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The perfect reference letter sample

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The perfect reference letter sample
September 05, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 2 comments

Here's what you need to know about the purpose of reference letters and how to write the most effective letter possible. Note: I will be using “candidate” to refer to .

Sample Letter #1

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I received your request for a letter of recommendation yesterday and hope you will understand if I decline. Letters of recommendation carry the most weight when they are from people such as colleagues and supervisors who know your job skills and work habits. We work in completely different divisions of the company, and I have known you for such a short time that I can hardly speak with authority about your professional abilities.

I am flattered that you would ask for a recommendation from me, but as a matter of strategy in your job search, I think someone else would be a better choice.

Best of luck in your job search!

Sample Letter #2

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During the two months we worked together, I do not think I had the chance to observe your best work. I feel it would be in your best interest to have someone else write you a letter of recommendation. I am happy that you have found a position you are willing to pursue ambitiously. I wish you much success in your efforts.

Sample Letter #3

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Yesterday I received your request for a letter of recommendation on your behalf as part of your application to medical school. It was really very kind of you to think of me, but I'm afraid I'll have to decline. With so many intervening semesters since you were last a student in one of my courses, I'm too unfamiliar with your current work to be of any real service to you.

In my experience, admissions offices generally look for recommendations that reflect a student's most recent academic successes. May I suggest you approach a few instructors of courses you've taken within the past two or three years for a recommendation? They can probably give more weight to your cause than I could.

If I can help you in some other way, please feel free to ask. I wish you the best as you plan for your future.

Sample Letter #4

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I am honored that you selected me to write a letter of recommendation for you and that you put your trust in me for such an important task.

Unfortunately, I must decline your request at this time. I believe that it would serve your needs better to select another individual whose words would really benefit you.

I apologize that I am unable to assist you, but I do, however, wish you the very best in your pursuits.

Sample Letter #5

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I sincerely support your pursuit and feel honored by your request for a recommendation. However, because of the limited extent of our previous interactions, I am not able to accurately describe your specific talents and potentials, and so I am not in the position to draft a persuasive recommendation for you. I must unfortunately decline your request and encourage you to identify a closer contact who could draft a more helpful letter.

Again, I wish you complete success in your pursuit.

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Guide to Write This Letter ❯

Please read these three example letters and reflect on what sort of effort it will take to demonstrate the letters of recommendation know that a mediocre letter is the worst thing that could be He worked as hard as my best graduate student .

How to Write the Perfect Reference Letter

the perfect reference letter sample

It is important to know how to write a reference letter because almost everyone is asked to provide a reference at some time during their career. Whether it's for an employee, a friend, or someone you've worked with, it is important to be prepared to write an effective letter of recommendation.

Read below for tips on how to write a reference letter, as well as what materials to ask the candidate for, and when to say no (and how to say no) to writing a letter for someone.

Reference Letters or Letters of Recommendation

A reference letter, also known as a letter of recommendation, is a letter that speaks to someone’s work experience, skills, expertise, personal qualities, and/or academic performance. It is written by a former employer, colleague, client, teacher, or someone else who can speak positively about that person.

When You Need Reference Letters

You need reference letters, typically about three of them, whenyou apply to jobs, internships, volunteer positions, colleges, and graduate school programs. A reference letter is a positive endorsement of your skills and attributes, written by someone familiar with your work, character, and accomplishments.

The reference letter explains why the reader should select you, and what qualifies you for the opportunity you're applying for. 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.

What Is Included in a Reference Letter

A reference letter is a positive endorsement of your skills and attributes. It explains why the reader should select you and what qualifies you for the opportunity you're applying for.

professional reference letter is usually written by a supervisor, colleague, client, teacher or professor that is well acquainted with your accomplishments in a work-type setting. It typically includes a description of your position and responsibilities, the duration of your time at the company, and your 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 you a good candidate for the position you are seeking. This type of letter explains how the writer knows you and discusses your personal attributes as they would apply in a job setting.

What to Do Before Writing a Reference Letter

Think before saying “Yes.” Before agreeing to write the letter, make sure you feel that you can write a positive letter of reference for this person. If you do not know the person well or do not think you can speak highly of the person’s skills or abilities, it is fine to turn down the request for a recommendation.

You can be vague when you turn down the request, simply saying “I do not feel I would be the best person to write you a recommendation.” If possible, suggest someone else they might ask.

Request information. 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, and you want to 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 on the school. The more information you have, the easier it will be to write the letter.

Get all the details. Along with asking for information about the candidate, get all the information you need about how to submit the letter. Ask whom you should send the letter to, 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.

What to Include in a Reference Letter

Unless the candidate gives you a form on which to write your recommendation, you should write the reference as a formal letter. A reference letter should begin with both you and the employer's contact information (name, address, phone number, email) followed by the date. If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature.

Contact Information and Greeting: If you are writing the letter to an individual or hiring committee, include their contact information at the top of the letter and in your greeting. If you are writing a general letter, you could write to "Whom it May Concern" or simply start your letter with the first paragraph.

