Reference Letter Format: Reference letters are usually positive endorsements of the skills and knowledge of an individual. These letters are usually written by a person who is familiar with the individual’s work, accomplishments, character and dedication. Reference letters are required by many educational institutions as well as for jobs and internships. Essentially, the letter is an attestation of an individual’s good behavior or conduct. Students and working professionals must know how to frame a good reference letter as they will be required to furnish one for their colleagues or friends.
A reference letter is also known as the letter of recommendation because an individual is recommending another individual to an organization or a position. The reference letter must also address why the organization or the employer must consider the candidate. References letters may be requested by educational institutions, employers or even for business purposes. Furthermore, if an individual is required to write a reference letter, they must be able to speak highly of the candidate’s skill or knowledge. However, they can turn down the request to write a recommendation letter if they do not know the individual well.
Get Other Types of Letter Writing like Formal, Informal and Different Types of Letter Writing Samples.
Reference Letter Types
Reference letters are of two types:
- Personal Reference Letter
- Professional reference letter
Professional reference letters are usually written by a client, teacher, professor, or colleague that is well-acquainted with the skills, accomplishments and character of the individual in question from a professional perspective. The details that are usually mentioned in the letter include the tenure of work, responsibilities held, significant contributions and the abilities of the individual.
Personal reference letters are written by friends, neighbors or a mentor who can attest the character of the individual in question. Unlike a professional letter, personal reference letters usually explain how the writer knows the individual. It also explains their personal traits and characteristics. Sometimes, personal reference letters are also called Character Reference Letters.
Structure of a Reference Letter
A good reference letter must have the following parts:
- Salutation: Always ensure that the letter begins with a salutation. Examples of salutations are – Dear Mr/ Ms (last name); Respected Mr/ Ms (last name); Whomsoever It May Concern.
- Body: The body of the letter must clearly explain the connection between you and the person you are recommending. It must explain the relationship, details of work, characteristics, traits and other important details that may help the employer or organization understand the candidate better. Also, incorporate the designation or the position they are applying for and their relevant skill for that particular job. For instance, if you are recommending a person for a managerial job, highlight their leadership skills.
- Closing: The closing of the letter must furnish contact details about you so that the employer or the organization can acquire a verbal recommendation if required.
- Signature: Finally, end the recommendation letter with your signature. If the recommendation letter is an email, type in your name along with your contact number or email ID.
Company Reference Letter Format/ Reference Letter Format for Job
Following is a sample reference letter referring an individual by their previous organization
Reference Letter Format for Student
Following is an example of a recommendation letter from a teacher about her student
Personal Reference Letter Format/ Character Reference Letter Format
A personal reference or a character reference is provided by an individual who necessarily need not have worked with directly or in a business setting. Following is the format of a personal reference letter.
FAQ’s On Reference Letter Format
How do I write a letter of recommendation?
Reference letters or letters of recommendation are letters that are usually written by a person who is familiar with the individual’s work, accomplishments, character and dedication.
How do I write a personal recommendation letter?
A personal recommendation letter or a character reference is written by an individual who necessarily need not know the individual in a professional capacity. However, the writer needs to know the individual in detail – such as their strengths, skills and special achievements.
What is the format for a letter of recommendation?
A reference letter must have the following parts:
How do you address a letter of recommendation?
Always ensure that the letter begins with a formal salutation. Accepted salutations include – Dear Mr/ Ms (last name); Respected Mr/ Ms (last name); Whomsoever It May Concern. etc
Does a letter of recommendation need a date?
Yes, a letter of recommendation needs a date.
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