Letter of Recommendation Tips
How long should the letter of recommendation be?
- The length of the recommendation should fit the guidelines of the college application or scholarship
- If there are no guidelines mentioned, the letter should have positive and enthusiastic observations regarding the student and their academic ability. The letter provides examples related to those observations.
- Make sure you know the student well enough to recommend them. It’s okay to ask a student to provide you with a list of accomplishments and extracurricular activities.
- Open with a formal salutation. To Whom It May Concern and Dear Scholarship Committee are both acceptable salutations. Use a colon instead of comma. Your letter is a business letter and requires a business letter format. When mailing a letter, make sure to print it on your school letterhead.
- Paragraph 1: Introduce the student. Discuss the capacity in which you know the student and how long you have known the student.
- Paragraphs 2 and 3: Write more about character, less about achievements. In the body of the letter, focus on who the student is rather than what the student has done. Give specific examples of how the student achieved—did they overcome obstacles or tackle any challenges to reach their goals? How did the student interact with their peers? How does the student conduct themselves in and out of the classroom?
- Paragraph 4: Conclude with a direct recommendation.
- Wrap it up with an appropriate closing
- Wait until the last minute to complete the letter