Writing a letter of recommendation is one of the finest things you
can do for an employee that has performed wonderfully for you! Don't
take your ability to be the path into a new position, or !he reason they
are rejected! Your words are very critical as their current employer!
The letter of recommendation needs to be more than just general in nature. You need to think like a hiring manager and present them in a light that is deserving of being hired. Of course this is assuming that they are deserving of a favorable reference.
Before we go any further we need to make sure you understand if you are giving a negative reference you better be able to back up what you say, because a law suit is right around the corner! You never ever want to say something negative unless you clear evidence that it is true. If the evidence is questionable, don't go there. In this case either don't write a Letter of Recommendation or just give dates of employment and what position they held.
Again, when you consider what to say in the letter of recommendation consider what you would want to hear.
To Whom It May Concern:
The purpose of this letter is to recommend John D. Doe for a position within your organization. John had been employed with our organization from June of 2006 until February 2010, as a Mechanical Engineer within our Research and Design Department. During John's employment with us he was instrumental in our receiving several government contracts that resulted in long term projects. His insight and knowledge in his field of study is extremely extensive and would be valuable to any organization.
John was very dependable and certainly a team player in every sense of the word! His ability to get . along with others made it easy to place him on any of the teams within our organization.
I would recommend John to any company and I am certain they would be extremely pleased with their decision.
Now the above sample letter can be reworked in any number of ways but it hit on all the key points; dependability, value to the organization, team player, versatile, and spoke a little bit about your personal feelings. Just like most letters keep the KISS system in mind. Of course KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid! Well maybe we could leave out the Stupid part.
Good Luck and May God Bless You!