for everyone. And finally, can you offer any proof that John has a strong work ethic? He's a self starter who understands the need to work hard and meet deadlines. So, you decide to write this. Jon's work ethic was also evident. He often was the last person to leave the office when a project deadline had to be met. Last year he successfully revised a long-standing company process. His efforts resulted in his receiving the Employee of the Year award.
Additionally, he devised a team checklist to help keep the team members on task, and that team's productivity rate increased 25%. Now you're ready to end John's recommendation with a summary and offer to provide additional information if necessary. Having Jon as a valued coworker and team member for three years has been a pleasure. I'm confident that he will bring his same strong communication style, people skills, and work ethic to your company. If you have any questions about Jon, please contact me at extension 16 or at email@example.com.
You can confidently send Jon's recommendation letter because you took time to thoroughly analyze and support your recommendation.
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