Writing an outstanding cover letter and resume can help you get the attention of hiring managers. They can also ultimately help you land a job interview you’re longing for. However, relying on them is not enough. For you to land a job offer, a reference letter can open the door for you.
A reference letter is also known as a recommendation letter. They have various applications, such as in terms of academic, social, business, or employment purposes. If you’re looking for reliable references, we have here reference letter templates and samples that you may download and review. They can help you learn the basics or further enhance your skills in writing reference letters.
Character Reference Letters
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Business Reference Letters
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What Is a Reference Letter?
A reference letter is also referred to as a recommendation letter. It is written to validate, guarantee, and warrant that the person recommended has the the qualifications, character, personal accomplishments and other credentials.
It is a documented way of testifying that the person is genuinely qualified for a job or academic related position.
In terms of application, you can use them in applying for a job or an academic scholarship. You can also use them in applying for a job promotion or in terms of entering career or skill-based functions for your professional and personal development.
What are the Essential Features of a Reference Letter?
Here are some of its essential features.
- The writer’s current career position and relationship to the recommended candidate or applicant. You should emphasize how you were connected to the applicant. For a job reference letter, you have to provide the company you are working with and your job title. For a academic reference letter, you have also to enter the school you’re connected and corresponding job title. To add, you need to provide your dates of employment.
- Provide your personal judgment about the candidate recommended. In here, you can positively emphasize the candidate’s relevant characteristics, qualifications and skills that makes him or her fit for the task at hand. It is recommended that you cite some concrete achievements or certain aspects wherein the candidate excelled.
- Substantiate your claims. Bear in mind that you’re testifying that the person has the skills and credentials fit for the job or task. Ensure that you can substantiate them briefly.
- Include an ending note and contact details. After writing the core areas of the letter, don’t forget to end your letter positively. You have to express your gratitude to the addressee for the opportunity and consideration given to the person recommended. Also, accurately provide your updated contact details to show that you’re willing to undergo further correspondence.
Remember that these are merely general components. You can add more specific ones depending on the nature nature and type of reference letter you’re writing.
What Should Not Be Included in a Reference Letter?
For some, writing a reference letter has become a habit that they take it for granted. That should not be the case. After knowing the basic components of a reference letter, you’ll also need to take note of certain information that you must avoid in writing a reference letter.
- Jokes and Casual Language – First and foremost, a reference letter is a formal letter, which means you have to observe some prescribed rules in writing one. Refrain from including slang or other informal languages.
- Sensitive, Confidential or Unnecessary Information – In writing a reference letter, you are not required to cite the applicant’s religion, race, or other information that are sensitive, confidential, or personal in nature. Reiterating the applicant’s health condition is a big “No”’ in dealing with reference letters.
- Grammar Errors and Poor Sentence Construction – As a formal letter, you should make it a habit to check and proofread your letter. Ensure that you’re using the appropriate language and the sentences and brief and succinct.
These are the some examples of information that you should not include in your reference letter. Keep it short and coherent.
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Credit Reference Letters
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Employment Reference Letters
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Medical Recommendation Letters
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Types of Reference Letters
Reference letters are used by people for several reasons. The tenor and mood of a reference letter depends on its type. According to research, there are three main categories of reference letters. Let’s examine and dissect their similarities and difference.
- Employment Reference Letter – This is the most common usage for a reference letter. They are used by individuals who are looking for an employment position. They are usually written by the applicant’s previous supervisors or human resource managers. If you don’t have any work experience yet, you may request your college professors or mentors to recommend you.
- This letter is not really compulsory. It could be upon request of the hiring managers or could be your initiative to increase your chance of getting the job. The letter must foreground the job applicant’s work ethic and favorable qualifications and characteristics.
- Academic Reference Letter – This type of letters are used by students for admissions and scholarship purposes. Some universities and colleges require recommendation letters before a student can enroll in their school. The letter will give the school administrators relevant information about the student-applicant. This is very crucial and helpful for students who are applying for a scholarship program.
- In this case, students may request their professors or mentors to write the letter for them and showcase their good moral character and favorable academic credentials.
- Character Reference Letter – This type of letter is focused on the recommended person’s personal characteristics. It is broad and overarching. It focuses on the applicant’s relevant positive traits and qualifications rather than his or her employment history.
Indeed, reference letter are as important as application letters. They also embody the applicant’s qualifications and can affect the overall results of the application process.
Kinds of References Letter Templates Available for You
A reference letter may seem to appear as an easy letter to write. However, you must have the right amount of discernment before writing one. To help you, you can refer and learn from our samples.
