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I am writing a recommendation letter to support an employee's application for graduate schools in Canada.
For example, if his name is Kai Kang,where Kai is the given name and Kang is the family name.As I have seen for multiple times in a lot of news reporting, such titles as "Why Trump wants you to be afraid of high speed trains" ,"Mattis right to disagree with Trump on Syria, top Pentagon official says", and so forth, can I refer to him by the family name "Kang" alone?
Can I refer to him in the the following way:

Kang has strong communication skills,which could be seen from Kang's popularity with his teammates, and this made it very easy for him to acquire the needed support to succeed.

I know it's grammatically correct but does it sound weird or rude to refer someone in a recommendation letter in this way? Of course, I know him pretty well.

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All the recommendation letters I've seen have refer to the recipient by their first name, not their family name. This is usually a sign that the writer is familiar with and fond of the recipient, which is the whole point of writing a letter of recommendation!

If I received a letter of recommendation where the writer referred to the person by their family name only, I would think it was weird.

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