A reference letter is a formal letter written to make a general assessment of qualities, capabilities, knowledge, skills and characteristics of an individual.
They are slightly different from recommendation letters.
They are usually generally addressed. It usually salutes with “to whom it may concern”.
It has a layout like that of the recommendation letter
Your letter should include:
When writing the letter the date should be in full and not abbreviated as different people interpret them differently. Use e.g. 10th march 2010 instead of 10-3-2010 someone may interpret it as October 3rd a date usually makes the letter look more formal.
The letter is generic so the salutation should be “to whom it may concern” and not dear sir/ madam.
This is the reason of writing, it is written two lines down after the salutation .e.g. RE: am recommending this person to (state where).
The body of the letter should be written in simple ,clear language that could be easily understood by the person who will be reading the letter .in the letter you should state how you know the person you are writing for. Include their strengths, qualities, skills, performance and in your view their attitude is it average, satisfactory or exceptional .give reasons why you are writing a reference letter for them. You could also write the reasons why you are providing reference letter .this information is usually dived into two or three paragraphs.
This makes the last paragraph and it usually contains your affirmation that the information given is true and correct and that you believe in the persons capabilities. You could offer to give more information if the need arises.
End the letter by using the complementary close “yours faithfully” include your signature, your name and the title you hold.
- Use a good readable font in your letter makes it stand out and look more professional
- Use simple courteous language that is easily understood
- Be honest remember you are trying to sell the person.