- Business Reference Letter Templates – This recommendation letter is mostly written by a customer, client, vendor, or any other person or business entity. The reference provided will serve as a verification that the company to be contracted by the addressee of the letter is trustworthy and has a good track record. It the promotes the good will of the business. In terms of content, the body of the letter must emphasize the quality of the business’ product or services.
- Credit Reference Letter Templates – If you’re planning to apply for a loan or any credit transaction, you’ll surely need these templates. Most creditors such as banks would require credit reference letters to be aware of the applicant’s credit standing and past credit transactions. They are mostly written by credit agencies. It usually contains the applicant’s basic details and a straightforward certification that he or she has a good credit standing. Aside from that, the credit agencies contact details are also provided for further information and reference.
- Medical Recommendation Letter Templates – You can use these templates if you’re recommending someone to enroll to a medical school. As what is seen in the template, you have to address the admission committee professionally. Let them know about the personal ethics of the applicant. To add, further instructions and tips are added in the template.
- Rental Reference Letter Templates – A rental reference letter is mostly written by the applicant’s former landlord or lessor as a way of helping the applicant rent another place. If you don’t know how to start your letter, you can refer to these templates. In writing the letter, include in the letter the degree of care and diligence exerted by the tenant to your property. You can also provide some detail about the tenant’s behavior and his or her punctuality in paying the rent.
These are some templates that you can use. Just ensure that you customize the template and fill in your own details to suit your context.
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Scholarship Reference Letters
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Standard Reference Letter
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Teacher Reference Letter
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Sample Letter for Teacher Recommendation Request
The Basics of Reference Letter Writing
When dealing with reference letters, write them with utmost honesty. Avoid making exaggerations or worse false qualifications or information. Here are some points to consider before and in the actual writing of your letter.
Before writing the reference letter…
- Plan and outline the structure of your letter. In this case, you can refer to our templates or conduct further research. Adopt a formal format scheme.
- Consolidate all essential references and information. No one is stopping you from asking the applicant for a copy of his or her resume or curriculum vitae for you to know the qualifications and experiences mentioned by the applicant. To add, you can also request the applicant to forward you a copy of the job posting the former is applying for.
- Know the submission details. Make sure that you address the person to the proper authority. Ask the candidate the details of the addressee such as the address, contact numbers, and the deadline for the submission of the letter.
Actual writing of the reference letter…
- Ask the applicant if you’re required to write either a specific or general letter. If you’re writing for specific person or organization, write their contact information at the top of the letter. Also, specifically include their name in the greetings and salutations.
- To effectively and cohesively write your letter, you can strategically divide the content into three major sections.
- First Section – In this section, you can write statements that builds your relationship and connection with the applicant. Introduce yourself in a professional manner and provide reasons why you’re qualified to write a reference letter.
- Second Section – You can add more paragraphs if you want to provide additional details. In here, you need to provide reasons why the applicant is qualified for the task at hand. You can state his or her accomplishments and relevant academic and training backgrounds.
- Third Section – This is where you provide your ending note together with your contact details. Don’t forget to provide your signature. The signature makes the letter valid and legitimate.
Dos and Don’ts of Reference Letters
Always remember that a reference letter can make or break an applicant’s opportunity of getting hired. It is a must that you write it accordingly. You must give life and support to the applicant’s resume, curriculum vitae, and cover letter. To help you, here are some tips that you may consider:
- DO get recommendations from reliable people that can truly substantiate your credential such as those persons that you have a first-hand knowledge of your work experiences and personal ethics.
- DON’T let or induce someone to write a false, exaggerated, or any untrue statement about. Always write the letter in good faith. Including unnecessary and false statements can have negative consequences in your end.
- DO provide the one writing the letter with accurate and updated information. Always remember a recommendation letter is a formal document. Provide appropriate assistance to the one writing the letter.
- DON’T forget to express your heartfelt gratitude to the ones who wrote the letter for you. You can send them thank you letters as a sign of appreciation for help they’ve provided you.
- DO provide specific and concrete qualifications and statements. If you’re the one writing the letter, be specific as much as possible. It would be very difficult to write a letter that standout if you’re making general copies of it.
- DO ask permission first before securing an extra copy of the letter. If you’re the applicant and you want to get a copy of the letter for record-keeping purposes, always secure the consent of the writer. Bear in mind that the writer has a right attached to the letter.
- DO adopt a formal formatting. Use a font size and font style that is formal and legible. You are not required or even recommended to use fancy or stylish font styles.
Hence, writing a reference letter can be both tricky and interesting. If you’re the one writing the letter, ensure to focus and highlight the strengths of the applicant. Enjoy scanning through our list of templates and we hope that you find them informative and helpful.