Salutation: Begin your letter with "Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name." If you do not know the employer's last name, simply write, "Dear Hiring Manager." If the candidate is applying to an academic program, you can write "Dear Admissions Committee."

Introduction: Explain your relationship with the person for whom you are writing the letter. You may include how long you have known the person. Then explain why you are writing the letter. Be sure to include the name of the company, job, school, or opportunity for which the person is applying. For example, "I have been James Smith's supervisor at XYZ Company for the past five years. I am pleased to recommend him for the position of head accountant at ABC Company.

Body Overview: In the body of the letter, include specific information about the candidate's personal characteristics (creativity, patience, confidence, etc.), specific skills (excellent communication skills, organizational skills, etc.). Be as specific as possible. 

First Paragraph: The first paragraph of the reference letter explains your connection to the person you are recommending, including how you know them, and why you are qualified to write a reference letter to recommend employment or graduate school. Mention the relationship (personal or professional) you have with the person you are recommending.

Second Paragraph (and Third, and Fourth)
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.

Letter Closing
In the closing paragraph, offer to provide more information and include your contact information (phone and email) so you are available to give a verbal recommendation, or answer further questions if necessary. You might also reiterate that you recommend this person “wholeheartedly” or “without reservation.”

Signature: End the letter with your signature, handwritten, followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information. 

Recommendation Letter Length, Format, and Font

Before You Start Writing the Letter: Ask the candidate to send you his resume, transcript, CV, or any other materials that will help you accurately describe the person. You may also ask for a description of the position for which he is applying, and information about the company. The more information you have, the easier it will be to write a strong recommendation.

Length: A letter of recommendation should be more than one or two paragraphs; a letter this short suggests you either do not know the person well or do not fully endorse them. However, you want to keep the letter concise and focus on a few key points, so avoid writing more than one page. Three or four paragraphs that explain how you know the person and why you are recommending them is an appropriate length.

Format: A letter of recommendation should be single-spaced with a space between each paragraph. Use about 1" margins for the top, bottom, left, and right of the page, and align your text to the left (the alignment for most documents).

Font: Use a traditional font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. The font size should be between 10 and 12 points, so it's easy to read. Adjusting the font size is a good way to keep your letter to a single page.

Edit: Be sure to read through your letter before sending it. You can have someone else edit the letter, but conceal the candidate's name to preserve his privacy.

Reference Letter Sample

You can use this reference letter example as a model. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

Download the Word Template

Reference Letter Sample (Text Version)

Formatting Your Letter

If you are mailing the letter to an employer or school, be sure to follow proper business letter format. 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. Also include your handwritten signature at the bottom of a physical 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. Also be sure to have a clear, concise subject line that lists the candidate's name, the job they are applying for (if applicable), and the purpose of your letter. For example, a subject line might read: "Recommendation for Firstname Lastname - Human Resources Assistant Job."

Use a Reference Letter Template

If you're not sure what to write, use a reference letter template and personalize it to include your information. A template is a useful way to see how to format your letter, and what to include in the letter.

You can also view more sample reference letters for ideas on what to include in your own letter. However, remember to change the letter so that it applies to the specific person you are writing the letter for.

It is better to say no to writing a recommendation rather than writing a negative reference for the person.

Melissa Bradley
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
555-555-5555
melissa@abmedia.com

September 1, 2018

Jim Lee
Human Resources
Saber Marketing & PR
321 Business Ave.
Business City, NY 12345

Dear Mr. Lee,

I am thrilled to recommend Sarah Jones for the digital marketing manager position at Saber Marketing & PR. As the marketing director at A & B Media, I had the pleasure of working as Sarah’s supervisor when she was employed​ here as a marketing associate. ​Responsible, punctual and extremely bright, ​Sarah was among the best talent at A & B ​ Media​, and I absolutely endorse her qualification and her skill set.

I was continuously impressed by the knowledge she brought to the table and her dedication to staying on top of the latest in the field. Sarah​ combines sharp analysis skills with a strong intuition, and I always knew I could rely on her to meet deadlines and exceed ​our ​expectations. During her two years with us, she achieved numerous accomplishments, from increasing our social media engagement by 20%, to lowering our website bounce rate by 10%, to increasing our ROI on digital campaigns by 15%. 

While Sarah’s professional acumen was immensely valuable to A & B Media, she was also a wonderful team player. Optimistic, engaging and easy to get along with, Sarah was a true joy to have in the office and fostered many positive relationships within our department as well as throughout the company.

With that said, I am highly confident in my recommendation and believe that Sarah would be a great fit for Saber Marketing & PR. If you would like to speak further about my experience working with Sarah, please email me at melissa@abmedia.com or call me at 555-555-5555.

Sincerely,

Melissa Bradley
Marketing Director, A & B Media

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Writing a Job Reference Letter (with Examples and Proven Tips)

the perfect reference letter sample

An effective reference letter could mean the difference between a candidate's acceptance or rejection. You may be a person requesting a reference letter, or you may be a person writing a reference letter. In either case, the information in this article can make both requesting and writing the letter easier. A reference letter is essentially the same as a recommendation letter but the reference letter is sent to an unknown employer, whereas a recommendation letter is sent to a known employer. Primarily, a reference letter is used to introduce a person and vouch for his integrity, character, and abilities.

