How to Write a Reference Letter Like a Pro?

December 20th, 2020

Reading time about 13 min

A reference letter or a recommendation letter is often used to testify a person’s skill. As a result, the candidates need a recommendation letter proving their skills and supporting their job application in company jobs. Therefore, it is a must to know how to write a good reference letter.

A well-constructed recommendation letter is essential to impress the company because it is meant to endorse someone’s skill required for the job. Therefore, with these recommendation letters, candidates create a good impression.

The writer who is composing a recommendation letter must keep in mind that the letter is a way to depict the job seeker’s skills. Therefore, its way of representation and writing must be different from any other formal letter. Therefore, these letters are of two different types. The organization can also request the candidates for it, and these are mainly professional reference letters.

The supervisors of an institution, colleagues, professors, clients are the senders of these letters. If a family friend or a mentor writes a reference letter, it is a personal reference letter. For these two types of letters, writing style may vary. The fundamental subject matter is to discuss the candidates’ unique traits and how the features make them fit for the job.

reference letter, working professional

Preparations for Writing a Reference Letter:

The writers need to keep in mind that the tone of the reference letter should be positive. As the purpose of a reference letter is to create a first impression, the reader associates the letter’s positive tone with the candidate.

The second step of preparation for the writer should be getting a hold of the person’s CV. Using a CV to write it is always the best idea, even if the writer thinks they know the candidate personally or very well because passing off any wrong information by mistake can severely affect the candidate.

The writer should also concentrate more on the candidate’s skills, which match the job they are applying for in the company. The letter needs to be focused enough to reveal the candidate’s potential in a straightforward and well-narrated manner. For writing a proper reference letter, the writer can use the business letter format.

Suppose the writer is associated with a company. In that case, they need to know if the company approves recommendation letters since many companies forbid their practice of granting reference.

Decline the Request of Reference Letter:

Suppose the writer does not feel comfortable writing the reference letter. In that case, it is always better to turn down the request. If they are not satisfied with their work ethics or sincerity, there is a way to say a polite word. The writer can simply mention, “I don’t think I’m the best person to write you a reference,” without explicitly mentioning any reason.

Now, suppose a writer personally is not familiar with the person asking them for a recommendation. In that case, they can turn down humbly. All they need to say is, “I am thankful you asked me for a reference, but I don’t think I’m familiar enough with you and your work to write one.”

How to Write a Reference Letter?

  • The Format of a Reference Letter:

Since the reference letters follow a standard business letter format, the writer can follow a letter’s structure template. There is certain information that needs to be included in a reference letter:

  • Contact Information and Greeting:

The writer needs to include their title, phone number, etc. If the writer is not mailing the reference letter, then they need to have their email ID. The writers must start the letters with a formal greeting.

  • The Opening Paragraph and Introduction:

The opening paragraph needs to include information like how the writer knows the candidate and why he/she thinks the candidate to be the best for the particular job. The writers also need to mention how long they know the candidate and their designation or position or in what capacity they are writing the reference.

  • Details About The Candidate:

The writer needs to explain what skills the candidate has and why the writers think of them as suitable for a particular job. In addition to that, they can also include their qualification and achievements in this section of the writing. Moreover, the writers should highlight the candidates’ attributes that have impressed them or what makes them better than the rest. Especially when judged from the particular job aspect.

  • Signature and Ending:

Here the writer needs to mention why they have earned their recommendations.

Therefore, the writers should also open a space for further communication from the company the candidate is applying to. In conclusion, the writer should end this with a formal sign off.

reference letter, Signature on paper
  • Length and Format of the Reference Letters:

The reference letter length must exceed one or two paragraphs because keeping the letter extremely short may hint that either the writer does not know the candidate properly or is not sure about the recommendation. The writer should finish the letter within one side of a page. For an ideal letter, the appreciate length is three-four paragraphs.

For the format of the letter, the writer needs to stick to the traditional model. There should be a single space between words and space between paragraphs. They need to use 1″ margins for all the sides, top, bottom, left and right sides of the page. The alignment of the letter must be the default one, left alignment.

For reference letters, it is best to use traditional fonts in place of anything innovative. The writer can choose Times New Roman, Calibri, or Ariel. The font size needs to be between 10 and 12. The writer can choose the font style and type to fit the letter within one page.

Reference Letter Example

It refers to the reference letter example taken from the internet. It is always better to use the writer’s original words for a recommendation. However, samples like this are only one search away. In the case of recommendations Duplicate content used for letter writing is not acceptable:

“To Whom It May Concern:

I highly recommend Jane Doe as a candidate for employment. Jane was employed by Company Name as an Administrative Assistant from 2002 – 2005 and was responsible for office support, including word processing, scheduling appointments, and creating brochures, newsletters, and other office literature.

She is extremely organized, reliable, and computer literate. In addition to that, she comes with excellent communication skills.

Jane can work independently and can follow through to ensure that the job gets done. Moreover, she is flexible and willing to work on any project assigned to her and was quick to volunteer to assist in other areas of company operations.

Jane would be a tremendous asset to your company and has my highest recommendation. Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any further questions concerning her background or qualifications.

Sincerely,

John Smith

Title

Company

Address

Phone

Email”                                                                                                                                       

Producing an Original Reference Letter

Using referencing means endorsing the qualities of a candidate. If the writer mentions them as the reference source, they must use their own words for the letters.

In conclusion, even though there are several sample reference letters available on the internet, copy-pasting those is a terrible idea. The company can easily find out duplicate content in a letter by using a plagiarism checker. The writer should not use duplicate content for the Letter of Recommendation. It can ruin the impression of the can

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