How To Write a Self-Recommendation Letter (With Template and Example)
Updated August 17, 2023
Including a recommendation letter in your application materials can help distinguish you as a qualified candidate. Sometimes, if the person who would normally write the recommendation is busy, you can write the letter on their behalf. Learning what a self-recommendation letter is can help you better prepare your application materials.
In this article, we define self-recommendation letters, offer steps for writing one and provide a template and example letter.
What is a self-recommendation letter?
A self-recommendation letter is a document you can write to convey your qualifications when applying for jobs. Typically, a supervisor, professor or other professional writes a recommendation for you. However, you may choose to write the letter yourself and simply have them sign their name to endorse the content. The purpose of a self-recommendation focuses on portraying your strongest skills and work ethic through self-reflection.
When should you write your own letter of recommendation?
When you require a letter of recommendation in a timely manner or if your supervisor is too busy to write it, you can write a self-recommendation and have it approved or signed at a later time. A self-recommendation may also help when you feel you possess a greater understanding of your strengths than your recommender. Typically, candidates write a self-recommendation for those who want to give a recommendation but don't have the time to write it themselves.
What to include in a self-recommendation letter
Here are some things to consider while writing a self-recommendation letter:
Professional tone: A recommendation letter is a communication between two professionals, so maintaining the proper tone conveys the authority of your endorser.
Positive perspective: When writing a self-recommendation letter, focus on your strengths and situations where you excelled.
Context: Provide the purpose and context of the letter by including the name of your recommender, their relationship to you and the position you're interested in achieving.
Accomplishments: Naming specific certifications, academic honors or professional accomplishments can show the value and work ethic you can bring to the position.
How to write a self-recommendation letter
Here are five steps you can take to write your self-recommendation letter:
1. Establish the relationship
Making your recommendation letter credible requires establishing the professional relationship between you and the recommender. This could be a professor, internship advisor, supervisor or coworker. Include their title and mention how long you've known each other. Providing this information confirms the recommender's ability to assess and endorse your qualities.
2. Identify your skills
A recommendation letter describes your strongest skills and traits. Identify both hard and soft skills that relate to the position and that your recommender observed. Use the opportunity to reflect on your strengths and convey to the hiring manager why you're a good fit for the position.
3. Provide examples
Describing detailed examples of your skills conveys your ability to apply your knowledge. Think about and describe a specific situation when your recommender saw you apply your skills or overcome a challenge. Explain the positive outcome achieved. Using action verbs and offering specific examples shows experience.
4. Write a personal endorsement
Conclude your self-recommendation letter with a personal endorsement from your recommender's perspective. Think about how they would describe you as a candidate and what unique value they think you offer to potential employers. If possible, ask the recommender to write this section themselves so they can offer their honest and personal insight.
5. Ask for approval
Before having your supervisor or professor sign your letter, ask for their approval of the content. Give them time to read the letter and suggest any changes, additions or omissions to improve its accuracy. Ensuring they agree with your own assessment of your skills and practices maintains the integrity and honesty of the recommendation.
Self-recommendation letter template
Here is a template you can use to write your self-recommendation letter:
[Primary phone number]
Dear [Name of addressee],
[The first paragraph establishes who you are and includes the open position. Describe your relationship with the recommender.]
[The second paragraph describes your experience and skills. Describe areas you feel you excel in and areas that your recommender has observed. Include specific examples of challenges or tasks you completed that relate to the position.]
[The third paragraph includes a broader list of skills and knowledge needed for the position. Only write about skills that your supervisor can endorse. Include a mixture of hard and soft skills.]
[The last paragraph states a direct endorsement of yourself for the position. Use positive language to ensure the reader that you can provide value to their team.]
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Self-recommendation letter example
Here is an example of a self-recommendation letter you can reference when writing your own:
Professor Max Marvlin
New York City, NY
Dear Mr. Manzie,
My name is Professor Max Marvlin, and I'm writing to you to recommend Caroline Woe for the position of assistant project manager. I served as Ms. Woe's academic advisor and professor during her time at Northridge University, where she studied business management. I had the pleasure of knowing Ms. Woe for three years and teaching her in two of my courses. She would make a wonderful assistant project manager because she works hard to meet her goals.
Ms. Woe excels in time management, self-motivation and problem-solving. In my time as her professor, she never missed an assignment and was careful to monitor all of her deadlines closely. Each assignment she turned in displayed the utmost effort and attention to detail. Ms. Woe also took it upon herself to help her classmates and establish study groups for all examinations.
Throughout her academic career, Ms. Woe worked tirelessly to achieve her goals and overcome challenges. She transferred to Northridge during the second year of her undergraduate career and actively sought ways to ensure she reached her desired graduation date. She met with me and other advisors to determine a realistic yet ambitious schedule to maintain her credit requirements and meet her goals.
I can attest that Ms. Woe would be an asset to your team and is eager for the opportunity to learn from your position. She brings her positive attitude and results-oriented resolve to everything she does. Ms. Woe can provide a high level of knowledge and a resilient work ethic that would greatly benefit your operations.
Professor Max Malvin
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