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What is a Reference Letter?

A reference letter is a document wherein the writer evaluates another person’s character, work experience, skills, qualities, and capabilities which qualifies him/her for the opportunity he/she is applying. Typically, job applications, scholarship applications, or college/university admissions require a reference letter. It is usually written by professionals such as a teacher, former coworker, manager, client, or someone who can speak positively about the applicant. To add, this type of letter is also referred to as letter of reference, recommendation letter, or letter of recommendation.

How to Write a Reference Letter in Google Docs?

In the job-hunting industry, a reference letter is requested by a job applicant with the hopes that another individual can help them land a job. If someone has requested a reference letter from you—be it your former employee, colleague, or student—here are five crucial steps you can follow to comply with the request.

1. Review the Requester’s Resume

Before you start writing the letter, you first need to request for a copy of the resume of the requester. Despite knowing that person already, it is still essential that you review his/her resume or CV to assess his/her competency to do the job. Moreover, you should also familiarize yourself with the position the requester is vying for. This step will help you write a more effective reference letter later on.

2. Open Google Docs

Google Docs is a web-based word processor that will help you create whatever type of letter easily. After opening Google Docs on your digital device, set a 1-inch margin on all sides of the document. Then, select a font for you to make use of in writing the letter. It is highly suggested to use business fonts because they are easy to read.

3. Take Note of the Format

Remember that you are writing a formal document, which is why you need to mind the format of the letter. Follow the correct structure in writing the letter. It usually starts with the date, followed by the recipient’s information, then the subject line, salutation, opening paragraph, body, final paragraph, and the sender’s name and signature. Moreover, the lines should be single-spaced with a space between every paragraph.

4. Write the Content

In the first paragraph, explain your personal or professional relationship with the person whom you are writing the letter for. For the following paragraphs, mention why the candidate is qualified for the job and what they can contribute to the company. Make sure that you are specific when mentioning their skills, qualifications, and successes. However, avoid exaggerating that person’s character if you don’t want to put them on the pedestal. Exaggerations might set high expectations on the part of the potential employer, which might be impossible to meet. Lastly, in the closing paragraph, encourage the recipient to get in touch with you. Provide your contact information such as your phone number and email address.

Alternatively, you may download one of our ready-made reference letter templates to serve as your guide or example; or you can just modify the template and you’re done. Our templates are professionally written and easily editable, which will help you write a reference letter in an instant.

5. Review

Review the letter’s content and make sure it is free from errors, be it typographical or grammatical. Sending an error-free reference letter or recommendation letter to the hiring team will increase the chances of the job applicant’s employment.