Marissa Bird and Mary Brady enjoy their time at the awards ceremony.

Tips for Writing an Award Nomination

Suggestions for writing a strong awards nomination. There are numerous ways to write a strong and effective recommendation of someone you believe to be deserving of an award.

  • Look at the criteria for the award; make sure you can give concrete examples of how the individual demonstrates the criteria .What and how does the individual act to embody the award’s parameters? These awards are often about the impact that the winner has on the organization and its guests or customers.
  • Identify the nominee clearly in the description. Use strong action verbs and be clear and concise. Remember that the selection committee may not personally know the nominee.
  • Specific examples with descriptions make a much more effective nomination. A selection committee member should not be left wondering what you meant, so give a full account. Generalizations don’t paint a clear enough picture of who the nominee is for the evaluators. e.g. “She is a great leader” is not a strong endorsement of your candidate. Try instead: “She is a great leader because she listens to her people, holds herself accountable, meets organizational goals, positively impacts our students, etc. …”
  • If you know someone else who thinks highly of the same nominee’s performance, consider asking him/her to nominate the individual for the same award using specific examples from his/her perspective.
  • Facts will sell your nomination more so than intangible opinions. Tell the story of who this nominee is by using factual events which paint the picture of why they deserve to be recognized.
  • Proofread your nomination to ensure you have a touched on all the criteria and have no typos which may confuse the reader. If acronyms are used, make sure that you have explained them with the initial mention.

Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to nominate a colleague. This speaks volumes about your dedication to the team at Penn State!

Nominate Someone for an HFS Award.