Nomination Letter Writing Best Practices

Submit letters that add substance to the nomination. If submitting multiple letters for a nominee, talk through what each letter writer plans to include in their letters. How do the letters complement each other? What story do the letters collectively tell about the candidate? Use the letters to maximize the examples shared about the candidate.

Quality is appreciated more than quantity. A well-written and concise submission increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Use an active voice in your writing.

Tell the reader what makes the nominee unique or special. Describe specific characteristics, qualities, or examples that you believe make the nominee stand out or demonstrate how they go above and beyond.

As you write your letter think about the following questions:

  • What did the nominee do that was beyond simply doing their job?
  • How did they do it?
  • What were the results and/or impact?

Proofread the letters prior to submission. Typos and grammatical errors are distracting. A great online resource for writing is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).

The committee will not accept or consider additional material sent separately from your packet or letters sent directly to the committee.  Be sure to request that all support letters and documentation be returned to the nominator gathering the information for inclusion in the nomination packets for online submission.

A nomination letter should not be:

  • An extended CV or resume
  • A list of educational achievements
  • A list of awards, appointments, or roles
  • A job description showing what the nominee was hired to do

An online resource about writing letters of recommendation is available through The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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