Skip to content

Letter of Recommendation Guidelines & Template

Download your FREE Letter of Recommendation Guidelines & Template below.

Did you know? A well-crafted letter of recommendation can be the difference between securing a place at university or narrowly missing out.

Students applying to prestigious universities face stiff competition from fellow international students and the local indigenous population. It’s common for universities to face a significant Demand Vs Supply in-balance. Thus, entry into specific courses and universities can be extremely competitive and universities can afford to be selective in their recruitment and admissions practices. Universities will assess candidates on an individual basis. However, various factors will need to be considered when selecting candidates for a particular course, these can include:

  • Nationality balance
  • Gender diversity
  • Age of applicants within a course
  • Equality in scholarship recipients
  • Academic entry requirement {lowest vs highest acceptable band}
  • Socio-economic backgrounds
  • Relevant work experience
  • Personal Statement or Letter of Recommendation

Students have a better chance of admission by including a Letter of Recommendation within their application. This document provides credibility and will assist when universities are selecting between candidates with similar grades and profiles. A Letter of Recommendation can come from a variety of sources, they can include the following:

  • Headteacher
  • Employer {The letter should be from a director if possible}
  • Teacher / Professor {Ideally from an academic in the field in which you want to study}

Please note, universities can request more than one Letter of Recommendation. If so, recommends selecting an individual from an academic background and someone from outside the school / university. These letters will complement one another by detailing the academic and employment {or community} credentials of the individual.

The Letter of Recommendation should contain specific details which strengthen the chances of admissions to your chosen university. This document should be 1-page or 300-450 words. The document should focus on a variety of areas from academic skills to individual achievements, see below.

  • Students character
  • Accomplishments achieved throughout school / university
  • Involvement in Extra-curricular activities
  • GPA and academic ranking within the school / university
  • Aspects which might make a specific individual unique
  • How the university might benefit from the student’s application

It’s important you request a Letter of Recommendation from the correct person. To avoid confusion ensure you follow the advice outline below:

  • Ensure you know the referee for at least 6-12 months.
  • Provide your academic grades so they can be referenced accurately.
  • Ensure the individual is happy to be contacted by the university for additional information.
  • Ensure the feedback they are going to provide is favorable for your application.
  • Ensure they have credentials within their field of research or industry.
  • Try to select a teacher or individual with close links to the course you intend to study.

Structure / Layout recommends using a specific structure and format to ensure the best possible chance of success. Follow the structure below or download the FREE Letter of Recommendation Template.

  • The Letter of Recommendation should be on official letter head {employer, school or university}.
  • The Letter of Recommendation should contain the contact details of the individual.
  • Use a font and size that is familiar with overseas universities {Calibri, Times New Roman or Arial}. Use the correct spacing, typically 1.0 – 1.5.
  • Ideally this document should be dated and stamped by the authorized individual.

The Letter of Recommendation is a formal document; thus, a level of structure should be present throughout. suggests adhering to the format below.


  • Briefly describe the referee’s position / role within their job.
  • Present the relationship between the student and the referee.
  • Detail how long they have known the student / individual.


  • Describe the students’ academic background
  • Evidence why the student is suited to the university selected for admissions purposes.
  • Detail any personality traits which the university might benefit from.
  • Describe how the student might “add value” to the university and wider community.
  • Detail any extra-curricular activities or community engagement the student has undertaken.


  • Provide a compelling closing argument to justify admission into the university.
  • Provide signature, job title and contact details for any future dialogue that might be required.

    Book a Free Education & Career Consultation?

    Please Tick the Following:

    Which level of study do you want to pursue?


    Which is your preferred study destination?


    Upload Documents

    study in


    Discover Now
    study in


    Discover Now
    study in


    Discover Now
    study in

    United Kingdom

    Discover Now
    study in


    Discover Now
    × Chat Available from 10:30 to 18:00 Available on SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday