While most of us are at a point in our lives where we are asking for letters of recommendation, there will come a time when someone asks you for one.  Do not agree to write a letter unless you feel comfortable writing something positive about the applicant.  You will not help yourself or the applicant by writing a letter not recommending them.  When asked, be sure the applicant provides you details about the position/organization.  You will need an address, mission statement, and position requirements to determine if the applicant is suited for this occupation/school/residency.  A current artist statement and resume will help you fill in information you may not know about the individual.  Also if you are not familiar with the applicants art work ask for recent images.

Here is a general format for writing the letter:

your address/contact

their address/contact

Dear (fill in the blank),

(paragraph 1) – write about your connection to the applicant and your personal qualifications so the organization can tell if you know what you’re talking about

(paragraph 2) – write information about the applicant; why are they qualified for the job, what they can contribute, why are you writing this letter for them

(paragraph 3) – this is where you connect the applicant to the specific position they are applying to; applicant and position connections

(paragraph 4) – summary; state in a different way why you are writing this letter; include that you “highly recommend”, “recommend without reservation”, ect. the applicant; tell the reviewer that you can provide more information if needed and include your contact information again.


(your name/title and signature)


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