How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation? [Sample Email]

Hey, are you one of those people looking for a new job and wondering how to go about it? Are you one of those college students wondering how to ask for a letter of recommendation so that your admission gets confirmed? In today’s competitive world, all of us are looking for ways which could increase our chances of grabbing opportunities in the best possible way.

So, here is all the information related to the same. Give it a read and you’d know what to do next.

What is a Recommendation Letter and How is it useful?

Recommendation is a statement of support from someone who knows about you and how you work or where you have worked. Someone you would have had a business relationship with, such as your colleagues, former bosses, your clients or customers; these people play an important part.

And, hence these recommendations provide additional information about your skills and more importantly your character based on observed behaviour that will help the hiring manager gain a better picture of you and how you would be fruitful to the company.

Are recommendation letters essential for jobs?

The answer is an easy one. With tons of candidates applying for a certain job, it gets extremely difficult for the recruiters to interview each and every candidate in detail and get to know the requirements that they are looking for in them.

What letter of recommendation does is that it helps in shortlisting candidates in an easy and efficient manner. It allows them to differentiate between candidates for significant positions in a company.

The question isn’t why to bother bringing a letter of recommendation. The real question is why not bring along something with you which could help you fetch a job with ease. These letters allow you to jot down all the necessary points, highlight your victories in life and communicate a lot of revealing information about you.

If you are a college applicant applying in some college, make sure you highlight your academic, personal and social skills because that would highly increase your chance to stand out amongst others. It would be a factor that would impress the admission officers. You should make sure that it is something that is authentic to them.

When it comes to job seekers, they should use recommendation letters that could get themselves an edge over others. In this competitive world where everyone is fighting to get a job, it becomes extremely crucial to have a letter of recommendation handy.

Nowadays, there are two main types of recommendations:

  • Formal letters
  • Recommendations you can acquire using social media tools, such as LinkedIn.

Formal recommendation letters tend to be a little extended in length than the recommendations obtained on LinkedIn, but both contain much of the same information.

The elements a letter of recommendation must include are:

  • Date
  • The hiring manager’s name, title, company’s name and information about the address.
  • Your entire name in the body of the recommendation
  • The duration of time the recommender has known you and the relationship that you have had with them
  • The key qualities or strengths that differentiate you from other candidates who might be applying for the same job vying for the same position in the company.
  • Any other qualifications as to why the recommender believes you would be the best person for the position for which you are applying, such as your education, work experience, etc.
  • Name of the recommender, his/her signature and contact information at the bottom of the letter.

How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation?

Now the next question that might strike your head is how to ask for a letter of recommendation.

Whether you want to ask for a letter of recommendation from employer, college, professor or even from grad school, the process is nearly the same.

Following are the steps that you should follow:

Make sure you make a timely request

1. Commence the process at least two months in advance (recommended)

It is best to give your recommender ample of time in order to help you with the letter because they are likely to be busy. You would also need time to review your application materials and request for the letter.

There are chances a particular professor/former boss etc. would say no to your request. So you must keep that extra time to reach out to others and make your arrangements in time.

2. You should choose a recommender (professor/ former boss/ co-worker/customer/ vendor/former business partner) that you think knows you well and would help you in a better way

Now this must be an important point to note. You must reach out to selective people who actually know what your strengths are. Because they are likely to be the best people to highlight your main points and hence, increase your chance to be selected. Keep in mind that your recommender must like you, be familiar with your work and be impressed with you.

3. Give the recommender sufficient type to prepare a letter of recommendation because a thing done in haste might not be done well.

You must allow some time to your recommender in order to draft a well framed letter. After all, it is only for your own good.

4. Important: Review the application details in order to find out how to send in the letter.

The application details will let you know whether the letter has to be sent through mail or submitted online. You must let your recommender know about the same.

In most cases, your recommender might want to send the letter directly to the recruiting manager without you reading it. So make sure, if you are the one who should submit the letter, make that clean in your request to the recommender.

Well, that’s how you can ask for a letter of recommendation.

How to write the email to your recommender?

Do you want to ask for a recommendation letter via Email? Well, then you must know how to write an email asking for a letter of recommendations.

Here are some email tips that you should follow while writing an email asking for recommendation.

  • Write a salutation with their preferred title and name.
  • Use a professional opening, for example, ‘Dear’. Then, write the name you are sending this to.
  • Introduce yourself nicely and remind them who you are.
  • Tell them why you have chosen them to ask for recommendation
  • Tell them what you hope that they will mention about you in the letter
  • Provide a link as to how to submit the recommendation
  • Thank them for their consideration
  • Sign the email using a professional close, like “Sincerely___(your name)”
  • Send the email

Email Samples Asking for a letter of recommendation

Here are some email samples that can give you more idea on How you can ask for a letter of recommendation.


Note that copying these emails won’t be a good thing to do. Try to frame an email yourself. 

Get started and have a well drafted mail on its way to your recommender. Just follow the steps and keep every mentioned point in mind. This is everything that you have wanted to know about the recommendation letter. Just imagine, a well articulated letter could fetch you a job.

Yes, it is that easy. Now you are good to go!

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