Made in Germany & Switzerland
The flag of GermanyThe flag of Switzerland
jacando logo
Back to the HR-Lexicon

Letter of recommendation

Also known as a letter of reference, a letter of recommendation is a document written by a person or organization to praise and recommend the skills, qualifications and character traits of another person. Often former supervisors, colleagues or teachers are asked for this type of letter when applying for jobs, study programs or scholarships.

The purpose of letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation are important for job applications as they give employers or educational institutions an insight into an applicant's professional and personal qualities. They confirm the credibility and suitability of the applicant from an independent perspective. A good letter of recommendation can set an applicant apart from other candidates and strengthen their profile. What elements should a letter of recommendation contain? Specific examples and situations should be included in the letter of recommendation to highlight the applicant's skills and qualities. Information about the relationship between the writer of the letter and the applicant and the context in which they have worked together should also be included. In addition, the letter should be concise, positive and tailored to the requirements of the position or program.

Tips for applicants

Make sure that the people you are requesting a letter of recommendation from are suitable and know you well. They should be able to present your strengths and qualifications convincingly. It is advisable to allow sufficient time for writers to prepare the letter and provide all relevant information about the position or course of study you are seeking. It is polite to thank the authors of the letter of recommendation upon receipt and inform them of the outcome of your application.