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What Is a Reference Letter?

A reference letter is a letter that's addressed to a person of authority (whether a manager or a landlord), informing that a particular person is of good moral standing (character reference). And has no bad record in his previous job, school, or rented apartment (or any place of dwelling). It is issued by a current superior or landlord to indicate that the person is fit for the application. The main point of producing a reference letter is a positive endorsement. Choose a person that's well aware of your ethical behavior, skills, and characteristics (if you are asking for the said letter). If a colleague asks you for a reference letter, and you do not know him/her well enough, then you can politely decline.

More often than not, people confuse a "recommendation letter" from a "reference letter." The former is stronger than the latter, for the main reason that you are being "recommended" by a formal employer for a position because he/she thinks that you are a worthy competitor. The latter is a letter from a former employer stating that he/she knows you because you have worked under his/her supervision.

How to Create a Reference Letter?

A reference letter should be compelling and well-constructed enough to display a person's credentials. To create a useful reference letter, go over our list below.

1. Make Sure the Person Knows You Well Enough

Before agreeing to make a reference letter, make sure you know the person well enough to be speaking on his/her behalf. Don't put yourself in a seemingly difficult place. If you think you do not know this person well enough, then politely decline the offer.

2. List Down the Credentials of the Person

If you have accepted an offer, list down the person's credentials and attributes on a piece of paper. This is so you can construct your sentences logically. For added help, you can borrow his/her resume as your reference.

3. Start Creating the Letter

Once you have gathered enough information, start composing your letter. If you do not have an inkling on what goes in on a reference letter, then we recommend you to download one of our Reference Letter Templates. Our templates are free and ready-to-use; a tempting offer you must not miss!

4. Keep Everything as Positive as Possible

The primary purpose of a reference letter is a positive endorsement. Try to keep everything as positive and jovial as possible. You are helping a person land a job or find a new place of dwelling. Highlight the attributes that make him/her qualified but do not go as far as exaggerating it.

5. Proofread

After making the letter, read it over and over again. Check for spelling and grammar-related errors. Or better yet, have it checked by another person. Also, do not make sure you have the right addressee.

6. Print and Send

Once done, print documents and send it to the rightful recipient. You may send this through email, or have it given to the person who asked for your help and he/she will be the one to forward to the manager.

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