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.
Open with a short, but enthusiastic, bit of praise. Let the company know right off the bat that you believe in this person. You don’t have to be over the top or insincere, but a positive note to start will make a big difference. It makes me extremely happy to recommend Michael for the position of Director of Development at XYX Corporation. Any company should count themselves lucky to have an employee as bright, friendly, and dedicated as Gina. No matter what she does, Helena Bonham does it well.