Recommendation Letter For Promotion: How To Draft It Right!

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the Candidate: Know their strengths, achievements, and how they align with the new role.
  • Format and Structure: Follow a professional format with a clear structure.
  • Specific Examples: Include specific examples of the candidate’s achievements and skills.
  • Endorsement for Promotion: Clearly state your endorsement for the candidate’s promotion.
  • Professional Tone: Maintain a formal and positive tone throughout the letter.

As a manager with extensive experience in writing recommendation letters for promotions, I’ve learned that a well-crafted letter can significantly influence an employee’s career trajectory. 





Here, I’ll share a step-by-step guide, including a template, to help you write an effective recommendation letter for promotion.

Understanding the Candidate

Start by reflecting on the candidate’s strengths and achievements. Ask yourself:

  • What are their most significant accomplishments?
  • How have they contributed to the team or company?
  • What skills make them ideal for the new role?

Format and Structure

A professional format is crucial. Your letter should include:

  1. Introduction: State your position and your relationship with the candidate.
  2. Body: Discuss the candidate’s qualifications and achievements.
  3. Conclusion: Endorse the candidate for the promotion.

Specific Examples

In the body, provide specific examples. For instance, “In the XYZ project, John demonstrated exceptional leadership skills by…”

Endorsement for Promotion

Be explicit in your endorsement. Say something like, “Based on these accomplishments, I strongly recommend John for the promotion to…”

Professional Tone

Maintain a formal tone. Use phrases like, “It is my pleasure to recommend…” or “I am confident that…”


Real-Life Example: I once wrote a letter for an employee who led a successful marketing campaign. I highlighted her leadership skills, her innovative strategies, and the tangible results of her campaign.

Template for a Recommendation Letter for Promotion

[Your Name]
[Your Position]
[Your Company]
[Date]

[Recipient’s Name]
[Recipient’s Position]
[Company]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend [Employee’s Name] for the promotion to [New Position]. As [Your Position], I have closely observed [Employee’s Name]’s outstanding performance over the past [Duration].

[Employee’s Name] has consistently demonstrated exceptional abilities in [Skill 1], [Skill 2], and [Skill 3]. For example, [Provide a specific example]. 

This accomplishment not only showcases [his/her/their] [Skill 1] but also [his/her/their] dedication to [Company’s Goals/Objectives].

In addition to [his/her/their] professional qualifications, [Employee’s Name] possesses the leadership and interpersonal skills necessary for [New Position]. [He/She/They] has been instrumental in [Another specific example].

Therefore, I strongly endorse [Employee’s Name] for this promotion. I am confident that [he/she/they] will bring the same level of excellence and commitment to [New Position] as [he/she/they] has shown in [his/her/their] current role.

Thank you for considering this recommendation.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]


Tips for Writing a Recommendation Letter for Promotion

  • Personalize the letter for each candidate.
  • Keep it concise and focused on relevant qualifications.
  • Proofread for errors and maintain a professional tone.

This article provides valuable insights and practical tips for managers looking to effectively advocate for their team members’ career progression. 

Remember, your recommendation can make a significant impact on someone’s professional journey

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A professional office setting with a person sitting at a desk, writing a letter on a laptop.

Q: How do I approach my manager about writing a recommendation letter for my promotion?

Answer: From my experience, the key is to be straightforward yet respectful. I scheduled a one-on-one meeting with my manager, where I expressed my interest in the promotion and explained why I felt ready for the new role. 

I then politely requested if they would be comfortable writing a recommendation letter for me. Emphasizing the specific skills and achievements that make me a good fit for the promotion helped make my case stronger.

Q: What should I include in my recommendation letter for a promotion?

Answer: In the recommendation letter I received, my manager highlighted my key accomplishments, leadership skills, and how I exceeded my current role’s responsibilities. 

They also mentioned specific instances where I demonstrated problem-solving skills and teamwork. Including measurable results and how I positively impacted the team and company was crucial.

Q: Can I write a draft of my promotion recommendation letter for my manager?

Answer: Yes, and this is what I did. I drafted a letter that included my achievements and how they aligned with the requirements of the new role. 

I then presented this draft to my manager as a starting point. This made it easier for my manager to add their insights and personalize the letter, saving them time and effort.

Q: How long should a recommendation letter for a promotion be?

Answer: Based on the letter I received, I’d say one page is ideal. It should be concise yet comprehensive enough to cover key accomplishments, skills, and specific examples of exemplary performance. 

Lengthy letters can be overwhelming, while too short letters might not provide enough insight into the candidate’s abilities.

Q: What makes a recommendation letter for a promotion stand out?

Answer: From what I observed, a standout recommendation letter is one that is personalized and specific. It should not just list qualities but also provide examples of how these qualities were demonstrated. 

A letter that tells a story of growth and impact in the current role and potential for future contributions in the promoted position really makes a difference.