This article discusses:

Requesting a Reference Letter/Letter of Reference

Before you request a reference letter, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Ask for a reference letter from people who know you and your capabilities, such as former employers, teachers, coaches, community or corporate leaders, influential friends who have known you a long time, etc. Relatives are not a good choice. Three letters are usually enough.
  • Be sure to give the people you ask enough time to write the reference letter—a week to 10 days should be sufficient.
  • Tell the people who agree to write letters for you about your goals and what they could write that would help you to achieve those goals. Don't be shy. A reference letter is a sales letter that is intended to sell you. Now is the time to point out your accomplishments!
  • Follow up your request with a review of your conversation in writing. In your letter it may be helpful to suggest specific phrases or sentences that the writer could put in your letter. When you send your follow-up letter, be sure to also include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. If you don't receive your reference letters within 10 days of your conversations with the prospective writers, you may need to contact them to confirm that each is aware of your deadlines.
  • Once you receive your reference letters, send the writers thank-you notes. You should also let each writer know about your subsequent success and how much their letters helped you to attain your goal.

Agreeing to Write a Reference Letter/Letter of Reference

Are you the right person to write a reference letter? If you are asked to write a letter of reference, you may need to discuss this subject with the requester. Can you honestly write positive things about the person who has requested the letter? If not, you should bow out gracefully at the beginning. On the other hand, if you feel you qualify, brainstorm with the requester so you can write what he or she wishes to be said, and be sensitive to his/her deadlines.

Have the person give you a list of accomplishments, organizations that he/she belongs to, or any other relevant information. It might surprise you to see how much that person has done outside of your personal contact with them. This can also help you get a more accurate picture of the individual. Having the person give you a copy of his/her resume is an easy way to have this information at hand. Keep in mind, however, that you can only vouch for what you know from your own personal experience with the individual.


How to Write a Reference Letter

Here are some easy guidelines (in no specific order):

  • Explain how you know the applicant and how long you have known him/her.
  • In what respect is this person exceptional to others you have known with a similar background? List the applicant's exceptional qualities and skills, especially those that are related to the applicant's field of interest or job search. Give specific examples to back up what you have written.
  • Refer to the requester's competency in a specific field and/or prior experience, organizational and communication skills, academic or other achievements, interaction with others, sound judgment, reliability, analytical ability, etc.
  • Omit weaknesses. If you can't write a positive letter of reference, you should diplomatically decline when you are first approached.
  • State your own qualifications. Why should the reader be impressed with your reference letter?
  • Emphasize key points that you want the reader to take note of on the resume or application. Be sure to elaborate meaningfully; don't simply restate what he/she has already written.
  • Unless it is absolutely relevant, do not refer (either in a direct or implied reference) to the applicant's race, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, or marital status.
  • Don't be too brief, but be succinct and make every word count. Generally speaking, a letter of reference for employment should be one page; a letter of reference for school admission should be one to two pages.
  • List your own contact information if you are willing to receive follow-up correspondence or answer questions.
  • Make the ending strong without overdoing it. Undue praise can be viewed as biased or insincere.
  • Proofread! The letter of reference represents both you and the applicant.

Reference Letter Tips

Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

Appearance. Type your reference letter. Your reference letter casts a reflection on both you and the candidate. Appearance may even determine if it will be read or not. Print the letter on good quality ink-jet paper.

Specifics. Concentrate on several different aspects of the person. Be specific when you refer to his/her skills, attitude, personal attributes, contributions, performance, growth, etc. during the time period you have known the candidate.

Word usage.

  • Be careful with "power words"! Some words that seem harmless in every day conversation can carry both positive and negative connotations when written and presented to a prospective employer. Here are a few positive adjectives: honest, articulate, effective, sophisticated, intelligent, observant, significant, expressive, creative, efficient, cooperative, imaginative, dependable, reliable, mature, and innovative.
  • Avoid adjectives and adverbs that carry a mediocre connotation such as: nice, good, fair, fairly, adequate, reasonable, decent, and satisfactory.

Attributes. The National Association of Colleges and Employers compiled the following list of attributes. They can be exceptional topics to address as you describe the candidate:

  • ability to communicate
  • intelligence
  • self-confidence
  • willingness to accept responsibility
  • initiative
  • leadership
  • energy level
  • imagination
  • flexibility
  • interpersonal skills
  • self-knowledge
  • ability to handle conflict
  • goal achievement
  • competitiveness
  • appropriate vocational skills
  • direction

Intangible qualities. The ASCUS Annual listed the following intangible qualities as important when evaluating teaching candidates—a good list to consider for other vocations as well:

  • empathy
  • native intelligence
  • a divergent, abstract thinking style
  • a high level of commitment
  • the ability to be a "self-starter"
  • a high energy level
  • the recognition that excellence is a journey, not a destination
  • the potential ability to lead

What to put in a recommendation letter so it works like a Swiss watch. The perfect letter of reference example to land the interview. How to ask.

