Top 10 Alumni Letters of Recommendation Examples

What is an Alumni Letter of Recommendation?

Alumni Letter of Recommendation

When a student applies for graduate school or a job, it is common for them to ask someone who knows them well to write a letter of recommendation. This is often an alumni letter of recommendation, which is a letter written by someone who graduated from the same school or university as the applicant. An alumni letter of recommendation is a valuable tool for students because it allows them to showcase their skills and accomplishments through the eyes of someone who has experienced the same academic culture that they have.

Alumni letters of recommendation may be written for a variety of purposes, but they are most commonly used in the graduate school application process. Graduate schools often ask for two or three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with the student’s academic and personal achievements. These letters can make a significant difference in the admissions process by providing an insight and personal endorsement of the student which allows admissions staff to see the applicant in a unique light.

An alumni letter of recommendation should be an honest and positive reflection of the student’s character, work ethic, and potential for success. The author of the letter should describe specific examples of the student’s accomplishments and provide anecdotes that demonstrate their strengths. It is also important that the author explains how they know the student and why they feel qualified to write a letter on their behalf.

The author of the letter should keep in mind that a letter of recommendation is a reflection of both the student and the author. Therefore, it is crucial that the letter be proofread well and contains coherent statements. The letter should be written in a professional tone and is presented positively, with attention given to spelling, grammar, and the organization of the letter.

Overall, an alumni letter of recommendation is an essential part of a student’s application process. It provides valuable insight into the applicant, allowing the admissions office to make informed decisions. A thoughtful and sincere alumni letter of recommendation can make the difference between a student being accepted or denied admission to the school of their dreams.

Who Can Write an Alumni Letter of Recommendation?

Alumni Letter of Recommendation

An alumni letter of recommendation is a vital tool for students who are about to embark on their tertiary education journey. This letter adds weight and value to an application for admission, as it gives the admission board an honest opinion from a former student who has gone through the same experience. While any alumni can write a letter of recommendation, it is essential to consider who would be best suited for this role.

The ideal candidate to write an alumni letter of recommendation is someone who knows the applicant’s academic and character strengths better than anyone. Thus, former teachers, academic advisors, coaches, and guidance counsellors are the standard choices for this task.

Former Teachers:

Former teachers are an excellent option for writing alumni letters of recommendation, as they have a deep understanding of their students’ academic strengths, work ethic, and classroom behavior. Thus, when they write a letter of recommendation for an alumnus, they can showcase the student’s ability to identify their unique qualities. Additionally, they can discuss how these qualities helped them achieve success both inside and outside the classroom.

Academic Advisors:

Another good option for writing alumni letters of recommendation is an academic advisor. These professionals have years of experience working closely with students to achieve their academic goals and can give insights into the student’s unique attributes. Additionally, they can provide information on the student’s participation in co-curricular activities outside of the classroom and the role they played in these activities.


For students who are athletes, coaches are an excellent choice for writing alumni letters of recommendation. Apart from highlighting the student’s academic achievements, coaches can discuss the student’s ability to work in a team, leadership, and work ethic. These qualities are essential in sports and can also translate to other areas of the student’s life, such as academics and social interactions.

Guidance Counsellors:

Guidance Counsellors are another worthy option for writing alumni letters of recommendation. These professionals work with students to develop their academic, social, and emotional welfare. Thus, they have a comprehensive knowledge of the student’s overall development. They can discuss the student’s leadership roles, qualities that set them apart, and their ability to work in a team. They can also provide personal insights into the student’s character traits that they have observed during their time in school.

In conclusion, alumni letters of recommendation are a vital part of a student’s college application process, and it is essential for applicants to choose the right person to write these letters. Choosing a former teacher, academic advisor, coach, or guidance counsellor is a great option, as these individuals know the student’s unique attributes and can write a letter that highlights their strengths.

How to Request an Alumni Letter of Recommendation?

old college letter recommendation image

Asking for a letter of recommendation from an alumni can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know them well or haven’t spoken to them in years. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:

1. Choose the right alumni. Make sure to ask someone who knows you well and can speak to your strengths and abilities. If you don’t have a strong connection with any alumni, try reaching out to your school’s alumni association or career services office for guidance.

