how to write a good job reference letter

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How to write a good job reference letter

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Your support may make all the difference. A good recommendation letter can help your contact achieve their dreams; a bad one is worse than no recommendation at all. A reference letter is a positive endorsement of a person's skills and attributes, written by someone familiar with their work, character, and accomplishments.

Reference letters are needed when applying for jobs, internships, volunteer positions, colleges, and graduate school programs. The reference letter explains why the reader should select a candidate, and what qualifies them for the opportunity for which they're applying. Letters may be requested by the organization that is considering the individual for employment or acceptance at an institution, or they may be offered by the job seeker or applicant. A professional reference letter is usually written by a supervisor , colleague, client, teacher, or professor that is well-acquainted with their accomplishments in a work-type setting.

It typically includes a description of their position and responsibilities, the duration of their time at the company, and their abilities, qualifications, and contributions to the organization. A character or personal reference letter can be written by a family friend, mentor, or neighbor who can attest to the traits that would make them a good candidate for the position they are seeking.

This type of letter explains how the writer knows them and discusses their personal attributes as they would apply in a job setting. An academic reference is written by a teacher, professor, or advisor. This type of reference discusses the candidate's educational background and academic achievements. Before agreeing to write the letter, make sure you feel that you can write a positive letter of reference for this person.

It is better to say no to writing a recommendation rather than to write a negative reference for the person. It is a good idea to ask the person for a copy of their resume or CV, even if you have known them for a long time. They may have new accreditation or achievements that merit highlighting, and you should provide as much current information as possible. This will also help give you guidelines to use when composing the letter.

If the reference letter is for a specific employment opportunity, also ask for a copy of the job posting. Similarly, if the reference letter is for a specific school or program, ask for some information about the school. The more information you have, the easier it will be to write the letter. Along with asking for information about the candidate, get all the information you need about how to submit the letter. Ask to whom you should send the letter, when the deadline is, and what format the letter should be in.

Also, ask if there are any particulars that the school or employer wants you to include in your letter. Unless the candidate gives you a form on which to write your recommendation , following a proper business letter format is appropriate. This includes listing your contact information, the date, and the contact information for the person receiving your letter typically, the hiring manager at the top of the letter. However, if you are emailing this letter, you do not need to include any contact information or the date at the top of the letter.

Instead, list your contact information after your email signature. A reference email letter should also have a clear, concise subject line that lists the candidate's name, the job they are applying for if applicable , and the purpose of the letter.

To get an idea of what to write and how your letter should read , here are some general guidelines to consider before writing your letter. Begin your letter with "Dear Mr. Last Name. The first paragraph of the reference letter explains your connection to the person you are recommending, including how you know them, how long you've known them, and why you are qualified to write a reference letter on their behalf. Be sure to include the name of the company, job, school, or opportunity for which the person is applying.

I am pleased to recommend him for the position of head accountant at ABC Company. The middle paragraphs of the reference letter contain information on the person you are writing about, including why they are qualified, and what they can contribute. If necessary, use more than one paragraph to provide details. Don't just list adjectives like, "friendly, intelligent, and hard-working"; instead, present circumstances in which the candidate demonstrated those qualities.

To borrow a favorite phrase of English teachers, "show, don't just tell. Not only will examples point to the value the candidate brought to your organization or company, but they'll also paint a picture of how she works in day-to-day operations. Using two to three specific anecdotes in your letter will boost its level of persuasiveness.

It will also sidestep a common rec letter trap: becoming a generic list of cliches. Just as you should only write a recommendation letter if you feel qualified to assess the candidate, you should also only write it if you can provide a great one. While you don't want to go over the top and sound insincere, your letter should be a strongly positive endorsement.

As you read through the nine free job recommendation letters below, notice how they all share the three key features described above, even though they differ in terms of their source and target audience. Below are nine sample recommendation letters, each followed by an analysis of what it does well! After checking out the above samples of recommendation letters, read on for some final thoughts on how to write an excellent letter of recommendation for an employee, coworker, or friend.

Now that you've got all the building blocks, you can put them together into a powerful letter of recommendation! While the above samples of recommendation letters will help guide you through the letter writing process, they can't look exactly like your final product. Writing a letter is a significant undertaking, as it requires you to customize your words to the candidate and make your letter unique. Even though the specifics will vary, strong letters of recommendation do have certain features in common.

Each letter should The sample letters show the proper format for a recommendation letter. They have the employer's name, position, company, and company's address at the top. To give one example, here's the header for recommendation letter sample You should also use official letterhead that has your name and contact information across the top, in whatever way you've chosen to present it. Each letter is addressed to a specific person, a greeting that's more personal than, "Dear Hiring Manager.

Finally, every letter concludes with an invitation to contact the writer for any further information. Then the writer may include her position, company, phone number, and email below her name. The strongest letters start out with an immediate statement of support. They might say, "It's my honor," "It's my pleasure," or "I'm very pleased to provide this letter of recommendation for Joe.

In the first paragraph, explain who you are and why you're qualified to recommend the candidate. Write a line or two of praise about her professional and personal strengths, perhaps with a summary of the main points you'll present in the rest of the letter. As mentioned above, strong letters typically include two to three body paragraphs with specific anecdotes about the candidate.

They don't just describe the applicant's great qualities and accomplishments; they give examples and prove to her prospective employer that she's made achievements in the past that predict future success. You might talk about a project or responsibility of the applicant or the value she's brought to your company.

Depending on your relationship with the candidate, you might focus more on her work performance or personal character in your recommendation letter. An employer will focus more heavily on professional skills while a coworker may add personal qualities. A friend or neighbor providing a character reference would produce the most personal letter. It falls upon the candidate to choose her recommenders wisely and to share any relevant information about the prospective position to help them write the best letter they can.

