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You may love getting letters of endorsement about your own skills and achievements, but when you've been asked to write one, you might feel fraught with doubt about what to include. The best letters are well thought out, detail-specific, and without grammar, spelling or punctuation errors. Do your research on the subject and purpose of the endorsement letter, and give yourself plenty of time to complete it.
Heed the Heading
A letter of endorsement should clearly state who it's from, the title of your organization and the date. Include your email, phone number and street address. This information immediately lends credibility to your letter and tells the recipient how to easily contact you with questions about the endorsement.
Open with Necessary Details
In the letter's first paragraph, describe how long you've known the person and in what capacity. Give examples of outstanding service this person provided under your direction, and describe circumstances in which he performed beyond what others have done. Perhaps the person you're endorsing helped to seal an important deal, created better organization within your company or exemplified leadership skills in an area where no one else stepped up. These are all actions that may help the person secure whatever it is he's going after.
Describe Accomplishments and Talents
Research exactly why your subject wants this letter of endorsement and a little bit about who will read it. After you include positive characteristics of the person -- such as professionalism, their ability to take risks, an entrepreneurial spirit and exceptional talents, for example -- relate these things back to the person who is reading your letter. State how these positive attributes would be an asset to the reader's organization.
Close with Confidence
End the letter saying that you highly recommend this person for whatever situation is at hand. Tell the reader you are available to answer additional questions -- either now or in the future. Leave the lines of communication open so that you can elaborate on any part of your letter that requires further explanation. In addition, find out how the recipient wants the letter. If email is OK, simply type your name at the bottom with a professional closing such as "Sincerely." When mailing the letter, print it out and provide your signature in black ink above your name. Give a copy to the person you're endorsing.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.