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Reference Letter Template

Master the Art of Writing Reference Letters With These Templates

Are you finding it difficult to write a letter of reference for your student? If so, you are at the right place, as this article provides a sample letter and some basic guidelines on how to write one.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
A reference letter is one that provides basic insights like qualifications, achievements, and other skills about the person you are referring. This form of letter is usually written for an employment reference or reference for graduate school. Whatever may be the purpose, it is essential to write it following a proper format, and including true information about the person, as the letter can somewhere increase the prospects of achieving what that person may be working hard for. Especially for those who have little or no prior work experience, this letter can be very helpful.

Writing a Reference Letter

Usually, it has been seen that many people get confused between a reference letter and letter of recommendation, and often consider them the same. But the truth is, both are different, and are used to serve different purposes. A recommendation letter is written in order to recommend a person for a particular opportunity, whereas, a reference letter is more about the factual information about the person, without making any specific recommendations. Hence, it is very important to know the person for whom you are writing the letter, so that you can make a reliable evaluation of his/her character and abilities.

In the first paragraph, introduce yourself and write a couple of lines related to that, and how you are related to that particular person. In the next paragraph write about the person's abilities and strengths, and if needed, give relevant examples to support your points. For all these facts, ask that person to give you his/her resume, and tell you how and why he/she is worthy of that particular opportunity. Tell the person to share his/her career goals, skills or abilities which make him/her different and more deserving than others. However, for a clearer idea, here comes a sample letter for your reference.

Sample Letter

(University Letter Head)

Recipient's Name:
Recipient's Address:

Date:

Dear (Recipient's Name) or To Whom it May Concern,

It is indeed a pleasure to write in support of (Name of Student) application for a position as a (Job Title) in your organization. I am a professor in (Name of University/college) and i know (Name of the Student) for the past (number of months, semesters, years) as he/she was my student and has taken the following courses that I teach (list courses and give a brief description of content of course).

As his/her professor, I have had an opportunity to observe his/her involvement and interaction in class and to assess (Name of Student)'s interest and knowledge of the subject matter. He/she has always been an outstanding student in all respects and has proven his capabilities through hard work, discipline and dedication (give some examples to support this point).

Hence, to conclude I can say that (Name of Student) is a dependable, reliable, hardworking, conscientious, honest, and courteous person who is well equipped to face and grow from different challenges, and would be an extremely positive asset to your organization.

Thank you for your valuable time and interest. For more assistance, feel free to contact me on my (Phone Number) and (Email Address).

Yours Sincerely,

(Signature)
(Your Name and Title)


Make sure you know the person really well before you start writing the letter, and while writing it, never include any negative criticism. Try to be as honest as you can, and in case you don't have much good to say, just write one or two good qualities about the person. If still you have nothing to say or you are not feeling good about writing the letter, simply decline.