Being asked to write a nomination letter is an honor. Someone thinks your opinion is valuable. Of course, before you make a recommendation, you need to ensure you truly believe this person is deserving of the award since you’re putting your name behind the recommendation. Chances are if you’re being asked, though, the person is fairly sure you’ll have good things to say, which means the next step is to write a letter that gets results. This is fairly simple, just requiring a little honesty about your relationship to this person and why you think he’s deserving of the award.
Before You Write an Award Recommendation Letter
Before you write the first word, put some time into getting the background on the award and the candidate. Try to research the history of the award. What type of people generally win? If there’s a published list of criteria, review it and note areas that fit your nominee. Take a look at the list of past recipients and look for qualities you may be able to highlight when you write your own letter.
How to Start Your Letter
Once you have that information, start your letter. In your introduction, tell a little about yourself and how you know the person you’re recommending. From there, you can segue into describing all of the reasons the nominee deserves the award, pulling in as many facts as you can. In addition to facts and figures about the ways the nominee has helped others or furthered organizations, mention personality characteristics that make her deserving, including her passion for helping others or her lifelong commitment to her chosen profession.
Reasons to Nominate Someone for an Award
Over the course of your career, you’ll make plenty of friends and associates. The person who worked for you or served as your boss in your first job could contact you down the line to ask for a recommendation. This long-term networking can pay off should you ever need a favor in return. By following through, you’ll strengthen those professional relationships, which can only pay off for your own career. Perhaps the best reason to nominate someone is that you’re likely giving someone who deserves it a boost. If this person works in your own industry, this benefits that industry as a whole, which will help you in the long run. If you’re recommending a former student or friend who isn’t connected directly to the work you do, you’re still ensuring a deserving person is acknowledged for his hard work, and this always sets a good example for others.
Example Nomination Letter
To Whom it May Concern:
I'm honored to nominate Sarah Brown for the Manager of the Year Award. I've worked with Sarah for twelve years, and have always found her to be efficient, great with customer service and a positive asset in employee relations. Her recent success in training at-risk youth is just one example of the great work she's done for this company.
Sarah is a true team player, as evidenced by the fact that she's trained more employees who have gone on to our management team than anyone else. She's had the highest retention rate in her division for five years running, out of the entire Northwest sector. Her people respect Sarah's leadership and show it by producing higher quotas than 79 percent of the rest of the company. I couldn't think of another person more deserving of this award than Sarah Brown, which is why I'm pleased to nominate her for Manager of the Year.
Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous small business blogs, including Zappos, GoDaddy, 99Designs, and the Intuit Small Business Blog. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written about business for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011.