Letter of Recommendation Templates – Samples and Examples

the perfect reference letter sample

Do you remember when you once had to ask your professor or boss for a recommendation letter to help you land a job at a company? Yes, you eventually convinced them to write you one and you were very pleased with what they wrote about you. They wrote very positive things about you that would make you stand out to the interviewers.

Now that you have been working at a company for quite some time, you are in a supervisory role with many employees under your wing. A time will come when they will come to you to ask you for a reference letter. The tables have turned; you are now the one writing a recommendation letter for them. Now the most important thought crosses your mind – how do I write a job reference letter? Well we are here to help you out with that.

For those of who are a bit unfamiliar with them, recommendation letters are letters written by employers attesting to the accomplishments and skills of their employees. As an employer in a managerial role, you will have to testify to the abilities of your employees to help them in their careers.

A reference letter is written in a business-style format and is very professional because in most cases, you will be justifying the abilities of one of your candidates to another company. You need to be able to write it in a way that is very convincing and straightforward. This one document is just as important as a resume and a cover letter.

© Shutterstock.com | alexmillos

We have listed the most important tips to help you write an outstanding reference letter for your employees to show them in a positive light to other companies. In addition, we have provided some templates and examples of reference letters to help inspire you in writing one in your own style.

REFERENCE LETTER TIPS

The importance of a recommendation letter should be neither underestimated nor underappreciated. They can be the deciding factor to sway companies into hiring one candidate over another. It could easily be the difference between acceptance and rejection.

When an employer, like yourself, is able to testify to the capabilities of an employee, then companies are able to trust the claims made by a candidate in their resume and cover letter. Recommendation letters can also provide more insight, such as a candidate’s personality and character. These can easily sway the hiring decision into your employee’s favor, if written properly.

Here are some key tips you should definitely follow when writing a reference letter for somebody else to make them shine brighter than everybody else.

Explain Your Relation with the Employee

While a reference letter is primarily about the person you are supporting and writing it for, it should also express your capacity and justify why you are writing one. When an employer sees exactly who is writing this and how they are related to the employee, this will add credence to the recommendation. Answer the questions “How am I related to this employee?” and “How long do I know this employee?” early in your letter.

If you were the supervisor of this employee while they interned at your company, make this evident. If you were the employee’s boss, make this apparent in the letter. Also describe how long this employee worked under you direct supervision. This helps hiring managers determine how well you really know a candidate.

We suggest that you should only write a recommendation letter for someone if you worked with them for at least 6 months. This seems to be ample amount of time to truly understand how somebody performs under pressure and really assess their caliber. Stating your relation to the employee will surely add credibility, something that all employers are looking for.

Weak Relation with the Employee

If an employee or a student, whom you do not know very well, comes to you to ask for a recommendation, then it is unadvisable to write a reference letter for them. Knowledge of a candidate is everything when it comes to these letters, and a lack thereof will be very evident when you state your relation to the candidate.

Ask yourself if you are indeed the appropriate person to write a reference letter for somebody. If the answer is yes, then proceed to do so.

Exemplify the Accomplishments

It is very easy to write the job responsibilities of an employee who worked for you. However, it is not the best way to advocate an employee. Rather than stating job duties, describe an employee’s remarkable job performance. Hiring managers want to know more about the achievements of their candidates straight from their supervisors.

If an employee just did their duties, then they are simply doing their job. This is not enough in today’s competitive job market. Employees need to go above and beyond in their roles to make a good impression on other hiring managers.

As an employer, you can provide specific achievements of your employee’s career when they have been working with you. Explain the things they did that made them excel in their position. For instance, if they have brought in more clients for your firm, mention how many. Recruiters love numbers, so play into their hands and state some figures in your recommendation. For example, if your employee has raked in more sales by selling more units, state how many units they have sold and the amount of revenue they personally brought in.

Examples, Examples, Examples

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to provide real-life examples and scenarios where your employee shined. You do not need to necessarily give comprehensive detail, but just give enough context. State what was expected and what the objectives were according to the company.

Then go on to describe how this employee not only met them, but exceeded them by leaps and bounds. To exceed expectations is a sign of an accomplishment. Hiring managers want accomplished individuals who have a track record of delivering results.

Examples describing feats do just that. When you can explain the successes of the employee, hiring managers will be confident that the employee can replicate the successes at their company.

Describe the Candidate’s Skills

A jobseeker will mention many skills (both technical skills as well as soft skills) in their resume, but they needs to be backed up by somebody who has personally seen the employee use it. As an employer, you are in a position where you can give evidence to an employee’s skills and competencies. Just like with accomplishments (mentioned in the previous point), skills should also be exemplified. It is one thing to simply state that a person has “good presentation skills” and an entirely different thing to mention where an employee exhibited exceptional presentation skills. While this is easy to do with soft skills, this is also possible with technical skills. If your employee used an engineering software to the fullest extent, even beyond your own knowledge, state this by giving an example. This demonstrates a desire to continuously push the boundaries and develop more skills. Recruiters view this very positively.

