Inform yourself about the person you are recommending. Spend some time talking to them about their goals and the position they are applying for. Gather together their current resume, any memos or notes you may have on them, and any other information that will help you as you write the letter. The best recommendations are thorough and specific, and having all the information at hand will make the process much easier.
Keep your writing action-oriented. Begin each paragraph with a punchy, active affirmation of the candidate’s qualities or character. Strong verbs are your friend.