Can Parents and Relatives Write Letter of Recommendation? -

Can Parents and Relatives Write Letter of Recommendation?

When I was giving a good example of a recommendation letter, I digressed into what exactly was a recommendation letter. In there, I pointed out people that could be your recommenders.

One reader had asked if he parents or any relative could write his letter of recommendation? Let's discuss this.

Parents Are Not to Write Recommendation Letters

Primarily, the letters are meant to identify your strengths, abilities and achievements and potentials. On a norm, if your parents are meant to write this, they'll definitely be bias in their recommendation. Who will not say the sugar of his son or daughter?

Parents and relatives are generally not recommended to write Letters of Recommendation for professional, academic, or other formal applications. The primary reason is the inherent bias that family members might have.

The Writers Should Have Not Family Relationship with You

Letters of Recommendation should ideally come from individuals who can provide an objective assessment of your abilities, achievements, and character. This objectivity is crucial for the recipient (e.g., admissions committees, hiring managers) to trust the credibility and impartiality of the endorsement.

Typical recommenders include:

  1. Professors or academic advisors (for academic applications)
  2. Supervisors or managers (for job applications)
  3. Professional mentors or colleagues (for both academic and job applications)
  4. Coaches or organization leaders (for extracurricular or volunteer positions)
  5. Religion leaders (for academic applications)
  6. Mentors in a professional or academic context

Your Parents Might Be Asked To Write It In Certain Cases

Although not common, if recommendation letter is required from parents or relatives, or could be accepted from them, it will be made clear in the instruction given by the receiving institution or body.

That being said, there might be exceptional circumstances where a letter from a family member could be relevant, especially if the family member has directly supervised the applicant in a professional setting. However, even in these cases, it's crucial to ensure that the letter focuses on tangible achievements and professional qualifications rather than personal qualities or family relationships.


While parents and relatives are naturally inclined to support their kin, Letters of Recommendation for academic or professional purposes should ideally be authored by non-relatives. These should be individuals who can offer objective and credible insights into the applicant's abilities and potential. 

This ensures the authenticity and impartiality of the assessment, which is crucial for decision-makers. There may be rare exceptions where family members in professional supervisory roles can contribute, but these instances are specific and should be approached with caution to maintain the integrity of the recommendation process.

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