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GUIDELINES FOR WRITING LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Letters of recommendation are used to gather additional information about a candidate for employment, graduate study or other opportunity. It should give an overall picture of the candidate's: personal characteristics performance experience strengths capabilities professional promise

Preferably, the person writing the letter of recommendation has been in a working or academic relationship with the applicant. It is recommended that the student provide you with a copy of their resume, along with the job description they are applying for. The letter should be about one page in length and generally consist of three parts: opening, body, and closing.

Two questions to ask yourself BEFORE accepting a request to write a letter of recommendation
1. Can you speak positive about this individual? If you find yourself making up half truths, or having trouble finding positives, then you need to politely decline serving as a reference, or writing a reference letter. To avoid hurting feelings, simply state you feel you are not familiar enough with their background or work ethic to provide the best recommendation. 2. Can you speak for the applicant on the position they are applying for? If an individual asks you to be a reference, or to provide a reference letter and you do not feel you can provide a well rounded background reference, then you may want to consider either politely declining, or setting up an appointment with that individual to get to know them, and the position they are seeking more.

Opening
The writer should explain the relationship between himself/herself and the candidate as well as why the letter is being written. For example: Bill Jones completed his student teaching under my supervision. I am pleased to be able to provide a letter recommending him for a position as a teacher. The writer may want to...

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