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Highlighting Soft Skills in Recommendation Requests

Highlighting Soft Skills in Recommendation Requests

When it comes to job applications, Recommendation letters play a crucial role in showcasing an individual’s qualifications and abilities. While technical skills and academic achievements are often emphasized, it is equally important to highlight soft skills in recommendation requests. Soft skills, also known as interpersonal or transferable skills, are the personal attributes that enable individuals to work effectively with others and navigate various professional situations. In this article, we will explore the significance of highlighting soft skills in recommendation requests and provide valuable insights on how to effectively showcase these skills to potential employers.

The Importance of Soft Skills

Soft skills are increasingly valued by employers across industries. In fact, a study conducted by LinkedIn found that 57% of leaders believe soft skills are more important than hard skills. While technical expertise is essential for performing specific job tasks, soft skills are what enable individuals to collaborate, communicate, and adapt in a dynamic work environment. These skills are transferable and can be applied to various roles and industries, making them highly sought after by employers.

Soft skills encompass a wide range of attributes, including but not limited to:

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership abilities
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Time management
  • Emotional intelligence

By highlighting these skills in recommendation requests, individuals can provide potential employers with a comprehensive understanding of their abilities beyond technical expertise.

Identifying Relevant Soft Skills

Before requesting a recommendation letter, it is important to identify the soft skills that are most relevant to the desired role or industry. This can be done by carefully reviewing the job description and researching the company’s values and culture. By aligning the requested soft skills with the specific requirements of the position, individuals can demonstrate their suitability for the role.

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For example, if the job description emphasizes the need for strong communication and leadership skills, it would be beneficial to request a recommendation letter that highlights instances where these skills were demonstrated. This could include leading a team project, effectively communicating with clients, or resolving conflicts within a team.

requesting recommendation letters

When requesting a recommendation letter, it is important to provide the recommender with clear guidance on the desired content. This includes specifying the soft skills that should be highlighted and providing examples or anecdotes that demonstrate these skills in action.

Here are some tips for effectively requesting recommendation letters that highlight soft skills:

  • Clearly communicate the purpose of the recommendation letter and the specific soft skills you would like to be emphasized.
  • Provide the recommender with relevant information about the desired role or industry to help them tailor their letter accordingly.
  • Share specific examples or anecdotes that showcase your soft skills in action. This could include instances where you demonstrated effective communication, problem-solving, or teamwork.
  • Offer to provide any additional information or context that may assist the recommender in writing a comprehensive letter.
  • Express gratitude for their time and effort in writing the recommendation letter.

By providing clear guidance and examples, individuals can ensure that their recommendation letters effectively highlight their soft skills.

Structuring Recommendation Letters

Recommendation letters should be structured in a way that clearly highlights the individual’s soft skills. This can be achieved by following a logical and organized format.

Here is a suggested structure for recommendation letters that emphasize soft skills:

  1. Introduction: Begin the letter by introducing yourself and your relationship with the individual. Provide a brief overview of the purpose of the letter.
  2. Overview of Technical Skills: Briefly mention the individual’s technical skills and qualifications to provide context for the soft skills that will be highlighted.
  3. Soft Skill 1: Provide a detailed description of the first soft skill, including specific examples or anecdotes that demonstrate the individual’s proficiency in this area.
  4. Soft Skill 2: Repeat the process for the second soft skill, providing relevant examples and highlighting the individual’s strengths in this area.
  5. Soft Skill 3: Continue the pattern for additional soft skills, ensuring that each skill is clearly defined and supported by concrete examples.
  6. Conclusion: Summarize the key soft skills highlighted in the letter and reiterate the individual’s suitability for the desired role or industry.
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By structuring recommendation letters in this manner, individuals can effectively showcase their soft skills and provide potential employers with a comprehensive understanding of their abilities.


Highlighting soft skills in recommendation requests is essential for individuals seeking to stand out in a competitive job market. By emphasizing these interpersonal attributes, individuals can demonstrate their ability to thrive in various professional settings and contribute to the success of an organization. When requesting recommendation letters, it is important to identify the relevant soft skills, provide clear guidance to the recommender, and structure the letters in a way that effectively highlights these skills. By doing so, individuals can increase their chances of securing their desired job and advancing their careers.

Remember, technical skills may get you an interview, but soft skills will help you secure the job and thrive in your career.

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