Example Letter #1
As I work toward the completion of my application for graduate schools, it has been important for me to identify the individuals best equipped to write letters of recommendation on my behalf. Clearly, of all my mentors you have contributed the most to my intellectual growth, and you have the best/clearest perspective on my experiences and abilities; and so I am writing today to ask for your support in my efforts to continue my education.
Although I know that you have many previous commitments and responsibilities, considering that my letters of recommendation are not due until (Date), I hope time will allow for you to assist me. I have enclosed the recommendation forms for each university to which I will apply. Of course, if for any reason you are not willing or simply not able to contribute a letter, I will understand. You have contributed much to my education already, and I remain deeply grateful.
Example Letter #2
I am writing to request a letter of recommendation in support of my application for the service manager position. During my two-year employment as your chief mechanic, I certainly hope that I improved my value to the company in the auto shop.
Doe Industries is currently seeking a motor pool service manager. I would be supervising the repairs and maintenance on the 40-vehicle fleet, as well as performing administrative duties in the motor pool, such as hiring new personnel and ordering supplies.
I believe my experiences with you at Springfield Diesel, both with the actual machinery and with the administrative operations, qualify me for this position. I have enclosed a copy of my letter of introduction, so that you will have my current address and phone number. Thank you very much for your help.
Example Letter #3
I am writing to ask if you would be willing to draft a letter of recommendation for me. As you know, I was a victim of the recent layoffs that were caused by the merger.
I think you know my abilities as well as anyone, and I hope you can give some specific details of our experiences together on the design team at Doe Aerospace. You also are familiar with my skill as a problem solver and mediator between designers advocating conflicting courses of action. I am setting my sights on a management position this time, so anything you can say about my ability to manage, supervise, and motivate people would also be useful.
I appreciate all the help you have given me in the past, and if I can reciprocate this favor, please let me know.
Example Letter #4
This month I am applying for a position as a typesetter with Doe Publishers. It's been just over a year since I worked under your supervision at Graphmaster. Because of the extensive training you gave me there, I naturally consider you one of the best references to vouch for my typesetting skills. Would you be able to prepare a letter of recommendation for me?
I'm hopeful you'll consider describing for Doe the broad range of projects I worked on while at Graphmaster--from fliers, newsletters, posters, and wedding announcements to some book-length projects. Also, since the position I'm applying for requires some versatility with various desktop word-processing and typesetting applications, could you also mention my computer literacy?
I'd greatly appreciate your help and feel that your recommendation will help me compete successfully for this position. I hope this will not be an imposition. I've enclosed a stamped, self-addressed envelope for your use in forwarding the recommendation to Doe. Thank you very much for your assistance.
Example Letter #5
I am in need of a letter of recommendation, and I would really appreciate your help. As I was thinking of individuals who might be able to write a letter in my behalf, your name immediately came to mind.
Because you are well-liked and respected, both within the business and the community, I feel that a letter from you would make a significant impact. In addition, you know me personally and are familiar with my skills, experience, and work ethic. You are, therefore, in a key position to write a thorough and honest letter of recommendation for me, and I ask you to please consider my request. It is very important that I have a strong letter of recommendation, and I am confident that you are the right person to provide it. Please feel free to contact me for any additional information at your convenience. Thank you in advance for your help and cooperation. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
Ask the reader to write a letter of recommendation in your behalf. Help the reader remember how he or she knows you (e.g. as an employee, classmate, student). Mention the dates during which your association took place.
Describe the specific position for which you are applying.
Give your reader some information to comment on by describing your past experiences, responsibilities, and contributions. Point out how your skills qualify you for the position. You want the reader to write more than "Jane is a good person." The information on a fully-developed resume would help the reader remember specific events as well as offer him/her positive information to use on your behalf. It may be helpful to attach it to your letter. In some cases, you may be able to insert your resume as an attachment with an email request.
Express your gratitude for the reader's time and consideration. Explain how the recommendation should be sent.