Recommendations letters give an employer a deeper insight in candidate's background their strengths, capabilities and also the areas of specialization. Although the practice of including recommendation letters has become optional in the past few years as many employers now rely on social media profiles and other such information gathering platforms. A good, well written letter is still capable of providing future employers with a lot more reliable information than they would receive by running the candidate's profile through any software. But to ensure that the letters leave a good impression of your personality on the employer it is important that they are written in well-mannered, structured format that highlights your capabilities. Let's have a look at some important things to keep in mind when writing recommendation letters. But first let's understand what it is the meaning of a letter of recommendation.
What is a letter of recommendation?
It is important to understand that letters of recommendation are not the same as cover letters. Both of them for sure share the same purpose that is to present the candidate as an ideal choice for the job profile. But the major difference in the two letters is the person who writes the letter. Cover letter as widely known is written by the candidate themselves but the recommendation letters on the other hand are written either by your former employers or by your professors.
Elements of a Recommendation letter
The person writing the letter must first of all introduce themselves and also state their position in the company. After that they should talk about your abilities and skill set that you have displayed in your time with the organization. Also, any big achievements that you received while working with them can also be included in the letter. However, be mindful of the fact that any capabilities highlighted by your reference must be somehow related to the new position you are applying for.
The main purpose of a recommendation letter is to convince your future employer that you posses the skill set required for the position that you have applied for. Also, be careful that the letter is no longer than a page and duly signed by the author. Another important thing to watch out for is that the author has mentioned his/her contact details so the recruiters can contact them shall the need arise. A company stamp though not necessary is still a recommended element for a recommendation letter. You could also use a company letter head on the other hand, if one doesn't have access to a stamp.
Why recommendation letters are important?
Most employers today ask only for your resume, portfolio and a cover letter as a part of the job application. Then why do we need letters of recommendation or what importance do they hold when sending forth your job application. The answer is quite simple, recommendations though not necessary element of the job application, hold a lot of value in the eyes of the recruiters. In the recent times letters of recommendation however have taken many different forms. Like for one, you do not require a typed or hand written letter all you need to provide your future employers with the contact details of the concerned person and they will themselves contact them for recommendation details. Some employers even scan through a candidates social media profiles to get an understanding of their skills and interests. However, these new formats of recommendation letters have made things more difficult for students. You have to be quite careful of what you post and share on your social media profiles and also have a good understanding of making connections with people in your field of work.
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