When an intern completes their internship program, they should ask you for a letter of recommendation as your manager. This letter encourages future employers to comprehend the employable qualities and competencies of that employee. Interns often lack work experience. They should ask you for a business letter of this kind. If they don’t, you should encourage them to get one produced either by yourself or other managers.
You will have only had a few months to have worked alongside the intern. But that should provide you enough insight to be able to speak to employable qualities about the employee. Communication, presentation skills, adaptability, or other traits and characteristics that show strong professionalism.
If you have a significant moment that you can highlight during the tenure of your work together, that will go a long way when writing your letter. If you can, spend a few moments recalling the past three months with the intern. And find a moment you highly respected. Use that as the main body of your message in the letter.
[Your phone number]
Dear [Mr. X]—
I look forward to you having the opportunity to work with [full name of the person who you are recommending in this letter] for the position of [position they are applying for].
I had the pleasure of being able to work with [full name of the person who you are recommending in this letter] at [business name you worked at] during the period of [date] and [date].
I want to share an impactful moment while working with [full name of the person you recommend in this letter]. [Insert your short story that shows employable qualities about the intern. Keep your short story to 200 words or less.] I would love to speak with you more regarding these accomplishments and the professionalism that [full name of the person you are recommending in this letter] could bring to the business.
[Your handwritten signature]
Keep your letter short. Using bullet points can ensure that you think through impactful scenarios that you can recall during the time you worked together. While future employers will place more weight on recommendation letters that come from mangers, a coworkers perspective can be precious as well.
Here is how the finished product should look:
Letter of Recommendation FAQ’s
What should go inside the letter?
Your letter should always contain:
- Your contact information
- Your relationship to the person you’re writing the letter about
- A body of the letter which speaks to qualities, skills, or short stories that put the employee in a positive light
- A formal sign-off or salutation
- Your name and formal signature
How do you write a letter of recommendation?
- Take time to write on a separate sheet of paper bullet points that are positive and negative about the person you’re writing the letter for.
- Use the provided template and fill in the information regarding the name, date, and relationship you have with the person receiving the letter.
- From your bullet points, state short stories that attribute the qualities you wrote down. This could be verbal communication, team building, adaptability, and all sorts of soft skills or hard skills that you appreciated about your employee.
How do you end a letter of recommendation?
A letter of recommendation should always contain a formal sign-off or salutation. The best salutations for a letter of this nature would be “Sincerely” or “Thank you so much.”
How do you get a letter of recommendation?
Asking for a recommendation requires sending an email to your manager, colleague, or friend from who you’re requesting one. You should tell them your intended purpose of the letter and ask if they can show qualities you feel will be important to future jobs you’re applying for.
How long should a recommendation letter be?
A business letter of this kind should never exceed one-page. That means the body of your letter should be no more than two to three paragraphs in total. The ideal word count would be somewhere around 500-600 words.
What makes a recommendation letter “strong”?
A strong letter is one that contains bullet points that are impactful to future employers. This would detail positive metrics or significant accomplishments that the employee was able to obtain for the business.
Should a letter of recommendation have a signature?
A business letter of this kind has more impact when it contains a formal, handwritten signature. Though it is not required, it can make the letter feel and appear more official.
Do I need a letterhead on a letter of this kind?
A letterhead can be helpful. It contains your contact information. That can be useful in case the reader needs more detail regarding your letter.
Should the letter be handwritten?
No. Ideally, it is typed professionally, with 10-point font, and in a serif font face. This will appear the most formal and the most professional to the reader.
Where do I send this letter?
Once completed, your letter should be sent to the person who requested it. Never send your letter to another professional, asking for their approval. A recommendation letter is a private document shared between two parties.
Should I send the letter by email?
Email is the best place to send your letter versus a handwritten or printed letter. This helps the receiving party store the letter for future use and allow them to download the Word or PDF document to their computer for future job applications.
What should I avoid having in my letter?
Avoid negative or “areas of improvement” style discussion in the letter. It’s not the right place for that. Suppose you had reservations about the employee. Or wish they could have performed better in certain competencies, keep that to yourself. This is not something you should be sharing in this letter. At all times, keep the letter positive.
What other types of recommendation letters are there?
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About the author
Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader’s Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.