I was asked to compose a recommendation/reference letter for a Computer Engineer that works as a Researcher in the Research Center I am supervisor. I don't know if Academia is the right site to post , but since the nature of the job is Research and people involved "Research Engineers", I believe is the right place.
So, I need to write a great recommendation/reference letter, but the problem is I have never written a letter of this kind before. I've seen many of them, and even more on the web but the problem is that they all look "copy-pasted" and not written in a way that would make me believe that the author of this letter really spent time on it, believing in the skills of his employee and really wanted to recommend them.
I've already written the letter, the best I could and I will like to ask about some parts of it, how they sound and if they could be any better.
As a first paragraph, I wrote who I am, the position I have in the Research Center and what is the purpose of this letter:
My name is... I am a ...
The purpose of this letter, is to serve as a reference to my cooperation with Mr ...
In the second paragraph I wrote about the position of the person (Research Engineer) and for how long he worked with us:
Mr. X joined our team in the X Research Center as a full-time Research Engineer under an ongoing X month contract...
At this point I don't know how I could point out better the fact the the person was under a normal full-paid contract and not just given a "European Grant" to work with us. I wrote they were
full-time, but still there are many people that join programs after studies that work for a few months as Engineers in Research Centers. In this case, I want to stress that they were working as a normal Research Engineer, especially chosen for skills and paid a normal salary for the position as Engineer. Maybe add something like
"full paid contract"
In the 3rd paragraph I wrote under what framework the person worked (European project) and a few words where and how they were involved. I didn't want to go into great details here as I believe this stuff could be easily read from their great CV. Is it wise to describe exactly what he did (Names of real-life applications that was part of developing etc). I pointed out that they deeply involved in what they did, how well they integrated with the rest of the people and how motivated they were and that they actively contributed in the project. Anything else I could add here?
As a last line I would like to show that I can't recommend them enough, but without getting "too excited". I want it to be serious, I want it to leave no doubts. Also since the person is young and is interested in continuing with post graduate studies, or working as a Researcher or even getting a computer engineer position in a private company. Is it okay if I mention all of them? Usually we recommend someone for one type of position. But this position, working as computer engineer doing research (aka Research Engineer), leaves no doubt that he would be great as a PhD student, as a researcher or as a software engineer. So I wrote:
For all the aforementioned reasons I would like to highly recommend X, as a strong candidate for future postgraduate studies, research and employment offers.
What do you think about it? How could I make it better and is there something I should change? If you don't like some part and you give me an alternative please point out why you don't like the part, as some times its a bit of personal taste and not that something is wrong. Would be great, if you could post some examples of letters you composed or parts of them, or an example from the web that you consider great.