Get feedback. If you’re not sure of your letter-writing skills, or if your letter will carry a great deal of weight for the candidate’s application, ask for feedback from a trusted colleague who may also know the candidate. If you are putting your reputation on the line for this person, you want to put your best foot forward with this letter.
Make comparisons to illustrate their success. To put the candidate’s accomplishments into perspective, include comparisons so that the recipient will have some basis to understand why you are recommending this person.