Many people are unsure of what to write when asked to provide a letter
of recommendation for someone. But regardless of the purpose, all
such letters have a few things in common, and are not difficult to
write if you just keep these in mind. Recommending someone for a work
certificate isn?t all that different from recommending them for a job.
The people reading it, whether potential employers or government
bureaucrats, will want to know many of the same things, such
1. Your qualifications for writing the recommendation, that is, who
you are and for how long and in what capacity you?ve known the person
2. What specifically makes this person a good candidate for the
certificate? Mention personal qualities such as punctuality, honesty,
trustworthiness, diligence, dependability, etc.
Another thing to mention, perhaps in a separate paragraph would be
your knowledge (if any) of the person?s ability to support him/herself
while looking for a job or while getting established. Often what is
wanted is reassurance that this person is not at risk of becoming an
official burden on society. But be prepared to give specific examples
of the above, and not just general statements.
In addition, if the work certificate is being issued for a specific
work situation, it would be good to mention any particular knowledge
you may have of the applicant?s work qualifications, including
professional qualifications and expertise/experience in addition to
such things as work habits, dedication and professional integrity. For
example, many countries will not issue work certificates unless an
applicant can demonstrate that s/he has work expertise and/or
experience that cannot be provided by a citizen of the country to
which s/he is applying.
In the US in recent years, for example, there has been a shortage of
engineers and other technical employees, resulting in the issuance of
work visas (certificates) to many foreign nationals, who are filling a
shortage in the workplace that American employers are unable to fill
with domestic workers. In this case, a potential employer would
sponsor the person, but issuance of the visa might be assured or
otherwise helped with inclusion of a letter highlighting this
applicant?s stellar qualities and pertinent work qualifications.
All the above notwithstanding, don?t mention any aspect of the person?
s character or qualifications that you yourself do not have personal
3. Close your letter with a statement of why you believe the applicant
would be an asset to the country, or the job, or both.
Your best guide for specific points to cover in your letter will be
your relationship to the applicant, combined with the requirements of
his/her application. Ask if you can see the specific wording that
applies to letters of recommendation. Here are some examples of
requirements that state what the letter should be about:
This site gives requirements for obtaining work certificates in ten
Asian countries. Skim through the descriptions, and you will see a
variety of purposes for such letters, including demonstrating need for
employment, or good citizenship, or work qualifications:
And this article on moving abroad says, ?If a letter of recommendation
is required to obtain a visa, suggested sources to request one are the
manager at your bank, your employer or other sources the Department of
State might recommend. You also need to know the specifics that should
be included in the letter, such as indications of a good credit
history and to whom it should be addressed.?
If you haven?t already, ask the person you?re thinking of writing the
letter for to provide you with this information and/or look for it
yourself within the package of information included with the
application for the work certificate.
This scholarship/work certificate application includes a questionnaire
for a recommendation that could be used in constructing a letter.
Scroll down to page three: http://www.kcyouthnet.org/pdf/scholapp.pdf (
Note: you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document. If
you don?t already have it, you can download it here:
Here is another recommendation letter as a form, which includes
questions indicating the type of information often looked for:
If you use Microsoft Word, Microsoft has available many templates of
different kinds that can be downloaded for free. Here?s an example of
a character reference (recommendation) letter:
recommendation&CTT=6&Origin=EC010331121033 And here?s a link to the MS
site where you can view/download other reference letters:
About.com has a good general template for a reference letter, as well
as several samples: http://jobsearchtech.about.com/library/weekly/
Here is a ?Letter of Recommendation Guide,? which offers several
example letters: http://www.boxfreeconcepts.com/reco/sample.
This article is targeted toward teachers recommending students, but is
an excellent general guide to letters of recommendation, and contains
a useful checklist of items to consider:
This advice, with specific examples, from Monster.com is excellent,
and should provide you with a good understanding and tools with which
to compose your letter: http://resume.monster.com/articles/
These two templates are for personal letters of recommendation:
I hope this information is what you were looking for and will be
helpful to you in writing your letter, and in understanding what style
to use and elements to include or leave out. If not, or if there is
anything you still don?t understand, please do use the ?Request
Clarification? feature to ask before rating and closing the question,
and in that case, please give more details as to the purpose of your
letter. Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.
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