Here are some quick tips to help you write a reference (recommendation) letter for a friend or co-worker.
Difficulty Level: average Time Required: 30 minutes
- Start by identifying your relationship with the person for whom you're writing the reference letter.
- State how long have you have known or worked with the person.
- Picture the person in his or her job role.
- Point out a variety of positive traits while focusing on work ethics, accomplishments, skills, and significant contributions (use specific examples).
- If for business reasons you're sorry to see this person go, say so.
- Avoid vague, powerless words such as nice, good, fine and reasonable.
- Use words such as excellent, superior, instrumental, creative, innovative, efficient, dependable, articulate, meticulous, self-starter and confident.
- Start wrapping it up with a recommendation to hire.
- Offer to provide more information.
- State the best time and place the recipient can reach you.
- Proofread your reference letter and make corrections.
- If you don't feel comfortable writing a reference letter, don't. A vague or fabricated letter might do more harm than good.
- Type your reference letter in a standard business format.
- Keep it brief.
- Essential Resources for Writing Employment Business Letters
- Letters of Recommendation and Reference
- Reference Checks
- Writing Reference Letters