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How to Write A Reference Letter

How to Write A Reference Letter
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Reference letters are document which point out a candidate’s skills, work experience, academic performance, and personal qualities. Some refer to this as a recommendation letter.

Who Writes the Letters?

Different individuals can write this including colleagues, former employers, teachers, clients, or anyone else who can write something positive about the candidate who requires the letter.

Importance of the Letters

Reference letters come in handy in various situations. Examples are when you are applying for college, graduate school programs, internships, volunteer positions, and employment opportunities.

They are a supportive endorsement of personal or professional skills and attributes written by a person who is familiar with your accomplishments, character, and work. The letter also explains why the individual reading it should consider you above others for the position.

Types of Reference Letters

There are two types of reference letters. One is a professional one that teachers, professors, colleagues, clients, supervisors, or people who are acquainted with your accomplishments in work environment write.

The other is the personal kind that mentors, family friends, or neighbors write. They do this to attest to a candidate’s traits that make them excellent for the position they seek.

It is essential to be knowledgeable on how to jot down an effective reference letter because someone may ask you to draft one. Here you will learn all it takes to come up with valuable and helpful recommendation document.

The Document’s Components

It is advisable to write the reference as a formal letter unless you have a form to record the recommendation. Start with your contact information as well as that of the person you are helping out. It should include names, address, email, phone number, and date.

Salutations should follow after this if you know the name of the person receiving the reference. For unknown readers you may use “To the Person it may concern” for a general letter.


Spare a few lines for introducing yourself within the first lines of the letter. It should be brief and not in-depth details about your life-history. Mention your position and the relationship you have with the candidate.


It should be more than two-or-three paragraphs. A short write-indicates that one does not have adequate information about the person they are recommending. First reaffirm facts that the candidate will provide alongside the reference document. They can include academic grades (if the letter is for a scholarly course) dates of employment, person’s role and job title in a company and leaving salary.

Detail your judgment on the candidate’s qualities and skills in a separate paragraph. Say something like their contributions were highly valuable or you would re-employ them instantly.

If possible dedicate another paragraph to show one or more examples of specific cases where the person you are recommending excelled.


Always close the reference positively. Indicate whether you are in a position to look into further correspondence on the application. End with “Yours Sincerely” when contacting a receiver with a name and “Yours Faithfully” when unsure of the recipients details.

Do not include candidates weakness in the letter and make sure that it remains professional without any jokes, slang or unnecessary information that could hurt the client’s chances.