Letters of Recommendation that Gets Results

* Writing Letters of Recommendation
* Requesting Them From Others
* Using Them to Best Advantage


Example Recommendation Letter

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This is an example of a personal letter of recommendation. Notice how the letter uses the letter of recommendation template we discuss elsewhere.

In this example, the writing is addressing the candidates parole board - so this one's pretty important!

Dear XXX:

I am writing this letter of reference at the request of Diane Breaux who is being reviewed for parole. Diane is a family friend of mine. I have known her for 21 years. I understand that she has been found guilty of petty theft. I am also aware that she has been found guilty of similar charges in the past. Nevertheless, I am confident that justice would be best served by offering her a another chance.

During the time that I have known her, I have found Diane to have many very positive traits. First of all, Diane is a peace-loving citizen. She abhors violence and cruelty. This peace-loving nature will allow her to avoid situations that could get her in trouble.

Second, Diane is a very courteous person. She honors and respects figures of authority. She can be counted on to extend this same courtesy to her parole officer.

As a final point, Diane does not have a background of privilege and advantage. She has managed to achieve quite a lot despite not having the support that most people enjoy. This disadvantaged background should be taken into consideration when reviewing Diane's record.

In conclusion, I can recommend Diane to you without reservation. You will find my trust in her to be well placed.

Feel free to contact me using the information provided above.


Now a parole board letter is certainly not the most common purpose for a letter of recommendation, but this is a valuable example because it highlights a subtle point that is often missed: always focus on the candidate's traits that are most important to the recipient in terms of granting the desired result.

In this case, Diane wants parole. So what's important to the recipient of this letter? Well, he wants to make sure that if Diane gets out she won't go wreak havoc out there in society; he wants to feel just. So, the letter emphasizes her peace-loving nature and her courteousness; it also points out her disadvantaged background, implying she deserves a second chance.

Now Diane might be the most intelligent woman in the world, but we would do better not to focus on that in this letter. Why not? Well, the recipient doesn't really care if she is smart; that might just make her a more effective criminal! He wants to know she'll be good if she gets out. So we don't talk about intelligence here.

Always start with what the recipient is looking for. That will lead you to the traits you should highlight.

Free Letter-Writing Template

Get Instant Access to Our Free Template:
Step-by-Step Instructions for Writing a Powerful Letter of Recommendation

Automated Recommendation Letters