It is natural to feel flattered when someone asks you to write a letter of recommendation for them. It is also completely natural to feel anxious. Employers place a lot of weight on these letters, especially for opportunities as popular as internships. You do not want to do more harm than good with your letter, so make sure you understand what needs to go into it.You truly want to take your time with writing this document. The last thing you want is for the letter to come off as generic, something that could apply to virtually anyone. Make it specific to the person who requested it.Take some of the stress off yourself by reviewing our recommendation letter for internship templates. They show you what the best format is and what kind of information to include. Review the template below if you are currently having trouble writing this type of letter.
Recommendation Letter for Internship Template
Rachel Young wrote the below letter for one of her former students, Lance Princip. Lance was a model student in her classroom, and he recently came to her to ask her for a letter of recommendation for an internship at a local literary agency. Rachel thinks Lance would be perfect for the internship and wants to convey that effectively in this letter.
I could not recommend Lance Princip more highly for the intern position at TWSG Literary Agency. He did fantastic work in my Intro to American Literature class, and I believe he would be a true asset to your organization.
Lance is an honest and hardworking young man who is incredibly knowledgeable about the literary industry and always willing to help others. Although Lance got an A in my class, there were other students who struggled. When the students came to me, I would recommend Lance to tutor them, and he was more than willing to step up to the plate. He put in extra effort when he did not need to, and he helped raise the grades of several other students.
Lance possesses outstanding communication skills. He is never afraid to share his opinion, and he provided great insight while in my class. He was also not hesitant to take charge during group projects, and I would always see him making his voice heard while never failing to allow other students to voice their opinions, even if they were different.
Feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have any other questions about Lance’s experience.
Professor Rachel Young
How To Write a Recommendation Letter for Internship
Everything in the letter of recommendation should work towards the goal of awarding the person in question with the internship. Therefore, you want to make the note sound personal, specific, and sincere. With those three traits, an outside observer is sure to be able to clearly see why this individual deserves the opportunity over everyone else.
You want to add personal touches to the note; make it clear how you know the person. You also want to back up any claims with detailed facts. For example, the recommendation letter for internship template mentions how hardworking Lance is by how he was willing to tutor other students. If Rachel had simply said he was hardworking, then it would not be as impactful. These specific details make a letter sound like you wrote it with this specific individual in mind.
You also want the letter to sound sincere; you do not want to exaggerate anything. Naturally, you do not want to lie about a person’s experience either. It is best to stick with the facts and provide your honest opinion. It can help if you know where the letter is going to, so you can tailor the facts to that specific industry and recipient.
Keep the overall tone of the letter professional, using a traditional business template. Address the letter to a specific person if you know whom he or she is. You should also have a traditional closing statement and provide your signature. You also want to say how you are willing to talk further about the individual’s qualifications in more detail over the phone or by email.
What To Avoid in Your Recommendation Letter for Internship
The first thing to remember is to never write an honest recommendation if you cannot adequately provide the truth. If you do not know the person that well, then it would be best to simply say you are unable to provide a letter of recommendation at this time. It may be awkward, but it is ultimately for the best. The individual in question deserves a good letter, and he or she should go to someone who can offer just that.
In the event you agree to write a recommendation letter, you want to avoid generalizations. Instead, celebrate the person’s accomplishments and talents rather than list off a bunch of skills and traits that could technically apply to anyone.
Another essential item many writers leave out is introducing themselves. Make it clear at the very top of the note how you know this person. This does not have to be long, but you should make it clear who you are, how you know the person, and how long you have known her or him.
How To Follow Up After Sending Your Recommendation Letter for Internship
You should only agree to provide a letter of recommendation if you know you can give it back within a few days. Time is usually of the essence, so you do not want to leave the person waiting too long. If you are currently swamped with work and do not think you could provide a letter soon enough, then it would be best to decline to write one.
Once you send the document, it is courteous to check in with the person a week or two later to ask whether he or she received the internship. During this conversation, you can make it clear you are able to write additional letters in the future if necessary.
Top 5 Recommendation Letter for Internship Writing Takeaways
1. Make it personal
If an internship requires letters of recommendation, then the organization has to read through a ton of them. By making your note personal, it is sure to stand out and have a greater likelihood of success.
2. Provide specific anecdotes
You do not want to say a person simply has a skill. Provide a story of a time the individual used that skill. Another way to provide specific details is by listing certifications, awards, or achievements the person in question has received.
3. Avoid clichés
If you were to write a recommendation letter for a student, then you would want to avoid referring to him or her as a “star pupil.” These types of clichés and generalizations make a letter sound insincere.
4. Keep it brief
There is no need to make this letter longer than a page. You can say how you are willing to discuss the person’s qualifications in further detail at the end of the letter.
5. Be honest, but never negative
Avoid saying anything negative in your letter. You do not want the document to have the opposite of its intended effect. Always offer compliments rather than ways the person could improve on a certain skill.