Useful phrases for writing a formal letter of recommendation.


HELPING WORDS Admirable, Efficient, Intelligent, Respectful, Approve, Endorse, Invaluable, Responsible, Capable, Energetic, Inventive, Self-motivated, Commendable (praiseworthy), Ethical, Loyal, Sensible, Competent, Excellent, Meticulous, Successful, Congenial, Experienced, Outstanding, Suitable, Conscientious, First-rate, Personable, Tactful, Considerate, Hardworking, Praiseworthy, Thoughtful, Creative, Honest, Productive, Trustworthy, Dependable, Imaginative, Professional, Valuable, Diligent, Indispensable (to the team), Recommend, Discreet, Ingenious, Reliable, Dynamic (have / possess), Initiative, Remarkable, Effective (have), Integrity, Resourceful.

POSITIVE COMMENTS/EXPRESSIONS Tom is able to energise a group of people towards a common goal. He acquits himself/herself well. He would be an asset to any organization. He has a broad range of experience and skills. I can attest to Tom’s excellent working relationship with his team mates. He is a creative problem-solver. He is dependable/eager. He has done much to improve/increase/better/upgrade… He has discharged his duties and responsibilities as a team leader in his section well. He has distinguished himself from the rest of the cadet by… I will not hesitate to recommend Tom for … I have every confidence that Tom will make a good Chairperson of the … I have great respect for … I have been impressed with … Tom is held in high regard by many of his team mates. He has held various positions of responsibility and has never failed to discharge his duties to the best of his ability. I highly/wholeheartedly recommend Tom for the position of … I am writing in response to your request for information about … Tom has made many fine contributions to the … I have nothing but praises for Tom. He has outstanding leadership qualities and … I recommend Tom for the position of Chairperson with complete confidence that he will discharge his duties to the utmost of his capabilities. Tom is well thought of by his team. I believe I am in a good position to make an informed and unbiased choice. He is a dynamic individual with several admirable qualities. He has made several invaluable suggestions that reflect his maturity and common sense. He possesses initiative and the drive to succeed. His determination to pursue his goals will put him in good stead to handle tough challenges. He is clearly one who has the interests of the students at heart. She has an impeccable/a flawless academic record and outstanding CCA achievements. She is one who is able to balance her time well. His eloquence speaks volumes of his ability to persuade and convince others. (adjective: eloquent; speaks well; articulate) Being affable and having a keen disposition to listen, she is one whom others turn to when they encounter problems or difficulties. (If you are disposed towards something, it means that you are inclined towards something) Her enthusiasm and eager-beaver attitude is infectious and motivates others to carry through difficult tasks. Her positive and never-say-die attitude means no tasks are considered Herculean to her. Meticulous and organized, she is one who plans well and executes her tasks with near clock-work precision.

NEGATIVE COMMENTS/EXPRESSIONS Teachers have commented on his tardiness and inability to meet deadlines. Her quick-to-act disposition also means that she has a tendency to make rash decisions. A good leader should not make decisions based on spur-of-the-moment impulses and whims. He lacks the patience to listen and accept ideas from others. His thorough lack of organization means he makes eleventh-hour changes which often upsets the plans originally made. She often over-estimates her ability in her eagerness to achieve more. Her overconfidence exposes her tendency to set unrealistic goals.


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