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Open the letter with a warm greeting and reference your intent and purpose. For example, you may use, "It is my pleasure to provide a recommendation for Jan Doe for the position of Controller."
Illuminate your connection to the subject. This can be personal or professional. Highlight the number of years you've known the individual and if you have worked together, in what capacity. For example, "I've worked with Jane for the past five years on various accounting projects." This shows that you have knowledge of her work.
Once you've established your reason for writing, whom you're writing about, and why you're writing, extol upon the many virtues of the individual. Many times, these are generic phrases such as "efficient", "detail-oriented" or "dedicated." Indicating the individual is "professional" is a key phrase to use.
Get specific. If you can give examples where the individual excelled in his duties, now is the time to share. For example, "Joe managed a direct mail campaign that contributed 20% market share growth during the first quarter."
Keep it short. Although you may feel a long letter of recommendation is warranted or needed, you may confuse an overworked hiring manage. One page will suffice.
End the letter with a note that you are available should the reader have any additional questions.
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