Personal Reference Letter

Vital Points to Consider While Writing a Personal Reference Letter

A reference letter is written to 'refer' or 'introduce' a person. A personal reference letter is written so as to introduce a person in an informal manner, a sample of which is provided in the article below.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Apr 8, 2018
Conversationally, reference letters are personal, but they are deemed to be formal and are usually written by colleagues for other colleges or by superiors for their subordinates. In some cases, letters of reference are also written by subordinates for their superiors. As of today, even in the corporate world, a reference letter is a written for person who is applying for a job. In most of the cases, it is handed before the interview process or is attached to the application letter, cover letter, or the letter of interest. It has been a delusion that a letter of reference can be written in a formal sense. However, it is personal when it is written by an acquaintance, a friend or a well-wisher, and gives the reader a true insight to the person's character. In many cases, it may be valued more than a formal reference letter.

Points to Remember

The word 'personal' itself means 'pertaining to human beings as distinct from things' or 'of or pertaining to a particular person; relating to, or affecting, an individual'. Therefore, following a strict format is not necessary; on the contrary, when you write such a letter, you will have to make it a bit informal and also descriptive. Such letters should also have a tone of approbation. The following format will give you a better idea on how to go about with this letter.
  • Paragraph 1: In this paragraph, introduce yourself. The introduction must establish a relation between you and the person whom are referring. The introduction should be sufficiently short and approximate. A couple of lines would do good. Also, make it a point to disclose how many years you have known the person.
  • Paragraph 2: The second paragraph is the most important one, as the person's qualities and merits are appreciated in this paragraph.
  • Paragraph 3: The third paragraph is the conclusion, and here, it is better to write a couple of lines out of your heart. Principally, emphasize on the fact that the person about whom you are writing is a good human being.
Personal Reference Letter Example

Here is a sample letter of reference that will give you a better idea about the above points. This is a letter written by a piano teacher for his student who is applying for a college and a scholarship.

To Whomsoever it May Concern,

Dear Sir/Madam,

Jack Ruddess is one of my oldest pupil who has shown astounding dedication to learn classical compositions from an early age of 7. Believe it or not, back then, he could barely reach all the notes of the keyboard. Today, at a remarkably age, he has not only become a well-known concert pianist, but has also successfully presented several progressive compositions on his own.

Very rarely in life do we get to see people who or both very creative and also meticulous, well may be that's what makes Jack such a good pupil and person. He is a very sincere person and in my memory, has never done anything carelessly or without thought. He has a fantastic ability to grasp things around him and also understand the environment. Among his many qualities, is the quality to conserve time. One is unlikely to find him, wasting or killing his time. These abilities would make him an exceptionally good mathematician and economist, which he aspires to become. Another great merit that he has developed over the years is his ability to focus and concentrate on things that he is doing.

Jack can appreciate life very well, you will never see him blame an incident or event. He accepts situations as they come and fights his way out with a great understanding of the situation and its solution. His self-discipline, meticulousness and ability to understand will make him an excellent pupil of your college.

Thanking you,

Yours truly,

The best thing about a reference letter is that it gives a good insight about the person's personality, his values, ethics, upbringing, good habits, and qualities.