Anecdotes Help

Skills are only useful to hiring managers if they can be proven. Scenarios aid in helping establish the validity and truth of skills. For example, if your employee has taken initiative, mention how they acted as the team leader, created plans for the entire project, and delegated tasks to everyone else. This is a good sign of leadership that hiring managers want to see.

If your employee was able to successfully negotiate a deal with a client, describe the tactics employed and the amazing deal that was struck. This helps to show communication skills and negotiation skills, two skills that are highly sought after in the marketing and sales world.

Some bonus points can be earned if you describe skills that are not typical to a profession. For example, an engineer may need to deliver product presentations to the management team. If your employee, who is an engineer, successfully delivered an impeccable presentation to others and convinced them to proceed to mass production, express how they have amazing presentation skills. In engineering, soft skills play just as large a role as technical skills, and recruiters want to see this.

Always be Positive

It is called a recommendation letter for a good reason – you, as an employer, are recommending your employee to somebody else. As you are recommending them to hire somebody who used to work with you, you should always use positive language. Saying something like “Without any reservation, I highly recommend this person” or “This person has all the qualities to fit your culture” will go a long way to getting your employee over the hump. Recruiters like to hear reassuring words from other employers who had experience working with somebody.

Nobody is perfect; we all know that. However, that is not a reason to mention weaknesses in a reference letter of all places. Only state the chief strengths and highlight everything positive of an employee or a student. Using positive adjectives such as intelligent, creative, efficient, effective, reliable, and innovative evoke good images in the minds of people.

As the person writing a job reference letter, you want to evoke these emotions and images in the hiring manager. Avoid using words that are mediocre in emphasis, such as nice, good, adequate, reasonable, and satisfactory. They are too weak.

Do Not Lie

While it is imperative that you only say positive things about somebody in your letter, do not lie and start making up false strengths about somebody. Some people think that exaggerating a bit and stretching the truth may help an employee. It is quite the contrary. Hyperboles can come back and haunt an employee, even after being hired based on your seemingly innocuous white lies. Play it safe and play by the rules – be truthful in your recommendation.

Recruiters will call you to verify all of your statements and crosscheck them with the employee you are referring. If there are any discrepancies, then it will look bad on you. More importantly, it will damage the career of your employee. So please think twice before you start using flowery language. Avoid excessive flattery and only stick to the whole truths in the reference letter.

Proofread the Entire Letter

Just as you would do with any formal business document, make sure to proofread and edit a job reference letter, repeatedly! We cannot stress how important this is. As an employer, you want your employee to be taken seriously. In addition, you also want to be taken seriously. How can be you be taken seriously if you make spelling or grammar mistakes in a recommendation letter?

It needs to be perfect. We suggest having it proofread by somebody you trust so that a fresh pair of eyes can give you a new perspective on your writing. Sometimes, somebody else can spot something that you failed to see after several glances.

You do not need to write it in a very high-level language with complex sentence structure and very difficult words. In fact, we advise against it. Recruiters want to read something that they understand upon reading it the first time. Do not make it difficult for them. Keep it formal but make it simple, too.

Talk with Your Employee

An effective method of writing a great recommendation letter is to run it by the person you are praising. When you have a good and strong relation with the employee you are writing for, then you can get the best feedback on your writing. They can perhaps remind you of some statistics or achievements that may have slipped your mind or you may have overlooked.

You want to state the best facts in your reference letter. Your employee can help bring those to light and proofread your recommendation letter to make it the best it can be.

Follow the Business Letter Format

Since a job recommendation letter is essentially a formal document, write it in the form of a business letter. It must consist of the following components:

  1. Header
  2. Salutation
  3. Introduction
  4. Body
  5. Conclusion
  6. Closing

1. Header

The first section of a recommendation letter is the header and it consists of your address (sender’s address) and the address of the company you are sending to (recipient’s address), along with the date. If you are addressing a particular person at a particular organization in your letter, then you need to mention that in the header.

However, there are also general recommendation letters which are not addressed to anybody in particular. In such a case, you can omit the portion of the recipient’s address. The format for writing your address is as follows:

Name of Reference

Position of Reference

Company of Reference

Address of Reference

Phone Number of Reference

Email of Reference

Date

Name of Recipient

Position of Recipient

Name of Organization

Address of Organization

If your employee has informed you about who you should direct your recommendation letter to, then include that information in the header. It makes it more personal as you are directly speaking to an individual. In case it is a general reference letter that can be read by anybody, then you can omit the recipient’s address and only write the sender’s address.

Letterhead

A good method of writing a recommendation letter for a job is to design it with a letterhead. A letterhead is like a template that is situated at the top, center aligned, and describes your address. It is like a fixed header of a letter, hence the name. In mentions the name of the organization as well as the corporate address.

This gives letters a professional appearance and it has become quite popular amongst many reference letters. If you decide not to use one, then it is perfectly okay. The examples we provide later on in this article do not use a letterhead. You can read find many examples online of reference letters using a letterhead.

2. Salutation

The second part of your recommendation letter is the salutation. It is only one line but it is very important, so make sure to start correctly. As this is a job reference letter written in the style of a business letter, stick with very formal and polite greetings.

