How does the recommender know this person.
How long have they known them.
In what capacity do they know him (socially or professionally).
Has the recommender actually observed them fly enough to draw an informed opinion.
What reputation does the person have among their peers.
Is the person of good moral character.
What/who is the recommender (i.e. are they a credible recommender)
How can the recommender be reached for further inquiry.
Shorter is better than an essay.
Dear Captain Smith
It is my pleasure to convey my highest recommendation for Mr. Ted Parks for a first officer at Major Airways. As the Chief Pilot of Commuter Connection Airlines, I have personally observed Ted’s performance over the past 5 years and rate him tops in every respect. Besides being one of our best pilots, he is one of our most eager and dedicated employees. Having flown with him on several trips, I can personally attest to his technical ability as a pilot, his congeniality, moral character and more recently, his superb cockpit leadership as a Captain in the RJ.
I have no doubt that Ted will succeed superbly as a first officer and captain Major Airways. While our loss is your gain, it is always my pleasure to see quality pilots like Ted advance their careers. Hire him!!
If you have any questions, feel free to call me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
From both sides of the paper, sometimes a great reference has lousey verbal skills. It has been our experience that asking the referee to write their own letter so you can verify what they want you to say in it is a good way to start. Add something or subtract the rambling and you can let them tune the thrust.
It also keeps you from making the letter a carbon copy of all the ones you have written before...
In case it eludes you, it is also a good way to get a friend off his duff: "Here, sign this!" Can get the paperwork moving along much more quickly!
As long as when the call comes they can agree with what they signed, it is just making contact.