How to Write a Reference Letter

Reference letters are important to companies or enterprises to assess the value of potential employees. In addition, the letters are also significant to job applicants to be hired since some firms use these to know the personalities and characteristics of prospective employees. Below is a quick guide to those who want to know how to write a reference letter.

General Tips

When writing a reference letter, always remember to keep it concise and brief. Be sure to write all the special skills, characteristics and talents of the applicant on a single-page reference letter. Always remember that the purpose of writing the letter is to impress the reader. In this regard, there are some information that should be included like the achievements and accomplishments of the applicant.


Like other types of formal letters, there is a specific format that must be followed when writing a reference letter. Do not forget to use a block style and to follow the basic format of a business letter. It should contain the name of the receiver and position as well as salutation. In addition, the letter should have a proper enclosure. Honesty is significant when writing this letter since companies use this to evaluate the character of an applicant.


There are some information that must be included in the body of a reference letter. In the first paragraph, state your relationship with the applicant or the individual who needs the letter. It is also important to identify how long you know the person. For instance, if the applicant is a former student, then state that the applicant was your student for a year or for a semester.

The second paragraph should include the positive characteristics or traits of the applicant. Include the work traits, achievements and special skills of the person. It is also important to state if the applicant is punctual, patient, diligent and hardworking.

The third paragraph should wrap up all the positive characteristics of the applicant. This paragraph should also include your contact information in case the reader needs other further information about the applicant.


Do not forget to end the letter with a salutation. Provide enough space for your signature. Write your full name below your signature. Avoid exaggerating the traits and characteristics of the individual you are writing the letter for. Before sending the letter do not forget to proofread and check for grammatical and spelling errors. Be sure that the paper you will use for the letter is clean. Put the letter in an envelope and seal it.

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