Avoid using greetings like “Hi” and “Hello” at all costs. Those are reserved for your friends and family, not for a recruiter. You want to take a very respectful approach when addressing recruiters. The safest and most used greeting is “Dear” followed by “Mr./Ms. X,” where X is the family name of the recruiter. For example, if the recruiter’s name is Jane Smith, you will begin the letter with “Dear Ms. Jane.” This is deemed very respectful and considerate, the perfect way to address a hiring manager.

If you are writing a general reference letter, you can go with the neutral greeting “To Whom it May Concern.” An alternative salutation you can use in case of a general recommendation letter is “Dear Hiring Manager.” In almost all cases, a hiring manager will in fact read your recommendation letter.

3. Introduction

The first paragraph of your letter should introduce who you are. Include your current position at your company and state your relation with the employee whom you are recommending. Briefly state how you came across meeting this person and ended up working with them. Mention how long you know this person – confirm dates whenever you can.

All of this information will help to establish your authority and capacity to write the letter in the first place. When a hiring manager sees all of this pertinent and important information, they can actually trust what you say. The first paragraph has to hook the recruiter; it has to get them to continue reading the rest of your letter.This paragraph is typically only a few sentences long.

4. Body

This portion of the letter contains the main essence of your argument. It answers the all-important question – “Why should you hire this person?” You need to present your case by exemplifying their skills that will help benefit the company.

You should relate prior experiences to the position they are applying to. Do not forget to discuss their personal qualities that make them unique. Normally this section is two paragraphs long, but you can do it in one paragraph if you want. It all depends on you and the things you are able to write about the person. A recommendation letter is ultimately all about convincing a recruiter that a particular individual’s skills and accomplishments will benefit their company. You are exemplifying what your employee can offer another company.

Start by describing your employee’s past roles and competencies that will be useful in another company. If your employee has experience in designing analog and digital circuits at your company and is now going to work specifically on digital circuits, state their proficiency in digital circuits. If your employee successfully created a digital ad campaign for your product, explain the skills employed and the results obtained from it. Highlighting the prime skills that helped your company will reinforce the abilities of your employee.

Mentioning some remarkable accomplishments of your employee will show that they exceled in their role and will continue to do so in their new role. Give figures and numbers to quantify the results. Hiring manages love numbers. Persuade the hiring manager reading the letter that this employee can reproduce excellent results working with them.

If you are writing a reference letter directed at a specific job position, then try to get your hands on the job requirements. Mention the qualifications that your employee satisfies and justify how theyexcel on those counts. When you are ticking the boxes for them, you are making the recruiter’s job easier. Everybody likes that.

Furthermore, state some personal qualities about their character and work ethic that demonstrate this person is easy to work with and is diligent. As an employer, if you say that a person is hardworking and resilient and provide an example of it, then recruiters will be impressed by an employee’s personality and character.

5. Conclusion

In the final paragraph of your job reference letter, reinforce how this employee did amazing things at your company and can repeat the successes at their firm. State that you have no reservations to recommend this individual because of your experiences with them. Express that you are open to communications to talk more about the employee.

A simple sentence like “If you have any more questions you need clarified, please do not hesitate to contact me.” This indicates that you are willing to help your employee land the job. Hiring managers take this as a good sign.

6. Closing

The final section of the letter is only two lines long, but it must be handled with care. It is the closing remarks. You should end your reference letter respectfully with a closing like “Sincerely” or “Regards.” They are deemed quite formal, perfect for a recommendation letter. Avoid using terms like “Best Wishes” and “Yours Truly.”

Remember, you are not writing a letter to a friend, you are writing a recommendation letter to a recruiting manager at another company, acting as a referee for your employee. So please bear in mind that you should come across as professional and polite. Finish the letter with a signature just below your closing remark. Since recommendation letters are handwritten, there is no need for a digitally printed electronic signature. Print out the letter and sign it at the bottom just below the closing.

REFERENCE LETTER EXAMPLES

After listing all of the proven tips that make a great job reference letter to help an employee land a job, we will now show you some examples of well-written recommendation letters. We advise against directly copying these templates. Recruiters are very familiar with common templates available online. You should be inspired by reading these and find a way to craft a recommendation letter in your own style and letterhead that suits your employee.

If you copy a standard template that anybody can find online, then it shows a lack of interest and thought in the recommendation letter on your part. We know that making a recommendation letter on your own is not easy and can take time, but as an employer it the least you can do. An employee has dedicated so much time to get your work done, so now it is your turn to dedicate some time to help them out.

Professional Reference Letter

We will first look at recommendation letters written by members of an organization writing one for an employee who used to work with them. If you were in a supervisory role with this employee, you are in the perfect position to right a reference letter on their behalf. Let’s look at some examples.

Example 1 – An Employee Looking for a New Job

In this example, we will look at a recommendation letter written by somebody for an engineer looking for a new job at another company in the same type of industry. You are essentially stating how the qualities, skills, and achievements of an employee can be easily transferred to another company in the same sector.

