Familiarize yourself with the position. Get a copy of the job description, if you can, and talk to the person you will recommend. If you know the intended recipient of the letter, ask them about the position as well. The more you know about the position, the better you will be able to tailor your letter to suit the needs of both parties.
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.