Reference Letter Template. Sooner or later someone is going to ask you to write a
reference letter for them, and when they do there's no better
way to do it than
by using a reference letter template, like the one below to guide you from
start to finish. Still, if you're anything like me you barely have enough time
to take care of the things that you need to do for yourself, much less trying to
write a letter that won't disappoint.
The employment reference letter is an important asset for any job-seeker. Job offers can be made or lost on the basis of employment references. For the employer it provides proof of the candidate's suitability for the job opportunity.
Salutation - If you are writing a personal letter of reference and you know the name of the recipient, include their name in the salutation, such as Dear Mr. Marina, Dear Ms. Templeton, and the like. If you are writing a general letter it's proper to address it to "To Whom it May Concern" or simply do not include a salutation at all.
Paragraph 1 - The first paragraph of the reference letter template explains your relationship with the person you're writing about; including how you know them and why you are qualified to write a reference letter for them. Typically, this part of the letter would detail how long you have known the person, how many years you've worked with them, mentored them, attended classes together, etc
Paragraph 2 - The second paragraph of the reference letter template contains specific information regarding the person you are writing about, including what they can contribute, why they're qualified and your reasons for providing a reference letter., and why you are providing a reference letter.
You can include an interesting anecdote about the person if you know one, as memorable text like this will help differentiate them from their competition. These sort of brief examples will create a memorable context that will help the person you are recommending stand out from their competition. If necessary, use more than one paragraph to provide details.
Paragraph 3 - The third paragraph should highlight the individual's qualifications, skills, abilities and accomplishments. Specifically, you should include information about how the person's skills match the position they are applying for. In effect, you are "marketing" the person's skills-- so, the more the more specific you are about how they match the position they're applying for the more successful they're likely to be.
If needed you should ask for a copy of the job posting and of the person's resume so you can tailor your reference letter accordingly. Then, once you have reviewed these materials, write down a list of examples of how the person has demonstrated the skills outlined in the job description, and then use these to strengthen this paragraph to make it "pop.".
Paragraph 4 (Summary) - This section of the reference letter template contains a brief summary of why you are endorsing the person. State that you "highly recommend" the person or you "recommend without reservation" or something similar.
Closing - The closing paragraph of the reference letter template contains an offer to provide more information, whether it's via a phone number, email and/or physical address. Finally, include a polite close and then your name and title.
The following Reference Letter written using the template above is from Amanda of Springfield, VA. Unfortunately, she found herself in the awkward position of having been laid off. However, her employer offered to provide her with a reference letter, but asked that she write it for her supervisor to review and sign. Here's what she wrote and what her supervisor signed.
To Whom it May Concern:
This letter is a professional recommendation for Amanda Doe. Until just recently, I have been Amanda’s immediate supervisor at Career Team Development, Inc. I found Amanda’s work ethic and pleasant disposition to be a huge asset at our company.
Besides being a joy to work with, Amanda is a take-charge person who is able to present creative ideas and move them through implementation. In this regard, she has successfully developed several case management tactics for our clients that have motivated and encouraged them to set high expectations for themselves in their goal to achieve self-sufficiency.
During her tenure with us Amanda complimented our services with intangible qualities through her energetic approach to helping others in a professional setting.
In addition to being a big factor in the success of our case management efforts, Amanda was also extraordinarily helpful in other areas of the company. For example, she never hesitated to jump in and assist in wherever help was needed, from the front desk and answering phone calls to doing new client intakes and orientations. Her ability to multi-task and work effectively in a fast-paced environment were evident in her daily performance.
Summarily, I highly recommend Amanda for employment with your firm. For the reasons stated above I believe she'll be a wonderful asset to your company.
In closing, please feel free to contact me should you have any questions after reviewing this letter. For your convenience I can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Martha No Name Smith
Program Director, Career TEAM LLC
Product: Instant Recommendation Letter Kit