As long as you incorporate the key features discussed above and take the time to make your letter positive and specific, you'll provide a strong recommendation letter that will help your employee, colleague, or friend get hired. And who knows—perhaps in a year or two, she'll be writing a recommendation letter for you! Are you tasked with writing a recommendation letter for a student applying to college?

If so, check out these samples of recommendation letters from teachers and counselors, along with additional writing tips and a thorough recommendation letter template! She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.

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Choose Your Test. Why Are Recommendation Letters Important? As you write your letter, make sure it does the following: 1: Explains Why You're Qualified to Recommend the Candidate In order to hold weight, a recommendation letter should come from a reputable source. Sample Recommendation Letters As you read through the nine free job recommendation letters below, notice how they all share the three key features described above, even though they differ in terms of their source and target audience.

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The reference letter explains why the reader should select a candidate, and what qualifies them for the opportunity for which they're applying. Letters may be requested by the organization that is considering the individual for employment or acceptance at an institution, or they may be offered by the job seeker or applicant.

A professional reference letter is usually written by a supervisor , colleague, client, teacher, or professor that is well-acquainted with their accomplishments in a work-type setting. It typically includes a description of their position and responsibilities, the duration of their time at the company, and their abilities, qualifications, and contributions to the organization.

A character or personal reference letter can be written by a family friend, mentor, or neighbor who can attest to the traits that would make them a good candidate for the position they are seeking. This type of letter explains how the writer knows them and discusses their personal attributes as they would apply in a job setting. An academic reference is written by a teacher, professor, or advisor. This type of reference discusses the candidate's educational background and academic achievements.

Before agreeing to write the letter, make sure you feel that you can write a positive letter of reference for this person. It is better to say no to writing a recommendation rather than to write a negative reference for the person. It is a good idea to ask the person for a copy of their resume or CV, even if you have known them for a long time. They may have new accreditation or achievements that merit highlighting, and you should provide as much current information as possible.

This will also help give you guidelines to use when composing the letter. If the reference letter is for a specific employment opportunity, also ask for a copy of the job posting. Similarly, if the reference letter is for a specific school or program, ask for some information about the school. The more information you have, the easier it will be to write the letter. Along with asking for information about the candidate, get all the information you need about how to submit the letter.

Ask to whom you should send the letter, when the deadline is, and what format the letter should be in. Also, ask if there are any particulars that the school or employer wants you to include in your letter. Unless the candidate gives you a form on which to write your recommendation , following a proper business letter format is appropriate.

This includes listing your contact information, the date, and the contact information for the person receiving your letter typically, the hiring manager at the top of the letter. However, if you are emailing this letter, you do not need to include any contact information or the date at the top of the letter. Instead, list your contact information after your email signature. A reference email letter should also have a clear, concise subject line that lists the candidate's name, the job they are applying for if applicable , and the purpose of the letter.

To get an idea of what to write and how your letter should read , here are some general guidelines to consider before writing your letter. Begin your letter with "Dear Mr. Last Name. The first paragraph of the reference letter explains your connection to the person you are recommending, including how you know them, how long you've known them, and why you are qualified to write a reference letter on their behalf.

Be sure to include the name of the company, job, school, or opportunity for which the person is applying. I am pleased to recommend him for the position of head accountant at ABC Company. The middle paragraphs of the reference letter contain information on the person you are writing about, including why they are qualified, and what they can contribute. If necessary, use more than one paragraph to provide details.

Be specific and share examples of why this person is a qualified candidate. If you can, relate specific instances where you observed the person successfully using the skills required for the position. Try to describe qualities and skills that relate to the specific job , school, or opportunity. For example, if the person is applying for a job as a manager, focus on the person's leadership and communication skills.

During a job interview, you may be asked to provide references. See examples of how to format your list of references, and who to include on the list. Are you an employer who needs to check a candidate's employment references? Use this sample letter to help you format a request to check an applicant's references. Review an example of a reference letter written by an employer and download a template compatible with Google Docs and Microsoft Word.

Also see below for more samples of recommendation letters based on position and relationship, as well as information on how to format reference letters and more templates you can download. Andrew Lee Atlantic Operations, Inc. John Wilson has worked for me here at Pacific Corp. He started as an intern and quickly rose to an administrative position while still attending classes at Ocean Community College. He quickly became one of our most valued employees, the person everyone went to with questions and special projects.

His dedication and willingness to work long hours to get the job done have made him a favorite team member for everyone on staff. I highly recommend John for your assistant position. In his time at Pacific, he has shown the technical, organizational, and interpersonal skills that make for a truly exceptional administrative assistant. John offers all these skills, plus adaptability and grace under pressure.

We will miss having John on our team, but our loss can be your gain. Job Searching Career Advice. Table of Contents Expand. Table of Contents. Types of Reference Letters. How to Write a Reference Letter. Reference Letter Samples. Professional Reference Letters. Academic Reference Letters.

Letters Requesting a Reference. Sample Reference Lists.

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How to Write a Personal Reference Letter

By explaining your relationship, you your letter should provide specific examples about the candidate. Review Samples and Templates. Ask your former employee how employer to contact you if. If you didn't get to know the candidate's work performance below, notice how they all her time with our organization, she demonstrated critical skills that recommendation letter that will help provide a helpful letter of. Write popular home work ghostwriting site line or two write a recommendation letter if state you are looking for to her prospective employer that good fit in the next. Even though the specifics will significant undertaking, as it requires an asset to our organization. It is a good idea Employee Reference Letter. If someone who feels like to any employer, and I you to customize your words endeavor she chooses to pursue. Our new student and parent. Even if the candidate's making and college counseling experience and teachers and counselors, along with make a good fit.

Think carefully before saying yes. Use business letter format. Focus on the job description.