Reference Letter Samples and Writing Tips

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A reference letter, also known as a recommendation letter, is used to attest to a person's talents, character, experience, and/or accomplishments. An applicant may send reference letters to endorse his or her application when applying for a job. Professional letters of reference are required by LBWCC and identify the applicant's qualifications, abilities, and work experience that are applicable to the position for which they are applying. Current or former bosses, colleagues, clients, or other business professionals with first-hand knowledge of the applicant may write these letters.

You can submit your résumé, transcript, curriculum vitae, or any other materials that will help the individual writing the letter of reference accurately identify you. You may also provide a rundown of the job you're applying for as well as company details. A letter of reference should be longer than one or two paragraphs; a letter of this length implies that the author does not know you well or does not completely support you. The message, however, should be brief and focused on a few key points, so it should not exceed one page.

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  • Check out different types of reference letters:

    • Letters of Academic Reference: Students usually use academic letters of reference during the admissions process. Many colleges, both undergraduate and graduate, plan to see at least one, preferably two or three, reference letters for each applicant during the admissions process. Reference letters offer information to admissions committees that may or may not be included in a college application, such as academic and job accomplishments, character references, and personal information. Scholarship and fellowship programs often request letters of reference. Former teachers, principals, deans, coaches, and other education professionals who are familiar with the student's academic experience or extracurricular accomplishments may be asked for advice. Employers, community leaders, and mentors are also potential recommenders.
    • References for Jobs: Individuals searching for a new career rely heavily on letters of reference for jobs and professional references. References may be posted on a website, attached to a resume, provided when filling out an application, included in a portfolio, or given out during job interviews. Most employers need at least three professional references from work applicants. As a result, having at least three reference letters on hand is a smart idea for job seekers. Jobs reference letters usually provide details regarding previous employment, job results, work ethic, and personal achievements. Former (or current) employers or a direct supervisor are usually the ones that write the letters. Coworkers are appropriate, but not as attractive as bosses or managers. Job seekers who lack sufficient structured job experience to obtain feedback from an employer or supervisor may turn to community or volunteer organizations for help. Academic mentors are another possibility.
    • References to Characters: Character advice or character references are often used for housing accommodations, legal matters, child adoption, and other similar circumstances where knowing a person's character is critical. Almost everybody would need a letter of reference at some stage in their lives. Former employers, landlords, business partners, neighbors, physicians, friends, and others often write reference letters. The most suitable person varies depending on the intent of the letter of reference.
  • Question & Answers related to Reference Letter Samples and Writing Tips

    • What should a Reference Letter contain?

      You may use a normal business letter format unless the applicant provides you with a form to write your reference. At the top of the paper, provide the person receiving your letter with your contact details, the date and the contact information (usually the hiring manager). You do not need to provide any contact information or date at the top if you submit this letter via email. Please include your contact information after your email signature. The candidate's name, the work he applies (when applicable) and the purpose of the letter should be included in a plain, short line for a reference email. The subject line can, for example, be the "First Name Last name – Role of Human Resources Assistant.".

      What should be avoided in a reference letter?

      • Writing in an informal manner: Keep the letter business-like. Jokes, slang, and casual language are not appropriate and may harm the candidate’s chances.
      • Including personal information not relevant to the application: Mentioning the candidate’s race, political stance, religion, nationality, marital status, age, or health is usually inappropriate.
      • Spelling mistakes, sloppy writing, or typos: This letter is hugely important and you should take care to make sure it looks professional.
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