I am not a native speaker and I have to write a letter of recommendation for X. Writing the letter, I noticed that I used the personal pronoun 'he' a lot, because I talked about X in every sentence. Then I thought that maybe I could replace 'he' with 'the applicant' in some places. If I wrote a recommendation letter in my native language, that would be exactly what I would do for stylistic reasons, so as not to repeat 'he' or X too often.
However, I checked several recommendation letter samples online, here, here and here, and it turned out that no one uses the word 'the applicant' in a recommendation letter (or at least in those letters).
So, my question is, can one use 'the applicant' in such a letter, and if it is improper, then why?