A Guide and Sample for Writing a Reference Letter
A guide to writing a letter of recommendation or reference letter, along with a template sample.
Almost everyone is asked to write a letter of recommendation at sometime in their life and it can feel like a difficult task.
It doesn’t have to be intimidating, for it can be accomplished with ease just by having a template sample to follow and a guide to the basic information that should be included in the reference letter.
A Well Written Reference Letter Should be Unique
Even when using a template sample, a letter of recommendation (also known as a reference letter) should be customized for the individual that it is being written about.
Unless it is a general letter of reference, the information should be centered around the position the person is applying for.
A basic guide to what a recommendation letter should contain:
What is the length of the relationship with this applicant, along with the circumstance of the relationship?
- State the qualifications for writing the letter of reference, why the reader would be interested in this specific letter of recommendation and why this individual stands out.
- Don’t be vague about the applicant’s qualities and skills that will be needed for the position this person is applying for. Make sure that they are all listed including achievements, interaction with others and reliability.
- Give an opinion as to why you feel this person should be considered over other applicants and give examples.
- Unless it is relevant, never disclose personal things about the applicant including race, origin, sexual preference, religion, age, disability or marital status.
- Wrap it up with a strong but not overwhelming ending statement.
- List your contact information
- Last and very important, always proofread the letter of recommendation before calling it finished.
A Letter of Recommendation Template Sample
To Whom it May Concern,
I have known Jane Doe for about five years now and during this time she has been employed as the manager of my large preschool facility. Unfortunately, I have had to close the doors to my business due to an illness in my family or otherwise Ms. Doe would still be employed with me.
As Ms. Doe’s recent former employer, I can assure you that she is very familiar with everything it takes to run a preschool. She was the third person to fill the preschool manager position for my facility and in every way was the best employee that ever worked for me.
She got along well with her co-workers, the children adored her and she was well liked by the parents of the children. Without being asked, she would jump right in and help the teachers whenever she saw they were in need of help. She is energetic, reliable, always on time and skilled in many areas.
Her position entailed opening and closing, greeting the parents and children, scheduling and working out all of the details for field trips, collecting the money from the parents, keeping the books, serving lunch and snacks, along with planning indoor and outdoor activities. She was also in charge of inventory and keeping all supplies stocked.
I have the upmost respect and nothing but the highest regard for Jane Doe and I will certainly miss working with and seeing her cheerful smiling face each day. With her experience, work skills, communication skills and reliability, I highly recommend her for the position that you have open in your preschool facility.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance. (Add email and phone number)
This guide to writing a letter of recommendation and the template sample should help to make it easier to write a reference letter.
Just remember, whenever writing a letter of reference always keep it positive and to the point, and list all of the person’s skills that the job entailed.