WHAT IS A RECOMMENDATION LETTER
A recommendation letter is an official document written by someone who knows and trusts an individual’s capabilities so as to recommend your work or academic performance. This letter describes the skill and qualifications of a person for employment or educational purpose. In a world where morals and values are degenerating on a daily basis, a recommendation letter speaks volumes when applying for a job or scholarship, as it gives an expression of your integrity and character towards work and the people around you.
A recommendation letter is typically written by an employer, professional business connection, client, teacher, coach, or by someone else who can actually vouch for an individual’s work or academic performance.
WHY DOES THE SCHOLARSHIP REQUIRE A RECOMMENDATION LETTER
In relation to applying for scholarships, a recommendation letter is one of the most important documents needed. Schools request a recommendation letter to boost your chances of being awarded, as this is proof to know if one actually deserves the scholarship award. Schools test one’s integrity, and they also want to see what others can say about you, your academic performance, and more, which is why you need to take writing a recommendation letter seriously and also be wise in choosing who will help you write the letter of recommendation. The purpose of a letter of recommendation is to express a student’s accomplishments and potential to succeed in the future.
WHO SHOULD WRITE YOU A RECOMMENDATION LETTER
As we have seen above that, a recommendation letter is a very sensitive document, one as being sensitive about who to approach for a recommendation letter. Below are the process of finding some to write you a recommendation letter:
- Read carefully the instructions given by your college administrator: Some colleges may request that you get a recommendation letter from your school teachers or departmental heads. Take a good look at your school teachers or staff, someone who you trust can write something good about you and someone who will be pleased to know that you’re pushing for a scholarship, then approach them for a recommendation letter.
- Go to someone who will be enthusiastic about writing a letter for you. Writing comes from the heart; when someone is happy about your growth or success, the word flows, which will really boost your chances of getting the scholarship award. Think of someone who can put a smile on the reader’s face through writing.
- Ask a counselor, coach, or a family member who you feel will make a good reference to write a letter for you. In this part, you need to trust your intuition enough for who to really go for. The author of the recommendation letter has to be someone who’s really proud of you.
- If you’re unsure about who to choose, kindly ask someone if they are comfortable writing a letter of recommendation for you.
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN A SCHOLARSHIP RECOMMENDATION LETTER
Since letters of recommendation are very significant, there are specific words and styles of writing a scholarship recommendation letter. A recommendation letter should include the following;
- Introduction: A letter should begin with the introduction of the author and, the relationship he or she has with the student they are recommending, the skills and qualifications of the student. The introduction has to be precise and realistic to the scholarship committee. Simply introduce yourself and your recommended student.
- Author’s observation about the student’s academic performance and willingness to get the scholarship. The writer should be able to express the student’s willingness and readiness to further his or her education through writing and how the scholarship will be of great advantage to him or her. This also represents the body of the letter because it explains the reason for writing and the student’s interest in choosing the school.
- A summary: This section of the recommendation letter contains a brief summary of why you are recommending the person. State that you “highly recommend” the person or that you “recommend without reservation” or something similar.
- Conclusion: The concluding part of the letter must contain the author’s contact information and an offer to provide more if contacted for further questions.
WHAT SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN A RECOMMENDATION LETTER
- Avoid Statement Like “To Whom It May Concern”: A recommendation letter has to be real; you must write with the awareness of the scholarship committees are reading it, so it has to be directed to someone. If you have no clue about their name, address the letter to the scholarship or admission committee.
- Avoid words like “Think and Believe”: The word think and believe in a sentence is an expression of doubt. In writing a recommendation letter, the writer has to be affirmative. The expression of confidence in your words gives the scholarship committee a feeling that the candidate is responsible.
- Avoid unnecessary words: A recommendation letter has to be precise and real. Unnecessary words make it unreal. The committees don’t have the luxury of time to dwell on letters that are not precise. It is an official document, and it has to remain official.
- As an author, avoid “your credentials”: The scholarship committee is not interested in your information or credentials; they are interested in your role in the candidate’s life.
SAMPLE OF A RECOMMENDATION LETTER
Carefully read through this article. You will understand the importance of a recommendation letter and how to go about writing it. You will definitely wow your audience (Scholarship committee) with your letter if you follow this process carefully.