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How to Write Email Recommending a Staff Member for Promotion

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As someone responsible for other people, it is important that the people working with you in your team feel special and appreciated. As a manager, an email recommending a staff member for promotion gives them a better chance of getting said promotion than if they asked themselves. 

In this article, we’re going to discuss how to write an email recommending a staff member for a promotion, and also include samples that would make it easier for you to recommend staff for promotion. 

What is a Recommendation Email?

A recommendation email is an email written on behalf of someone else to recommend them for a promotion, a salary increase, etc. Essentially, an email recommending staff for a promotion is an email written to confirm the abilities and results of the said staff member.  

An email recommending a member of staff for a promotion is specifically written to the “upper echelons”. A letter of recommendation is similar to a reference letter. The only difference is that while a reference letter is written to another company to vouch for the candidate, an email recommending a team member for a promotion is written to a member of the same company.

Before agreeing to recommend a staff member for a promotion, you need to ensure that you endorse this person without any reservations. Recommendation emails must be glowing and positive, this means if you’re not comfortable recommending said employee, you may be forced to lie on the email of recommendation. 

Hence, if you don’t feel a staff member deserves a promotion, it may be best to politely decline when asked to recommend them. 

Why Should an Employee be Recommended for Promotion?

There are a myriad of reasons to recommend a staff member for promotion. Among these multitudes of reasons, there are some that pass as general reasons to recommend them. In this section of this article, we’re going to discuss the reasons you may want to recommend a team member for a promotion: 

  1. The Staffer’s Work Culture: If a staff’s work culture is commendable in all their dealings and they have traits that align with your company and its work culture, then this employee may be deserving of a promotion. 
  2. The staffer has great problem-solving skills: As a manager, it goes without saying that members of your staff possess skills that are useful for solving problems. If you have a staff member that excels when faced with problems then this is reason enough for them to be recommended for a promotion. 
  3. Possess strong leadership skills: An employee that possesses strong leadership skills and can steer other members of the staff in the right direction. These are self-starters that also carry other people along. If you have someone like this that makes your job as a manager easier, then they should be recommended for promotion.
  4. Excel in all their duties: While a staffer may have all the requirements listed above, one of the most important criteria when it comes to recommending a staffer for a promotion is that they excel at their respective posts. Among all the reasons for the recommendation, this is the crown jewel. 
How to Write Email Recommending a Staff Member for Promotion 3

How to Write an Email Recommending a Staff for Promotion

In this section of the article, we’re going to list steps on how to write an email recommending a staffer for promotion. 

  1. Understand your position in regards to the employee: Before writing an email, recommending an employee for a recommendation, you need to ensure you’re the person in the best position to do the recommendation.
    Is there someone more qualified than you are in regards to the employee? Have you worked closely with them enough? Can you vouch first-hand for their skills and experiences?  If you can’t confidently answer these questions, then you may not be the best person to write the email recommending the staff member for the promotion. You must write recommendation emails only for people you’ve worked closely with or direct members of your team.
  2. Address the recipient appropriately: When writing a recommendation email, you must make sure to address the recipient by their name and title. Before writing the email, find out who’s responsible for the employee’s promotion, especially for members of your team and address the email appropriately.

    When you address your email appropriately, it shows professionalism and attention to detail. This in turn may increase the chances of your request getting greenlit.

  3. Introduce yourself and your qualifications: When recommending an employee for a promotion, make sure to introduce yourself properly, state your name, your position, etc. If you rank rather high in the company, make sure you mention your position in the email.

    Also, include details concerning you that pertain to the employee such as how long you’ve worked with and supervised them, the years you’ve worked with them, the number of projects you’ve worked on together. You could also include information that gives your email context. Such as rules in the company that show your experience in matters such as this.

  4. Introduce the employee properly: This seems like stating the obvious, but it is also important to introduce the staff member being recommended for a promotion. This includes how long they’ve worked in the company and also importantly, the exact promotion you’re recommending the employee for. This gives your email context and it helps the recipient to make faster decisions by giving them all the information they may need.
  5. Explain why the person deserves the promotion: This is arguably the most important part of a recommendation email. The body of your email should explain in as much detail as it can why this employee deserves the promotion.
    Include details about the employee that may be of interest to the recipient. Also, make sure to highlight the staffer’s role in major projects. So, if said person has had a vital role in some of the major projects the company has closed, make sure to include this in your email.
  1. Offer to continue the conversation when closing: When closing the email recommending a staffer for a promotion, make sure to state that you’re open to continuing the conversation if the recipient requires it. End the email on a personal note if you have a close relationship with the recipient of the email. 

Email Sample Recommending a Staff Member for Promotion

Subject: Recommendation for Promotion Dear Jane, My name is Jason Todd, I am a team leader in the product department here at Insight Industries. I’m writing this email on behalf of Samuel Jakob, recommending him to be considered for promotion to product manager. As his supervisor for the past three years, Samuel’s work ethic and his work as a junior product manager greatly impressed me and made me confident that he is prepared for this promotion. I believe his product management expertise, incredible attention to detail and his commitment makes him a great candidate for this promotion. Under me as a junior product manager, Samuel has done nothing but grow and now shows great skill in his position. For reference, Samuel single-handedly designed the FortWix project. It was an elaborate project that would have taken a team of four at least 8 days to conclude. Due to the workload at the time, I tasked Samuel to do it alone and he turned it in in 11 days without any need for improvements. Samuel's attention to detail has made him a second pair of eyes for most of the junior product managers he works with. He delivers top illustrations that have little to no need for corrections. Samuel has shown great improvements since he started working here. He’s created many products on multiple software, this tells of Samuel's growth and skill. For the reasons stated above, I am recommending Samuel Jakob for promotion to Product Manager. If you have questions about Samuel regarding his works, please do not hesitate to contact me. On a side note, congratulations on closing the Hamson deal! Sincerely, Jason Todd. Chief Product Lead 

Email Sample Recommending a Staff Member for Promotion Two

Subject: Recommendation for Promotion. Dear Kate Simmons, I have worked with Jonathan Simon for the past four years since he has been employed as the Product Assistant in the Design and Ideation Department. I have been impressed consistently by both Jonathan's skill and his personality towards his work and his performance on the job. I am very confident that he would make a great Product Manager. Jonathan possesses great design skills that have enabled him to create impressive wireframes and products. He has even taken on additional design responsibilities such as product research and ideation. Jonathan is a great asset to our company, and the experience he has gained on the job, and the constant development he's undertaking makes him a great candidate for promotion. I recommend him for a promotion to Product Manager without reservation. If you have questions about Samuel regarding his works, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, Jim Jake 


Writing an email recommending a staffer for a promotion is a delicate affair. This is because if not done properly, could seriously mar the staff member’s chances of getting the promotion. This is why it is important to ensure that it is written well.

The post How to Write Email Recommending a Staff Member for Promotion appeared first on Woculus.

Ayo Oyedotun is a professional blogger and freelance writer. He reads, writes and talks about business. You can follow him on Twitter @Ayo_Oyedotun[!/Ayo_Oyedotun] or read Business Owners’ Bible[].


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