Reference Letter : Definition – How to Write & Samples

Reference letters are often written as a support to a person applying for a job, a school or for any other promotion. It is usually written with respect to the candidate’s skills, experiences, abilities and achievements. Before you set out to write a recommendation, you need to understand and outline the following points:

  • Understand what the school, employer or in general the person who asked for the reference actually wants.
  • Your aim should be to describe how you know the candidate.
  • Your recommendation should be able to outline that the candidate is suitable for the program, school or job.

Simple Reference Letter Sample

Simple Reference Letter

How to format a Recommendation letter

A recommendation is a highly professional letter, thus you need to ensure that everything about the letter is professional. Therefore, the format of the recommendation letter is very important and you need to give it a careful consideration to get the result you desire. Below are some takes on formatting a recommendation.

  • Ensure that the letter is typed. Since it is for professional purpose, handwritten letters may not really serve the needed purpose as they may be difficult to read.
  • Ensure that the appearance of the letter is top notch. This depends on the paper used in printing the letter as well as the printer used.
  • The recommendation should be structured just as you would structure a formal letter. Thus, you should simply follow the processes of structuring a formal letter.

Detailed Recommendation Letter:

Detailed Reference Letter

Things to add in a recommendation

  • In a reference letter, you should state how you know the candidate. Also introduce yourself in light of the position.
  • Table the exceptional skills that candidate has. A recommendation letter is not a place to mention weaknesses. Do not mention inadequacies of the candidate in a recommendation letter. In addition, back up your claims with some examples and also point out the person observations you have made with respect to the candidate’s exceptional skills.
  • State some other qualities and skills the candidate has that may be helpful to the job or school.
  • Give room to follow up questions.

In a recommendation, features like the age, disability, physical or cultural status, gender, race and so forth are not needed. Therefore, you should avoid mentioning them in the letter. Try to keep the letter strictly professional and therefore avoid using casual expressions and languages in the letter. Since it is a professional write-up, slang and colloquial expressions should be excluded.

You can also go through some sample recommendation letters online to learn more about how to write a reference letter. The recommendation letter you write can be a determining factor to awarding him the job, position or scholarship program. This is why you need to make it professional.

The candidate as well as the recommendation is viewed with the flaws depicted in the reference letter. This is why you should ensure that every flaw is eliminated. To ensure that the recommendation letter is flawless, proofread it several times before submitting. Also ensure that grammatical errors, typographical errors and errors of different kinds are eliminated when writing a reference letter. Your goal is to ensure that the candidate wins the job or position; your reference letter should be professionally written to achieve this.