Let’s Write A Reference Letter

You're reading Let’s Write A Reference Letter, posted on Monday, May 10th, 2010 at 3:31 am in Tips, on BrainBloggers at the Educating A Nation blog. More after the jump.

A reference letter is a letter of recommendation that is written by someone that is familiar with the individual. It is most effective when the writer is well acquainted with the individual by way of school, work or some other relationship. The letter is written to present a satisfactory image of the individual’s characteristics and abilities. Reference letters are generally asked for vital business for example admission to tertiary, institution, applying for a job or loan and many other business transactions. It is successful because it is easier to read a letter than to contact the referees by telephone or mail because it disregards. incidences such as the referee being occupied or unavailable. It also gives an advantage to the individual that the letter is regarding whereby the person knows precisely what the referee has to say about him or her. Instead, if the referees were reached via phone the individual would be clueless of what they revealed about him or her.

A reference letter can be handwritten or typed, but whichever technique is employed, it must be endorsed by the referee and include his or her contact information in case additional details is required. Chances are, at some time in your life you may be requested to write a reference letter. Here’s how to write a reference letter.

How To Write A Reference Letter

Materials Required:


Tools Required:


Computer with necessary software


1. The first thing to do is to get all the required details (such as address, schools attended, any skills gained, etc.) regarding the individual who asked for the letter. If the purpose of the letter is to get work, it may be prudent to view the job criteria.

2. If you know the person’s name to whom the letter will be sent, address it specifically to that person. If not, use TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.

3. Organize your letter in three paragraphs. In the first paragraph, identify who you are writing about and in what relationship you are acquainted with the individual. Say for how long and why you believe the person is appropriate for the job or for admission.

4. In your second paragraph, reveal specific skills or training that you have observed since knowing the individual. Enlighten how these aptitudes and skills will fit the prerequisites of the business or school. Share your individual perceptions of the person bearing in mind what the purpose of the letter is.

5. In your third paragraph, point out that you are available to supply any further details considered crucial. You can also include any additional opinion of the individual.

6. End the letter with a courteous closing. Endorse the letter and again include contact details, your title and firm to establish that you are a credible reference.

7. Proofread the letter and correct any error.

8. Type the letter and reread, correcting any inaccuracy if necessary.

9. Endorse the letter, stamp if applicable and put in an envelope.


Make sure that you are fully acquainted with the individual applying for the letter.

Emphasize crucal points that you want the reader to detect.

Use a business letter style for example, a fully blocked letter style.

Do not refer to anything unconstructive concerning the person you are recommending.

Don’t be too loquacious. Try to be as brief as possible so that you will end up with a one-page letter.

Do not incorporate any unwarranted information such as the person’s race, religion or marital status except it is definitely applicable.

Utilize action verbs especially when referring to achievements and skills.

If you cannot supply a positive reference decline to write the letter.