What does a good recommendation letter look like? Below you'll find a sample letter written by a direct manager for an employee who works in software sales. If you're responsible for managing or leading a team, chances are you'll be called upon to write similar letters.
Read on to see how this manager endorses one member of his sales team, and then check out the breakdown of what this letter does well.
Sample Letter #1: Written by a Manager for a Full-Time Employee
Ms. Greta Johanssen
66 Western Boulevard
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87500
Dear Ms. Johanssen,
It's my pleasure to provide this letter of recommendation for James as he seeks employment in software sales with Streambase. As James's sole direct manager at Waretech, I've worked closely with him over the past three years, sharing the same open office space the majority of the time. James showed excellent communication skills and consistently exceeded company quotas. On a personal level, he's charismatic and well-spoken, both qualities that have served him well in his role as software sales professional.
Due to his wife's cross-country transfer, James is seeking employment out west. All of us at Waretech will be sad to see such a valuable employee go, but our loss is truly your gain. Allow me to point out three examples of James's strengths.
First, James brought great value to Waretech by consistently exceeding quotas and selling in the top 15% of his peers. James has an understanding of market trends and instincts for identifying and pursuing qualified leads. Not only does he provide stellar service to existing clients, but he's established a number of new business-to-business and business-to-customer accounts during his time at Waretech. Last fall, for instance, he added Voxacorp to our client list, a huge acquisition, and has been working closely with its IT department ever since. James has the combination of business acumen and communication skills that makes him an outstanding salesperson.
Second, James has a very strong grasp of technology. He knows our software inside and out and helps relay technical information to customers in an accessible way. He explains our products clearly to customers and makes the most of technological avenues to gain new leads and customize his sales pitch to clients. During an early review, I observed him discuss in detail with a prospective client the specific ways that our software could boost the sales of her online bakery. By monitoring clients' presence across our website and blog, he provides each one with personalized service to meet his/her needs. James makes the most of technology to find new prospects, provide modern solutions, and drive results.
Finally, James has proven himself to be a strong cultural fit here at Waretech. He's always ready to lend a helping hand to his teammates and contributes during brainstorming sessions and meetings between the sales and marketing teams. Last month, James co-led an enlightening meeting on content marketing and account management. Outside of official events, James also takes turns leading weekly spin classes at our in-house gym. James is an active member of the Waretech team and supports his colleagues professionally and personally (not to mention athletically!).
In closing, I'd like to restate my strong support for James's application to the role of software sales professional with Streambase. I'm confident that he will surpass your expectations in this new role. James is driven, self-confident, proactively helpful, and smart, and I know he will continue to find success in sales. Please feel free to contact me at (866) 811-5546 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions. Thank you for your time.
Based on this letter, should James pack his bags and get ready to move out west?
Recommendation Letter 1: The Breakdown
This first recommendation letter sample represents a common type of letter, one written by a direct manager for an employee who's applying to a new company. Right off the bat, the writer gives a strong statement of support for James by saying that it's his great pleasure to provide the recommendation. If he started by simply saying, "I am writing this letter of recommendation for James," it wouldn't have quite the same impact.
Samuel Saasman incorporates the first key feature of strong letters by stating who he is and how he got to know James. He also indicates the reason that James is applying elsewhere. Including this information can be useful for the hiring manager, especially if it's followed by a statement of support like, "Our loss is truly your gain."
Samuel structures his letter by presenting three of James's major strengths: his sales record, his use of technology, and his relationships with his co-workers. This structure can be an effective one for recommendation letters; some writers might choose to use bullet points to clarify their thinking.
Samuel writes about James's qualifications while incorporating specific examples in each paragraph to illustrate his work performance. Since James is applying to a similar position in software sales, all of the strengths described relate directly to the requirements of his target job.
Samuel recommends James with highly positive language. He repeats his strong support of James several times and his confidence in his future success. He seems to have chosen with words carefully, using strong descriptors like "charismatic," "driven," and "proactively helpful." As is the custom for recommendation letters, he concludes by inviting the hiring manager to contact him with any further questions.
Overall, Samuel writes a glowing letter for James's application to a new job in software sales. His high opinion is evident, and his examples prove that James has the qualifications to excel in his next position.
Ready for the next recommendation letter sample? Click hear to read a sample letter written by a principal for a teacher applying to a new school.
Want to learn more? If you want to read about what goes into a strong letter of recommendation or find additional samples, you can head to the full guide here.
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Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.