2. Give them plenty of notice. It’s important to give your alumni plenty of time to write your letter. They likely have busy schedules and may need time to gather their thoughts and write a strong letter. Aim to ask at least a few weeks in advance.

3. Provide them with information. When you ask for the letter, provide your alumni with information about the program or job you are applying to, as well as a copy of your resume and any relevant work samples. This will help them tailor their letter to your specific needs and qualifications.

4. Follow up with a thank you. After your alumni has written the letter, don’t forget to thank them! Whether it’s an email, phone call, or handwritten note, expressing your gratitude for their time and effort can go a long way in maintaining a positive relationship with them.

5. Keep in touch. Even if you don’t end up getting the program or job that you applied for, make sure to keep in touch with your alumni. They may have additional connections or advice that can be helpful in the future, and it’s always a good idea to maintain strong relationships with people in your field.

Remember, asking for a letter of recommendation can seem intimidating, but it’s an important part of the application process. By following these tips and approaching the process with respect and consideration, you can increase your chances of receiving a strong, supportive letter from your alumni.

What Should be Included in an Alumni Letter of Recommendation?

alumni letter of recommendation

Writing a letter of recommendation for a former student can be a daunting task, but it is an essential one. It’s important to write a thoughtful letter that provides useful and relevant information about the student and their achievements. Below are the key elements that should be included in an alumni letter of recommendation:

  1. Introduction: Begin by introducing yourself and your relationship with the student. Mention how long you have known each other and what capacity you worked with them in. This sets the stage for the rest of the letter and helps the reader understand why you are qualified to recommend the student.
  2. Academic achievements: Detail the student’s academic achievements, including their grades, courses taken, and any honors they received while at school. If the student struggled academically, briefly discuss the reasons for this and mention any positive qualities they possess that may not be reflected in their grades.
  3. Personal characteristics: Highlight the personal characteristics that make the student stand out, such as their work ethic, leadership skills, communication skills, and ability to work well in a team. Use specific examples to illustrate each trait.
  4. Impact on the school community: This section could be the key difference between a good letter and a stellar letter. A former student’s impact on the larger school community could be the deciding factor in their admission or selection for a scholarship or award. Write about how the student was involved in extracurricular activities, their contributions and how they have helped improve school programs or events. If you can, add a story that illustrates the student’s impact on the school community.
  5. Conclusion: Wrap up the letter with a strong endorsement of the student. Emphasize why you believe the student is an excellent candidate for the position or program they are applying for. Offer your willingness to chat further if required. Also, you may provide contact information where you can be reached for further conversation.

An alumni letter of recommendation has the power to help a student reach their goals or fall short of them. So, as an alumni, it is important to be honest in your appraisal of the student, offer your personal and professional insight, and provide details and examples that support your endorsement.

Tips for Writing a Strong Alumni Letter of Recommendation

Letter of Recommendation

Writing a letter of recommendation for a student can be a daunting task. As an alumnus, you know firsthand the importance of a well-crafted letter and its impact on the student’s future. A strong letter not only highlights the student’s strengths but also their potential contributions to the academic and professional community. Here are some tips for writing a strong alumni letter of recommendation:

1. Personalize the letter: A recommendation letter should not be a generic one-size-fits-all document. Tailor the letter to the specific student and their unique qualities. Mention specific achievements, values, and experiences that illustrate the student’s potential.

2. Provide context and examples: Don’t just state the student’s strengths without providing evidence or context. Use specific examples to illustrate the student’s skills and accomplishments. Provide context by explaining why these skills or achievements are notable.

3. Be honest: As an alumnus, you have a responsibility to provide an honest assessment of the student. Don’t exaggerate or make false claims about the student’s abilities. If you have any reservations or concerns, address them in a tactful and respectful manner.

4. Highlight the student’s potential: In addition to the student’s current accomplishments, emphasize their potential for future success. Mention any qualities the student possesses that could contribute to their success in their intended field.

5. Use a professional tone: Remember that a letter of recommendation is a formal document. Use a professional tone and avoid casual language or slang. Proofread the letter carefully to ensure that there are no grammatical errors or typos.

Writing a strong alumni letter of recommendation is an opportunity to help a student take the next step in their academic or professional journey. By following these tips, you can provide a detailed and honest assessment of the student’s potential contributions to their field of study or career.

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