How important are letters of recommendation? Letters of recommendation are required for almost every graduate school application and are a very important part of the application process. Usually grades and test scores factor in most heavily; however, your letters of recommendation could be the deciding factor in the admission process.
Target the recommendation. Is it for an academic post, a job, a volunteer position, a background check, or a personal reference? Write your letter so that it is focused on this purpose. For example, if the letter is part of a job application package, it should focus on the professional qualifications and conduct of the candidate.