 

Name of Reference

Position of Reference

Company of Reference

Address of Reference

Phone Number of Reference

Email of Reference

Date

Name of Recipient

Position of Recipient

Name of Organization

Address of Organization

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

It gives me great pleasure to recommend Sam Walton for the position of Sales Engineer at your organization. Sam has been working at our company for 3 years now, and he has been working directly under my supervision in the past year. I have known him ever since he joined the firm and I eventually had him assigned to my team. That is when I had the chance to see him in action.

As a Junior Electrical Engineer, he was very proficient in using engineering software and created many great designs in AutoCAD. When it came to designing transistors, he did so in a very short time and had them 100% verified and simulated prior to mass production. In our brainstorming sessions, he took initiative and tossed around many ingenious ideas that would separate our product from everybody else’s. Our team went along with his decision and customers loved our electrical products.

Speaking of customers, Sam has impeccable communication skills. It took me by surprise how much of a smooth talker he was with clients. He found a way to build rapport with people and persuade them that our new products were unique and superior. As a Sales Engineer, he will excel since he knows how to talk with people and has the technical knowledge of an electrical engineer.

Sam Walton is very diligent and is quite resilient, with a “never give up” attitude. Whenever he faced any obstacle, he never let it faze him. He remained calm and always view the problem from a different angle. His work ethic is exceptional and it actually rubbed off on the other colleagues.

Without any reservations, I can recommend Sam for this position at your company. Sam wants to go up the ladder at a big company, and I know he will be able to accomplish that at your firm. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you want more information.

Sincerely,

Your Signature

 

Example 2 – An Employee Shifting Careers

In this example, we will look at a recommendation letter written by somebody for a newspaper writer looking to break into the digital marketing world. You need to explain how the qualities, skills, and achievements of an employee can be transferred to another company in an entirely different type of industry.

 

Name of Reference

Position of Reference

Company of Reference

Address of Reference

Phone Number of Reference

Email of Reference

Date

Name of Recipient

Position of Recipient

Name of Organization

Address of Organization

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

I am very excited to recommend Jimmy Wales for the position of Digital Marketing Specialist at your company. Jim has been working at our company for 5 years. He started out as an intern and helped one of my colleagues on various tasks around our agency. After his internship, I had him under my wing for 4 years while he worked as a copywriter and editor for our website. He wrote some amazing groundbreaking pieces at our agency.

As a copywriter, he would go out of his way to contact as many sources as he could to get the inside scoop on a topic. He gathered a lot of information and wrote excellent articles and blog posts for our website. Being an English graduate, Jim always made sure that his work was free of errors. He repeatedly proofread and edited his work to remove all grammar and spelling mistakes. Based on the target audience, he tailored the difficulty of the language to suit them.

I once suggested him to start learning about digital marketing, namely SEO and SMM. He is a millennial and he is in touch with technology. Every weekend, he learned about various aspects of SEO and SMM and the way in which writers can incorporate them into their work. Jimmy even has an online degree in digital marketing tactics. With his deep knowledge of SEO and SMM coupled with his outstanding writing skills, I know that Jim will shine in your digital marketing company.

Without any reservations, I can recommend Jim for this position at your company. Jim wants to diversify his skillset and explore new things that he is passionate about. He is very passionate about digital marketing and writing. I firmly believe he will be able to accomplish that at your firm. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want more information.

Sincerely,

Your Signature

 

Example 3 – An Intern Looking for a Full-time Job

In this example, we will look at a recommendation letter written by somebody for a newspaper writer looking to break into product engineering. You need to explain how the qualities, skills, and achievements of an employee can be transferred to another company.

 

Name of Reference

Position of Reference

Company of Reference

Address of Reference

Phone Number of Reference

Email of Reference

Date

Name of Recipient

Position of Recipient

Name of Organization

Address of Organization

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

I highly recommend Steven Stewart for the position of Process Development Engineer at your company. Steven has been working at our company for 6 months as an intern in my photolithography department. During his internship, I have seen him learn things at a very quick rate and implemented the things I taught him in the lab. He successfully coupled the theoretical knowledge he learned at university with the practical knowledge acquired at my company.

As an engineering intern in the semiconductor industry, Steven worked on several mini projects that we were running in the lab. Since he has amazing academic grades, he knew many of the processes we were conducting at our organization. Whatever he did not know, he spoke with his senior colleagues and picked up all the missing pieces of the puzzle. He even presented some interesting ideas to me that showed me that he is thinking beyond his experience. That is a good sign of somebody who wants to make a revolutionary change, something the semiconductor industry and your company may heavily benefit from.

To complete his internship, he wrote a 50-page report describing his entire experience at my organization. After reading his report, I realized that he is an amazing writer, conveying ideas very simply and directly. As a Process Development Engineer, writing reports will be a regular task and you need somebody who can do it well. In addition to writing, Steven delivered a great presentation where he showed the things he conducted in the lab. He has a great stage presence and is a great communicator, something that more engineers need in today’s world.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Steven for this position at your company. Steven wants to start his career as an engineer at one of the largest companies on the planet. I firmly believe he has everything it takes to accomplish many great thingy at your firm. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want more information.

