Reference Letter

A reference letter is a letter that is written to present a favorable opinion about a candidate's abilities to another person. Whenever a candidate appeals to some authority to grant him a favor, the authorities first verify his suitability for the opportunity. They consider the qualifications and work experience of the candidate and call him for a face to face interview. However, before making the final decision, most of the authorities prefer to consider a third person's perspective about the candidate's abilities. This is where the letter of reference comes into the picture.

Letter of reference acts as a proof of the candidate's qualifications and abilities. It guarantees that the candidate is capable of handling responsibilities and achieving the desired results. The referrer has an experience of working with the candidate previously. Hence, when he gives a verdict about the capabilities of the candidate, it becomes more convincing for the reader.

Reference letter format

A perfect letter of reference should be written following the standards of professional business letter format. The letter begins by writing the date at the top left hand corner. After writing the address of the sender and the receiver, these types of letters contain a line, "To whom it may concern". Then the body of the letter begins with the details of the post you are applying for, your abilities, and personality traits. The last paragraph stresses on the fact as to why the candidate deserves the opportunity and how he will do justice to the favor given to him. The body of the letter is divided into three paragraphs. While the first two paragraphs deal with candidate's good qualities, the last paragraph is used as the conclusion of the letter

Tips for writing a reference letter

If you are writing a reference letter to guarantee a person who is applying for a job or academic courses, you must follow some important guidelines. These guidelines include:

  • You must mention your relation with the candidate for whom you are writing the reference. Also, you must mention since how long you know the candidate and where you met him.
  • This letter is meant to highlight a candidate's special skills and abilities. Hence, you should mention which qualifications make the candidate suitable for the post. You can list the educational qualifications, abilities, key skills, and rewards given to the candidate. Preferably, add specific examples related to the candidate's current field of interest. These details will help to prove the applicant as the best candidate for the post/course.
  • If you are giving a reference for personal reasons, you must mention your qualifications and experience. Hence, the reader can be impressed by your personality and is prompted to believe in your writing.
  • Mention your contact information and your assurance for providing additional information about the candidate at the end of the letter.
  • Proofreading the letter is very necessary before sending it to the receiver. This helps you to avoid any grammatical errors and typos.

There are several personal and professional instances where you are required to submit a letter of reference. Based on these instances, there are several types of letters used for providing references. It includes:

  • Employment Letter of Reference - Applying for a job with an organization
  • Academic Letter of Reference - Seeking admissions in an educational institute
  • Business Letter of Reference - Recommending an associate/vendor/client for a project.
  • Character Letter of Recommendation - Giving testimony in support of a person wrongly accused of committing a crime or for approaching the court for seeking legal custody
  • Landlord Letter of Reference - Buying or renting out property

We have provided below samples of reference letters catering to all these situations. In addition to each sample, we have given certain tips for writing and formatting the letter in a professional manner. We hope you find these templates useful in applying and acquiring the perfect opportunity for your future.

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