Sincerely,

Your Signature

 

Academic Reference Letter

We will now look at recommendation letters written by professors of a university writing one for a student who used to work with them. If you were in a supervisory role with this student, you are in the perfect position to right a reference letter on their behalf. Let’s look at some examples.

Example 4 – A Student Looking for Their First Job

In this example, we will look at a recommendation letter written by a professor for one of their students who wants to start working at an organization. You are essentially stating how the qualities, skills, and achievements of a student can be useful to a company.

 

Name of Reference

Position of Reference

Company of Reference

Address of Reference

Phone Number of Reference

Email of Reference

Date

Name of Recipient

Position of Recipient

Name of Organization

Address of Organization

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

It gives me great pleasure to recommend Jeremy Collins for the position of Design Engineer at your company. I met Jeremy in August 2012 when I instructed the Microsystem Design course and he made a good impression on me from day one. I was so impressed by his class performance and participation that I actually offered him the chance to work on his thesis at my institute. That is when I had the chance to see him in action.

He always sat in the first row in class and was very proactive, asking many interesting questions about microsystems. He is an inquisitive person, a quality that makes for an excellent engineer. He is very curious to know why things work the way they do, and looks for creative solutions to solve complex engineering problems.As you will see from his transcripts, he excelled in his studies. That shows his dedication to learning.

When Jeremy was working on this thesis, he coordinated the entire project on his own under my guidance. He was very cooperative and open to hearing new ideas not only from me but also from other members of my institute. He took inspiration from others’ ideas and came up with his own ingenious solution to design his microsystem. He designed a microsystem in 25% less time and performed 20% better. This shows that he can deliver excellent and outstanding results.

Jeremy Collins is very diligent and is quite resilient, with a “never give up” attitude. Whenever he faced any obstacle, he never let it faze him. He remained calm and always view the problem from a different angle. His work ethic is exceptional and he will easily fit into your corporate culture.

Without any reservations, I can recommend Jeremy for this position at your company. Jeremy wants to go up the ladder at a big company, and I know he will be able to accomplish that at your firm. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you want more information.

Sincerely,

Your Signature

 

Example 5 – A Student Looking to Pursue a Ph.D.

In this example, we will look at a recommendation letter written by a professor for one of their students who wants to start their postgraduate degree at another academic institution. You are essentially stating how the qualities, skills, and achievements of a student can be useful to a university.

 

Name of Reference

Position of Reference

Company of Reference

Address of Reference

Phone Number of Reference

Email of Reference

Date

Name of Recipient

Position of Recipient

Name of Organization

Address of Organization

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

I highly recommend Mark Rogers for the postgraduate program at your university. I met Mark in February 2013 when I instructed the Microelectronic Circuits course and he made a good impression on me from day one. I was so impressed by his class performance and participation that I actually offered him the opportunity to work as a Graduate Research Assistant at my institute. He held this role for 1 year and he successfully completed many research projects we were working on.

He always sat in the first row in class and was very proactive, asking many interesting questions about microelectronic circuitry. He is an inquisitive person, a quality that makes for an excellent researcher. He is very curious to know why things work the way they do, and looks for creative solutions to solve complex engineering problems.As you will see from his transcripts, he excelled in his studies. That shows his dedication to learning. Mark wants to be researcher and he envisions himself working in your state-of-the-art labs, hoping to make a groundbreaking discovery one day.

When Mark was working on at my institute, he collaborated with his colleagues to collectively come up with ingenious solutions to solve complex problems. He was very cooperative and open to hearing new ideas not only from me but also from other members of my institute. In addition, he can work very well independently and come up with ideas all on his own. While working on his Ph.D. at your university, he will be able to work on his own without much supervision.He successfully helped me design optical systems that were operating 10°C lower than other systems. This helped us in our research endeavors and Mark played a crucial role in that development.

Mark is very diligent and is quite resilient, with a “never give up” attitude. Whenever he faced any obstacle, he never let it faze him. He remained calm and always view the problem from a different angle. His work ethic is exceptional and he will easily fit into your corporate culture.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Mark for the postgraduate program at your university. Mark has demonstrated excellent qualities of a researcher at my institute, and I know he will be able to accomplish the same results at your institute as well. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you want more information. We have worked together before in the past on joint program, so I am sure you can trust me when I say that Mark is one of the better researchers I had at my institute.

Sincerely,

Your Signature

 

CONCLUSION

A job recommendation letter is perhaps the most important document in a job application portfolio, besides a resume and a cover letter. As an employer, your recommendation can provide that extra little push to get your employee or student their much desired opportunity. The onus is on you to persuade a hiring manager at a company or a professor at a university to give your employee or student an opportunity of their lifetime.

If you follow these key tips and take inspiration from these example we have listed, then you will be able to write an outstanding job reference letter that will please anybody reading it. You will successfully appeal to everything they want to read, and that is how you convince someone into giving the person you are recommending a chance.

So what are you waiting for? I am sure one of your employees or students has asked you to write a recommendation letter on your behalf. I mean that is why you are reading this after all. Start writing your job reference letter right now.

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3 Perfect Letter of Recommendation Templates: recommend the person, and that you're in a position to provide a strong recommendation.

the perfect reference letter sample
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